Resources

Information, practical activities and digital media to support teaching and learning about hormones

Filter resources

by age:

by topic:

by content:

by type:

Adrenal glands

The adrenal glands are small structures attached to the top of each kidney. The human body has two adrenal glands that release chemicals called hormones into the bloodstream. These hormones affect many parts of the human body.

Coordination and Control Key Stage 4 Age 14 - 16

Hypothalamus

The hypothalamus is a part of the brain that has a vital role in controlling many bodily functions including the release of hormones from the pituitary gland.

Coordination and Control Key Stage 4 Age 14 - 16

Kidneys

The kidneys are specialised organs that ensure that unwanted substances and excess water are removed from the bloodstream.

Coordination and Control Key Stage 4 Age 14 - 16

Ovaries

The ovaries produce and release eggs (oocytes) into the female reproductive tract at the mid-point of each menstrual cycle. They also produce the female hormones oestrogen and progesterone.

Human Reproduction Key Stage 3 Key Stage 4 Age 11 - 14 Age 14 - 16

Pancreas

The pancreas is an organ that serves two vital purposes: to aid food digestion and to produce hormones that mainly serve to control levels of energy in the blood.

Coordination and Control Health: Non-communicable Diseases Age 14 - 16 Key Stage 4

Pituitary gland

The pituitary gland is a small pea-sized gland that plays a major role in regulating vital body functions and general wellbeing. It is referred to as the body's 'master gland' because it controls the activity of most other hormone-secreting glands.

Coordination and Control Key Stage 4 Age 14 - 16

Placenta

The placenta is a temporary endocrine organ formed during pregnancy, which produces hormones important in the maintenance of a healthy pregnancy and in preparation for labour and breastfeeding.

Human Reproduction Key Stage 3 Key Stage 4 Age 11 - 14 Age 14 - 16

Testes

The testes are two oval-shaped male reproductive glands that produce sperm and the hormone testosterone.

Human Reproduction Key Stage 3 Key Stage 4 Age 11 - 14 Age 14 - 16

Adrenaline

Adrenaline is a hormone released from the adrenal glands and its major action, together with noradrenaline, is to prepare the body for 'fight or flight'.

Coordination and Control Key Stage 4 Age 14 - 16

Adrenocorticotropic hormone

Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) is produced by the pituitary gland. Its key function is to stimulate the production and release of cortisol from the cortex (outer part) of the adrenal gland.

Coordination and Control Key Stage 4 Age 14 - 16

Anti-diuretic hormone

Anti-diuretic hormone acts to maintain blood pressure, blood volume and tissue water content by controlling the amount of water and hence the concentration of urine excreted by the kidney.

Coordination and Control Key Stage 4 Age 14 - 16

Anti-Müllerian hormone

Anti-Müllerian hormone is a protein hormone which is important in the development of the reproductive tract in a male foetus and is also produced (before birth) by the testes and ovaries.

Human Reproduction Key Stage 3 Key Stage 4 Age 11 - 14 Age 14 - 16

Cortisol

Cortisol is a steroid hormone that regulates a wide range of processes throughout the body, including metabolism and the immune response. It also has a very important role in helping the body respond to stress.

Coordination and Control Key Stage 4 Age 14 - 16

Follicle stimulating hormone

Follicle stimulating hormone is produced by the pituitary gland. It regulates the functions of both the ovaries and testes. Lack or insufficiency of it can cause infertility or subfertility both in men and women.

Human Reproduction Key Stage 3 Key Stage 4 Age 11 - 14 Age 14 - 16

Ghrelin

Ghrelin is produced by the stomach. Among its numerous functions, ghrelin increases appetite and stimulates the release of growth hormone.

Health: Non-communicable Diseases Key Stage 4 Age 14 - 16

Glucagon

Glucagon is produced to maintain glucose levels in the bloodstream when fasting and to raise very low glucose levels.

Coordination and Control Key Stage 4 Age 14 - 16

Growth hormone

Growth hormone is produced by the pituitary gland. It has many functions including maintaining normal body structure and metabolism.

Human chorionic gonadotrophin

Human chorionic gonadotrophin is a reproductive hormone that is essential for establishing and maintaining early pregnancy.

Human Reproduction Key Stage 3 Key Stage 4 Age 11 - 14 Age 14 - 16

Insulin

Insulin is an essential hormone produced by the pancreas. Its main role is to control glucose levels in our bodies.

Coordination and Control Health: Non-communicable Diseases Key Stage 4 Age 14 - 16

Luteinising hormone

Luteinising hormone is produced by the pituitary gland and is one of the main hormones that control the reproductive system.

Human Reproduction Key Stage 3 Key Stage 4 Age 11 - 14 Age 14 - 16

Oestradiol

Oestradiol is a powerful reproductive hormone that has a wide range of actions in both men and women.

Human Reproduction Key Stage 3 Key Stage 4 Age 11 - 14 Age 14 - 16

Oestriol

Oestriol is a hormone made during pregnancy that can be used to measure fetal health and predict when birth may happen.

Human Reproduction Key Stage 4 Age 14 - 16

Oestrone

Oestrone is a hormone produced by the ovaries. It is one of the major oestrogens in postmenopausal women.

Human Reproduction Key Stage 4 Age 14 - 16

Parathyroid hormone

Parathyroid hormone is secreted by the parathyroid glands and is the most important regulator of blood calcium levels.

Progesterone

Progesterone is a hormone released by the corpus luteum in the ovary. It plays important roles in the menstrual cycle and in maintaining the early stages of pregnancy. It may also be involved in the growth of certain cancers.

Human Reproduction Key Stage 3 Key Stage 4 Age 11 - 14 Age 14 - 16

Relaxin

Relaxin is a hormone produced by the ovary and the placenta with important effects in the female reproductive system and during pregnancy. In preparation for childbirth, it relaxes the ligaments in the pelvis and softens and widens the cervix.

Human Reproduction Key Stage 3 Key Stage 4 Age 11 - 14 Age 14 - 16

Testosterone

Testosterone is a hormone that is responsible for many of the physical characteristics specific to adult males. It plays a key role in reproduction and the maintenance of bone and muscle strength.

Human Reproduction Key Stage 3 Key Stage 4 Age 11 - 14 Age 14 - 16

Thyrotropin-releasing hormone

Thyrotropin-releasing hormone is produced by the hypothalamus. It plays an important role in the regulation of thyroid gland activity.

Age 11 - 14 Age 14 - 16 Coordination and Control

Acromegaly

Acromegaly is a condition that develops due to overproduction of growth hormone, usually caused by a benign tumour of the pituitary gland. It leads to an increase in size of the hands and feet, a change in the appearance of the face and enlargement of the internal organs.

Carcinoid tumour

Carcinoid tumours are slow-growing tumours that arise from specialised cells that release hormones.

Health: Non-communicable Diseases Key Stage 4 Age 14 - 16

Delayed puberty

Delayed puberty is defined as no secondary sexual maturation or any sign of puberty by the age of 13 years in girls and 14 years in boys.

Human Reproduction

Diabetes insipidus

Diabetes insipidus (water diabetes) is a rare condition caused by a reduction in, or failure to respond to, anti-diuretic hormone. This results in passing large amounts of dilute urine and increased thirst.

Coordination and Control Key Stage 4 Age 14 - 16

Diabetes mellitus

Diabetes mellitus is a very common disorder caused by high levels of sugar in the bloodstream. It affects a large number of people, with many more people remaining undiagnosed.

Health: Non-communicable Diseases Key Stage 4 Age 14 - 16

Endometrial cancer

Endometrial cancer is a form of cancer that originates from the tissue that lines the womb. This tissue is called the endometrium.

Health: Non-communicable Diseases Key Stage 4 Age 14 - 16

Familial medullary thyroid cancer

Familial medullary thyroid cancer is a rare inherited form of thyroid cancer.

Health: Non-communicable Diseases Key Stage 4 Age 14 - 16

Gestational diabetes

Gestational diabetes is development of high blood sugar (glucose) levels during pregnancy. Strict blood glucose control in pregnant women improves outcomes for both the mother and child.

Coordination and Control Age 14 - 16 Key Stage 4

Hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism is a common condition where the thyroid gland becomes overactive and produces too much thyroid hormone.

Human Reproduction Coordination and Control Health: Non-communicable Diseases

Menopause

The menopause is the time when menstruation stops because the ovaries stop producing hormones and releasing eggs for fertilisation. This marks the end of a woman's reproductive years.

Human Reproduction Key Stage 3 Key Stage 4 Age 11 - 14 Age 14 - 16

Obesity

Obesity is an excess of calories stored in the form of fat. It is an increasing public health and medical problem associated with reduced quality and length of life.

Health: Non-communicable Diseases Key Stage 4 Age 14 - 16

Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a bone disorder caused by loss of bone mass, resulting in abnormal bone structure and an increased risk of fracture.

Health: Non-communicable Diseases Key Stage 4 Age 14 - 16

Polycystic ovary syndrome

Polycystic ovary syndrome is a term that covers a spectrum of problems caused by an imbalance in the level of the body's sex hormones (oestrogen and testosterone).

Human Reproduction Key Stage 3 Key Stage 4 Age 11 - 14 Age 14 - 16

Pre-eclampsia

Pre-eclampsia is a condition that arises during pregnancy in which the expectant mother experiences very high blood pressure and protein in her urine; it can lead to a range of complications.

Human Reproduction Key Stage 4 Age 14 - 16

Rickets

Rickets is a condition in children where there is abnormal softening of the bones due to lack of minerals to strengthen it. It is also known as osteomalacia in adults.

Health: Non-communicable Diseases Key Stage 4 Age 14 - 16

Thyroid cancer

Thyroid cancer is the uncontrolled growth of cells in the thyroid gland which may spread to areas around the thyroid and other parts of the body. Thyroid cancer can affect people of all ages but most patients are cured by the treatments now available.

Health: Non-communicable Diseases Key Stage 4 Age 14 - 16

Eating disorders and hormones

Eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge-eating disorder can influence hormone levels causing physical and psychological problems. Unhealthy eating styles can affect hormones that regulate metabolism, fertility and pregnancy.

Health: Non-communicable Diseases

Hormones of pregnancy and labour

This article describes hormones that play an important role in pregnancy and labour.

Human Reproduction Key Stage 3 Key Stage 4 Age 11 - 14 Age 14 - 16

Hormones and fetal growth

Growth of the fetus during pregnancy is regulated by a balance of hormones.

Human Reproduction Key Stage 3 Key Stage 4 Age 11 - 14 Age 14 - 16

In vitro fertilisation treatment (IVF)

In vitro fertilisation is a fertility treatment which stimulates the ovaries to produce multiple eggs which are collected and fertilised by sperm outside of the body in the laboratory to create embryos. One or two of which are then selected and transferred back to the womb in order to result in pregnancy.

Human Reproduction Health: Non-communicable Diseases Age 14 - 16 Key Stage 4

The menstrual cycle

The menstrual cycle is governed by an interaction between reproductive hormones which prepares the endometrium (or womb) for pregnancy, or if no pregnancy occurs, the fall in progesterone leads to shedding of the endometrial lining and recommences the monthly cycle.

Human Reproduction Key Stage 4 Age 14 - 16

Testing blood sugar level

Ages 11+ students can test the glucose level of various ‘blood’ samples and determine whether or not the person has eaten. They will then correct the blood sugar level by treating with different regulatory ‘hormones’.

Coordination and Control Health: Non-communicable Diseases Age 11 - 14 Age 14 - 16 Age 5 - 7 Age 7 - 11

Make your own body clock

Pupils make their own ‘body clock medallion’ to take home. They will learn what hormones are involved in some key bodily functions in a 24 hour period. This activity is designed for students aged 8-12 and is a craft activity designed to stimulate discussion around hormonal control of everyday biological processes.

Human Reproduction Coordination and Control Age 11 - 14 Age 14 - 16 Age 5 - 7 Age 7 - 11

Are my hormones making me fat?

How do our hormones impact our eating habits and will scientists ever make a diet pill? Plus, the tale of the Labradors and the impossible sausage.

Coordination and Control Health: Non-communicable Diseases Age 11 - 14 Age 14 - 16 Age 5 - 7 Age 7 - 11

Can I hack my hormones to beat jet lag?

We explore the hormones behind our sleep-wake cycle, how they can get out of sync and why some athletes are totally immune to jet lag.

Coordination and Control Health: Non-communicable Diseases Age 11 - 14 Age 14 - 16 Age 5 - 7 Age 7 - 11

Should I take a vitamin D supplement?

Vitamin D, the hormone in disguise, is currently in the spotlight as the world's favourite supplement, but is it really all it's cracked up to be?

Coordination and Control Health: Non-communicable Diseases Age 11 - 14 Age 14 - 16 Age 5 - 7 Age 7 - 11

Should we have the steroid Olympics?

Doping scandals are a regular feature in sporting events, but how do the hormones involved boost performance and why are they banned? Plus, a short history of doping.

Coordination and Control Age 11 - 14 Age 14 - 16 Age 5 - 7 Age 7 - 11

Is modern life overloading our stress levels?

We all know what it's like to feel stressed, perhaps this year more than most, but what are our stress hormones really doing to our minds and bodies?

Human Reproduction Coordination and Control Health: Non-communicable Diseases Age 11 - 14 Age 14 - 16 Age 5 - 7 Age 7 - 11

Are everyday chemicals harming my health?

There are chemicals all around us, but can they interfere with our hormones? Endocrine disruptors have been linked with a number of health problems, so for the final episode in the series we look at where these chemicals are found and whether we should be worried.

Human Reproduction Coordination and Control Health: Non-communicable Diseases Age 11 - 14 Age 14 - 16 Age 5 - 7 Age 7 - 11

Why does hot flushing occur in menopause?

Winners of 2020 Student Video Award - 2nd Place Winner: Carmen Ho, BSc (Hons) Endocrinology at Imperial College London

Human Reproduction Coordination and Control Age 11 - 14 Age 14 - 16 Age 5 - 7 Age 7 - 11

Understanding Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

3rd Place Winner: Dwi Delson and Lew Zikki, International Medical School, Indonesia 

Hormones in the News: Oestrogen

Highly commended runner-up: Daniel Foran, Imperial College London

Hormones and Fracking

Highly commended runner-up: David Warren, University of Leicester

Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) in menopause

Highly commended runner-up: George Garratt, University of Leicester 

Let's talk menopause

Highly commended runner-up: Priya Patel, University of Exeter