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Recall the Main Structures and Functions of the Circulatory System

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

Did you know that your heart beats about 100,000 times a day?! And that it sends about 2000 gallons of blood around your body?! That’s around the same amount as 16,000 pints of milk!

The cells in our body need a good supply of oxygen and nutrients.  They also need to get rid of waste substances. Our blood carries out both of these functions. The circulatory system consists of blood vessels such as arteries, veins and capillaries and a pump called the heart.

Double Circulatory System 

Image of the circulatory system

Blood passes through the heart twice on every full circuit of the body. This is called a double circulatory system. A double circulatory system separates the blood with oxygen from the blood without oxygen. Blood with oxygen is called oxygenated blood. Blood without oxygen is called deoxygenated blood.

Each organ of the body is supplied with blood from its own artery.  This blood is oxygenated. Deoxygenated blood is taken away from organs by veins. 

When blood has been pumped out the left ventricle of the heart, it begins to make its journey around the body in an artery called the aorta.  The blood is rich in oxygen. Oxygen is carried by red blood cells. The oxygen leaves the red blood cells as they pass through the capillariesCapillaries are the network of blood vessels which pass in between the cells in the body. As blood leaves the capillaries it enters veins. Veins return blood to the heart.

Arteries

When blood flows out the heart, it enters the arteries. The blood is at very high pressure because it has been forced out of the heart because the ventricles have contracted (squeezed).  Arteries have very strong walls to be able to cope with the high pressure of the blood flowing through them.  The blood moves through the arteries with every heartbeat.  The thick muscular walls stretch and then bounce back into place because of the elastic fibres in the walls of arteries.

Capillaries

Arteries divide into smaller blood vessels.  The smallest blood vessels are called capillaries. The function of a capillary is to take nutrients and oxygen to cells and take waste products away. The structure of a capillary helps them do this. Capillaries have very thin walls, they are only one cell thick. This means that the substances can diffuse in and out very quickly.

Veins

Capillaries eventually join up again and form veins.  By the time the blood gets to the veins, it is at a much lower pressure than it was in the arteries.  Veins don't have thick, strong, elastic walls. Veins have valves to stop the blood from flowing backward. Arteries do not have valves because the force of the heartbeat keeps the blood moving.

Gas Exchange

The lungs are adapted for gas exchange. Breathing involves exchanging gases in the lungs. 

Image of the human lungs

 

When you breathe in, oxygen in the inhaled air travels down your trachea which branches off into bronchi (one branch is called the bronchus). This further divides into bronchioles and eventually, the oxygen diffuses through the tiny alveoli (air sacs) in your lungs into your bloodstream. The oxygen is transported to the heart via the pulmonary vein and then pumped around your body via the aorta from the heart. Carbon dioxide is the waste gas produced by respiration. Carbon dioxide diffuses from cells into the bloodstream and is pumped to the lungs via the pulmonary artery to be exhaled.

Image of alveolus and gas exchange

The alveoli have a few adaptations that make gas exchange very efficient. They are only one cell thick making them very thin allowing gases to pass through easily and quickly. They also have a large surface area, allowing large amounts of gases to be exchanged with each breath..

In the following activity, you will recall the main structures and functions of the circulatory system.

Which side of the heart pumps oxygenated blood? Select one answer below. 

Image of the human heart

 

Left-hand side

Right-hand side

Both sides

The image shows a section through the heart.  

Image of the heart

Name the structures labelled A, B and C on the image above. Select one answer in each row.

 ABC
Aorta
Pulmonary vein
Left atrium

Image of the hearts atria and ventricles

Why do the ventricles of the heart have thicker walls than the atria? Select two answers below.

Atria pump blood out of the heart so have thicker walls

Ventricles receive blood from the atria

Atria collect blood coming into the heart

Ventricles have to pump blood out of the heart so have thicker walls

The body contains three different types of blood vessels. What are the names of these blood vessels? 

Select three answers below.

 

Artery

Neurone

Vein

Capillary

Insulin

Image of the aorta labelled on heart

The largest artery in the body is the aorta. Describe the features of the aorta by filling in the blanks below.

 

 

Artery

Neurone

Vein

Capillary

Insulin

Capillaries have some special features that help it to do its job. How are capillaries suited to their function?

Select one option below to answer this question.

Thick muscular wall

Only one cell thick

Contains valves

The vena cava is the largest vein in the body. It carries deoxygenated blood back to the heart.

How are veins like the vena cava suited to their function? Select one answer below.

 

Veins contain valves which prevent the back flow of blood

Veins have thick muscular walls

Veins are only one cell thick

The lungs can be seen in the image below. 
Match up the parts a, b, c, and d with their correct structure.
Image of the lungs

Column A

Column B

a
Bronchus
b
Trachea
c
Alveoli
d
Bronchiole

Breathing involves the exchange of gases in the lungs; a process that occurs by diffusion. What happens when you breathe in? 

Match up the sentences below to answer this question.

Column A

Column B

Oxygen in inhaled air diffuses through...
...the alveoli in the lungs and into the bloodstre...
The oxygen is then transported...
...into the bloodstream and is exhaled via the lun...
Carbon dioxide is the waste gas...
... throughout the body.
Carbon dioxide diffuses from body tissues ...
...produced by respiration.

Image of gas exchange in alveolus

Alveoli have several adaptations that help to make gas exchange very efficient.

Select the adaptations that are true below. Select one answer in each row.

  • Question 1

Which side of the heart pumps oxygenated blood? Select one answer below. 

Image of the human heart

 

CORRECT ANSWER
Left-hand side
EDDIE SAYS
Try not to get confused, you have to imagine the image of the heart as if it's inside your body. So right side on paper is actually left-hand side in real life!
  • Question 2

The image shows a section through the heart.  

Image of the heart

Name the structures labelled A, B and C on the image above. Select one answer in each row.

CORRECT ANSWER
 ABC
Aorta
Pulmonary vein
Left atrium
EDDIE SAYS
The pulmonary vein carries oxygenated blood from the lungs to the heart, ready to be pumped by the heart via the aorta. The aorta is an artery and carries oxygenated blood to the rest of the body. The left atrium is where the oxygenated blood enters from the lungs.
  • Question 3

Image of the hearts atria and ventricles

Why do the ventricles of the heart have thicker walls than the atria? Select two answers below.

CORRECT ANSWER
Ventricles receive blood from the atria
Ventricles have to pump blood out of the heart so have thicker walls
EDDIE SAYS
The ventricles thicker walls allow for a greater 'push,' forcing the blood out of the heart with greater pressure allowing it to reach all areas of the body.
  • Question 4

The body contains three different types of blood vessels. What are the names of these blood vessels? 

Select three answers below.

 

CORRECT ANSWER
Artery
Vein
Capillary
EDDIE SAYS
A neurone is another name for a nerve cell and insulin is a hormone involved in blood sugar regulation!
  • Question 5

Image of the aorta labelled on heart

The largest artery in the body is the aorta. Describe the features of the aorta by filling in the blanks below.

 

 

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Remember: Arteries carry blood Away from the heart. The Aorta is one of the main Arteries. They all begin with the letter A!
  • Question 6

Capillaries have some special features that help it to do its job. How are capillaries suited to their function?

Select one option below to answer this question.

CORRECT ANSWER
Only one cell thick
EDDIE SAYS
Capillaries are extremely thin, they're only one cell thick! This means that gases and nutrients can diffuse really quickly from the blood into cells. If the capillaries were thicker, it would take longer for gases and nutrients to be exchanged and the blood wouldn't be able to meet the demands of the body.
  • Question 7

The vena cava is the largest vein in the body. It carries deoxygenated blood back to the heart.

How are veins like the vena cava suited to their function? Select one answer below.

 

CORRECT ANSWER
Veins contain valves which prevent the back flow of blood
EDDIE SAYS
Try to remember: Veins contain Valves! Veins carry blood towards the heart which is the opposite direction to arteries.
  • Question 8
The lungs can be seen in the image below. 
Match up the parts a, b, c, and d with their correct structure.
Image of the lungs
CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

a
Trachea
b
Alveoli
c
Bronchiole
d
Bronchus
EDDIE SAYS
The lungs have different structures that help it to do its job, which is gas exchange. The bronchi and bronchioles allow for the quick movement of gas throughout the lungs. The alveoli help to exchange gases very quickly into the blood.
  • Question 9

Breathing involves the exchange of gases in the lungs; a process that occurs by diffusion. What happens when you breathe in? 

Match up the sentences below to answer this question.

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

Oxygen in inhaled air diffuses th...
...the alveoli in the lungs and i...
The oxygen is then transported...
... throughout the body.
Carbon dioxide is the waste gas.....
...produced by respiration.
Carbon dioxide diffuses from body...
...into the bloodstream and is ex...
EDDIE SAYS
Oxygen and carbon dioxide have the opposite pathways, so if you take the time to remember the pathway of one gas, the other gas should be easier to remember in your exams!
  • Question 10

Image of gas exchange in alveolus

Alveoli have several adaptations that help to make gas exchange very efficient.

Select the adaptations that are true below. Select one answer in each row.

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
The alveoli are moist which encourages gas molecules to easily dissolve, allowing gas exchange to happen quickly. They're also covered by a network of capillaries enabling gases to pass almost directly between the lungs and bloodstream. The above adaptations allow alveoli to be really good at their job.
---- OR ----

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