The Year 10 students at Lansdowne School have started a new science topic learning about drugs and the effects that they can have upon us. This is a very serious subject matter. The students have started this work with great maturity.
Miss McNie introduced the subject by asking the pupils what existing knowledge they already have. A large spider diagram was drawn on the class whiteboard. Each class member contributed as we collectively named as many drugs as we could think of.
Even at this early stage this exercise started to become interesting. ‘Drugs’ such as alcohol and tobacco were included. Some of the students were surprised to see contributions such as tea and coffee.
This then led to a class discussion about which drugs are legal, and which are illegal. Working in pairs, each group sorted a list of cards containing the names of many drugs. The challenge was to decide which drugs are legal, and which are illegal.
Miss McNie then asked for suggestions as to how else we could have sorted the names of the different drugs. One possibility was to consider what affect the drugs actually have on our bodies. These can be a positive or negative impact.
A broad definition was agreed that a drug is something which changes the way our body works. This fits in with the recent Year 10 science work learning all about reflexes and the central nervous system.
The students were then asked to describe how drinking coffee makes them feel. It was agreed that a cup of coffee in the morning helps to wake us up and stimulate the body.
The session came to a close with Year 10 thinking about what is meant by the term ‘addiction.’ This widened the discussion to consider why some drugs are made illegal. One suggestion is that they are addictive. Future science work for the Year 10 pupils will move on to look at how drugs are categorised.