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15 January 2021

Whole School Assembly on Adaptation

Whole School Assembly on Adaptation

With the current move to remote learning, I felt that it was important for the pupils to reflect on the idea of adaptation in the natural world. 

Over many years and generations, animals have changed in order to survive and thrive in the environments they live in. There are a number of ways that animals adapt – these can be inside or outside their bodies, in ways that they act, or even in ways that they work with other animals in their habitat. There are two key types of adaptation:

Structural – things about an animal's inner and outer bodies that have helped them adapt to their environment. We reflected on the camel’s hump and how it has evolved to store fat which can then be ’accessed’ when it is walking through the desert and cannot find any food to eat.

Behavioural – things that animals can do that make life a lot easier in their habitat. For example, the Inuits in the arctic regions build igloos which act as a natural insulator.

Once the pupils were engaged with further examples, they closed their eyes and visualised being part of a submarine journey towards the bottom of the ocean. They imagined fading light, chilling temperatures, increased water pressure and the presence of many weird and wonderful creatures that populate the different zones of the ocean waters. 

Finally, the pupils opened their eyes and were presented with a picture of the amazing Angler Fish. These creatures are thought to have originated around 130 million years ago and have adapted in fascinating ways over the years. Due to its habitat being 6,000m below the ocean’s surface, they have undergone both structural and behavioural adaptation. The most striking feature of all is it’s infamous ‘fisherman’s hook’. The pupils learnt about how the fish uses bioluminescence to attract its prey and then strike at the opportune moment.

So why were we learning about adaptation? Education is evolving at a faster pace now than at any other period in recent history. There’s a growing awareness among educators and families that today’s curriculum needs to evolve to meet tomorrow’s reality. With remote learning, we are developing new skills to help us problem solve, collaborate effectively, and express ideas in new ways. 

As a school, as a community we will continue to evolve together through being resilient and facing the future with optimism.

Mr McSherry

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