CLEAPSS Supporting practical science and technology
CLEAPSS Biology
Biology at CLEAPSS –present fascinating, future exciting!

Biology has been developing very rapidly over the last 40 years, and this is increasingly being reflected in the content of biology lessons.

To support these developments CLEAPSS has been working on a range of practicals, guidance and training courses to enable schools to meet the demands of this new curriculum in safe, engaging and innovative ways. We are also on hand to answer any queries you may have regarding Health Safety aspects of biology practical, whether new or old.

Measuring photosynthesis using a mobile phone

Latest news from CLEAPSS..
Hot weather, the storage of chemicals and ventilation: PREPARING FOR THE HOLIDAYS30 Jun 2017
In addition to the advice below, make sure your chemicals keep cool even if the weather is hot while school is closed over the summer.

Arrange for the store to be kept cool. If you know the temperature rises if the weather gets hot, increase the ventilation if possible.
Consider alternative storage arrangements if there is a secure, cool, well-ventilated space available, at least over the holiday period when the chemicals do not need to be accessed frequently.
Arrange for someone to check the store regularly. If this will be a non-science colleague, make sure (s)he knows what to look out for and what to do if problems are spotted and warn the colleague not to put themselves at risk. Leave the CLEAPSS Helpline number and instructions (including a copy of the E Hazcards and GL120 About Hazcards section E).
Place bottles of volatile chemicals in a large volume of water eg, in a bucket or bowl. Protect the label by keeping the water level below the label or placing the bottle in a plastic bag.
Take care when entering the store after a period away, particularly if the weather has been hot.

Ventilation : A rate of 2 air changes per hour, maintained 24/7 normally suffices to vent hazardous fumes and maintain an even temperature. If your store is liable to become hot, the ventilation may be deficient. Call a ventilation engineer to check it and quote for improvements. Failure to maintain adequate ventilation can lead to overheating and a build-up of fumes which can cause ill-health and corrosion. 

Contact the CLEAPSS Helpline for further advice if necessary

Hot weather, the storage of chemicals and ventilation20 Jun 2017
Make sure your stored chemicals are safe in hot weather. 

Volatile chemicals (those that evaporate easily) are most at risk. You might detect a stronger smell in the area or notice plastic bottles bulging. 

For example, highly flammable liquids and also other non-organic volatiles such as concentrated hydrochloric acid, nitric acid and ammonia might be affected. 

• Try to keep the store as cool as possible and don’t put yourself at risk by going in if the level of fumes is higher than usual or you suspect that something has leaked. Use any blinds that are fitted and ensure the ventilation system is working. If the fan is on a time switch, lengthen the ‘on’ periods if possible or keep it switched on all the time.

• ONLY if it is possible to ventilate the store safely, do so. You can then attend to bottles of volatile chemicals to reduce the risks from a build-up of vapours. Wearing personal protective equipment: chemical-protective goggles and gloves, place bottles of volatile chemicals into larger containers with cold water and ice in a working fume cupboard to cool them thoroughly before opening them carefully and allowing fumes to vent. Then close the lids again.

• If you detect problems and there is a risk that fumes have built up, or you are unsure what to do, consider evacuating any areas at risk and contact the CLEAPSS Helpline for advice
Free workshop for Technician Groups12 Jun 2017
Last summer glassware manufacturer SciLabware ran free workshops for Technician Groups around the country, the aim of which was to help technicians make informed choices when it comes to purchasing glassware and plasticware.  

The workshops have been very popular and SciLabware are pleased to announce that they will again be offering these free workshops.  

For the latest information, including booking details, please see here.
Gatsby Practical Work in Science Survey24 May 2017
Gatsby would like to invite you to participate in a unique and important piece of research into practical work in science in England and Scotland. 

We are now into the final year of this exciting three-year national study. Preliminary findings from the first two years of the study are proving extremely interesting, giving a detailed insight into the impact of changes taking place in practical science.

We want to hear from heads of science, science teachers and science technicians from a wide variety of teaching environments to help us develop a greater understanding of what practical work in science means in today’s schools and colleges.

The surveys take approximately 20 minutes to complete. 

To thank you for participating, we are offering everyone who fills in the survey a chance to win one of five £100 Amazon gift vouchers in a prize draw at the end of July.

There are three separate surveys that can be accessed at the links below:-




Slime16 May 2017
Want to make slime? Then use our new tried and tested method, which is on our new primary science website : http://primary.cleapss.org.uk/Resource/P042-Slime-time.aspx
Biology Resources
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Members only resource Click to download Document.
This leaflet is intended to give brief details only of the major manufacturers and suppliers of electronic balances suitable for use in science within secondary schools and colleges.

Members only resource Click to download Document.
Outlines the work that science technicians do, the tasks which they should not, ideally, be given, and provides a pointer to the number of technicians needed in a department and to management issues w.. more

Members only resource Click to download Document.
This includes all the pictograms required by the Globally Harmonised System for chemical hazard labelling. A selection of large (A4) and small sized pictures for printing and use in schools

Members only resource Click to download Document.
Straightforward advice on how to make sure your practical lessons work as you intend. Includes planning and preparing the activity, managing students, timing and equipment, and clearing away. Also inc.. more

Free resource Click to download Video.
This video shows the correct way to sterilise an inoculation loop by flaming.

Members only resource Click to download Document.
This is a customisable letter for schools to send to parents to request permission in advance of students taking a small sample of their own blood.

Free resource Click to download Video.
This video demonstrates how to inoculate a nutrient agar plate using a cotton wool spreader.

Members only resource Click to download Document.
Covers a range of issues and practicalities associated with gene technology experiments in schools including legal and ethical issues as well as an indepth exploration of health and safety topics.

Members only resource Click to download Document.
Contains a wealth of information on the various ways of measuring pH, and the advantage and disadvantage os each. Includes all sorts of background theory which will help the reader make the most appro.. more

Members only resource Click to download Document.
Practical advice on successfully incubating hens, and other, eggs, and initial rearing and handling of chicks.

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