Dissecting with KS4 (9th March 2018)

Students at the Northern House School Wokingham learn important anatomy lessons during lungs/ heart dissection.

Did you ever know that much of a pig’s anatomy is similar to human anatomy? This is one of the reasons that many science classrooms dissect pigs. KS4 students were able to witness first-hand the similarities between pig and human anatomy.

There are several other reasons why we used pigs for dissection :

• Dissection is a hands-on way of learning anatomy. For many learners, this type of learning is better than textbook learning.
• Dissection allows students to see the body’s structures in three dimensions (unlike in a textbook) and how the organ systems are interconnected.
• One of the human body organs that is very similar to a pig’s is the heart. A pig heart and a human heart are similar in their size, structure, and function. Like a human heart, the pig heart has two atriums and two ventricles. It also has four valves and an aorta. 

In this practical , students were able to gain a greater understanding of the human heart through understanding a pig’s heart.

KS4 students:
1. Located the major organs and structural features of the pigs respiratory system.
2. Described the functions of these organs.

3. Noticed the difference in the colour, structure, and thickness of the walls
of the right atrium and the right ventricle of the pig’s heart.

The emphasis on hands-on learning was important to develop students’ confidence, accuracy, and efficiency in completing the science laboratory skills they needed to master .
We believe that with careful scientific exploration of animals who were treated in humane ways, we can learn and teach our students to be greater stewards of the environment, and especially toward the species they just learned about.