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Into the woods

05 Aug 2020

The idea of a walk in the woods has become much more meaningful for Year 9 students Jacob Onions and Hugo Helmore after the Year 9 Biology field trip to Mount Oxford on Monday 27 July.

As part of their final unit for Year 9 Biology, the boys are learning about native New Zealand plants and relationships between different species in the forest – in particular, scale insects living in black beech trees and secreting honeydew for the native birds to feed upon.

“We walked up a ridge and had a look at the vegetation and different plants, wildlife and insects that exist in that ecosystem, to find out how they survive,” says Jacob. “I haven’t really done anything on that sort of scale before – a full day’s experience learning what types of plants are in New Zealand and how the forest works.”

The clear, cold, wintry conditions added to their enjoyment.

“There were massive sheets of ice on the ground and frost in the trees. For me, coming from the North Island, it was interesting how cold it was,” says Hugo. “I’ve never thought in that much detail before how the trees and plants support each other, how they co-exist and help insects, birds, animals, and the whole forest to thrive.”

Junior students at College rotate through Biology, Chemistry and Physics trimesters, with each module within each subject designed to introduce the boys to these three strands of science and provide a strong base for more in-depth study in later years.

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