Leeson House Field Studies Centre

AS, A Level & IB Courses - Biology


A Level and IB Biology Courses

The grounds of Leeson House provide a rich and varied range of habitats within which a wide range of Biology units can be taught including:
  • Introduction to ecology and sampling techniques
  • Pond comparisons
  • "Mark and Recapture" Population studies
  • Woodland studies
  • Mammal Trapping
  • Moth Traps
  • Bird Ringing Demonstrations

By travelling further afield within Purbeck the following units can be taught:-

  • Vegetation succession at Studland Sand Dunes
  • Freshwater ecology at West Mills on the River Piddle
  • Marine zonation at Kimmeridge Bay Marine Reserve
  • Heathland regeneration in Wareham Forest
  • Inter and intra specfic competition and measuring Biomass


Pond comparison study

Compare biotic and abiotic samples between several ponds within the grounds of Leeson House. Pracise identification skills using dicotomous keys, calcualte diveristy indices and compare energy transfer between each pond.
The Leeson ponds are full of life, often Great Crested Newts can be found.

Freshwater Ecology

Comparisons can be made between organisms found in slow and fast moving water. Indicator species are identified and several abiotic factors are recorded such as dissolved oxygen and flow rate.
The River Piddle is a safe river to study with any size group. In recent years, crayfish and marine lampreys have been caught during sampling. OCR A 3.3 PAG could be completed here as well as Edexcel B 3.3 Calculating Simpson's Diversity Index.

Marine Zonation

Kimmerdige Bay is one of the best places in the UK to study Marine Ecology. The double low tide each day gives plenty of time to study the lower shore. Popular studies with students include perwinkle density and limpet shell shape comparisons. OCR A 3.3 PAG could be done here with students planning their own investigation focussing on various animal species and abiotic factors.
Edexcel B Core Practical 16 looking at Limpet morphology can be completed here.

Studland Sand Dune Succession

Visit Studland Sand Dunes to study vegetation succession. Students will carry out interrupted belt transects to investigate the environmental changes and biotic differences across the dunes. Abiotic and biotic data will be collected and groups can then travel the 10 mins back to Leeson House for data analysis. This covers AQA Practical 12, OCR A 3.2 PAG and 3.1 PAG.
Edexcel A and B Core Practicals 10 and 15 can be completed here.
Langton Matravers, Swanage, BH19 3EU
01929 422126
01929 427534