The circulatory system

Home learning focus

Learn about the circulatory system and why it is so important.

This guide includes:

  • two videos on the circulatory system and how it works.
  • three videos looking at the parts of the circulatory system individually.
  • two activities to build upon your knowledge of the circulatory system.

Learn

The circulatory system

Your circulatory system is made up of three parts: the heart, blood vessels and the blood itself.

Your heart keeps all the blood in your circulatory system flowing. The blood travels through a network of blood vessels to everywhere in your body. It carries useful materials like oxygen, water and nutrients and removes waste products like carbon dioxide.

Watch this video to learn more.

Explore the different parts of the circulatory system below:

Blood

Blood transports materials around the body and protects against disease. It contains:

  • Red blood cells which transport oxygen.
  • White blood cells which protect against disease.
  • Blood platelets which help the blood to clot and repair a cut.
  • Plasma which is a liquid that carries these cells. It also transports important nutrients.

Learn more with this short clip

Blood vessels

Blood vessels are a series of tubes inside your body. They move blood to and from your heart. Arteries carry blood away from the heart and transport oxygen and useful nutrients to the body's cells. After the oxygen has been used up, veins take blood back to the heart where it is pumped to the lungs to pick up new oxygen again.

Heart

Your heart is a very strong muscle and plays an important part in being healthy. It keeps all the blood in your circulatory system flowing.

  • Your heart first pumps blood to your lungs. Here, the blood picks up oxygen from the air that you have breathed in.
  • The blood (carrying oxygen) then travels back to your heart.
  • The heart gives the blood a second push. This time, it's sent all around the body to the various organs and tissues.
  • The blood travels back to the heart and it all begins again.

Watch this short clip from BBC Teach to re-cap today's learning on the circulatory system.

A short video which tells us how our circulatory system keeps us alive.

Practise

There are lots of fun ways to try out your science skills:

Activity 1

Have a go at this quiz on the circulatory system.

Activity 2

Using the information in this guide, design a fact sheet or poster to explain what and how the circulatory system works.

There's more to learn

Have a look at these other resources around the BBC and the web.

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