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Last updated: 2 June 2020

Although schools are beginning to open in some areas to some year groups across the UK, some pupils remain at home and may wish to further develop their interest in the sciences.

Below we suggest the areas in which 5 – 19 students may wish to focus their efforts.

If homework has been set by the school, please ensure this is completed and that you keep in touch with the school in the coming weeks.

We hope to include links to further freely accessible resources below as they become available. There are lots of resources available from museums, science centres and science organisations on line to support informal learning or at home science activities.

Public broadcasters are also committing to providing resources for students at home. Ireland’s RTÉ have launched a Home School Hub for primary children, and the BBC are adapting their Bitesize website to bring daily content supporting education and wellbeing, as well as podcasts and a dedicated TV channel for learning content.

Age 5 – 11: developing and maintaining and interest in the sciences is the most important goal at this time. Parents and older siblings could explore at home family science activities and experiments.

RSB’s Gopher Science Lab activity booklets contain ten science experiments that are easy to do with household items. Our parent explainer guide describes how to use these booklets and access our online training for free.

RSB’s scibermonkey website collects together resources from many other organisations, organized into primary and secondary topics

Activities at home for younger students: Biology and the Scientific Process (Biology Changing the World), Ecology (Make a balloon fly, What’s your favourite insect, Fungi, Plants), Genetics and DNA (What is DNA?)

Activities at home for older students: Ecology (Bug Zoom Game videos, Fungi, Plants), Humans and Animals (Animal Olympians, Attraction in animals and humans, Circadian rhythms in animals), Genetics and DNA (Extracting DNA, What is DNA?)

CLEAPSS set the standards for practical work in schools, and have produced a resource to support practical activities for children and their families at home, and a list of activities that can be conducted at home.

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Age 11 – 13: Students in their first years of secondary school should engage with science activities in their home, and make us of RSB’s scibermonkey or BBC Bitesize to explore topics in their current school year.

Activities to try at home: Biology and the Scientific Process (What is Biology, Testing pH with red cabbage), Ecology (Evolutionary Spot the Difference), Humans and Animals (Human body), Genetics and DNA (DNA origami)

Age 13 – 15: Students who have started GCSEs or National 4 or 5s this year, and are due to sit exams in those qualifications during the 2020-21 academic year, should seek advice from their school on topics they should study at home and use resources such as RSB’s scibermonkey or BBC Bitesize to revisit topics they have already studied in school.

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Age 15 – 16: Students who are due to sit exams and be awarded grades this Summer can be reassured that exam boards and governments in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales have committed to ensuring they receive a fair grade on the usual results day. Students can use BBC bitesize to revisit topics already studied, and should take advice from their schools on what to focus on in preparation for the next stage of their education.

Students in Scotland should sign up to MySQA to receive their results electronically on results day.

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Age 16 – 19: Students who have started A levels this year, and are due to sit exams during the 2020-21 academic year, should seek advice from their school on topics they should study at home and can supplement their studies by accessing our Biologist magazine for free for six months through their school (ask your school to email institutions@exacteditions.com if they do not already have access)

Students who are due to sit Higher, Advanced Higher or A level exams and be awarded grades this Summer can be reassured that exam boards and governments in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales have committed to ensuring they receive a fair grade on the usual results day.

Students in Scotland should sign up to MySQA to receive their results electronically on results day.

Students in Further Education should seek information from their college or provider, on how their qualification will be awarded in 2020, as this differs for each exam board and qualification.

Teachers can also register their students aged 16-17 for the Intermediate Biology Olympiad 2020. Students will need to be invigilated when taking the paper, either virtually by a teacher or at home by a parent/guardian.

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