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Environmental Systems and Societies

Sixth Form – International Baccalaureate

Environmental Systems and Societies (ESS) is an interdisciplinary subject offered at Standard Level only. It may be used as an “Individuals and Societies” subject or an “Experimental Sciences” subject as shown on the IB Hexagon.

The course aims to provide students with a coherent perspective of the inter-relationships between human impacts and multi-faceted environmental processes. Over the two years of study, students are equipped to adopt an informed personal response to pressing environmental issues that they will encounter through twenty-first century life. Students evaluate the scientific, ethical and socio-political aspects of issues including sustainable resource use, pollution and conservation.

Students participate in fieldtrips as part of the ESS course in order to help them gain first-hand experience of issues and theories explored in the classroom.  Year 12 students also join those studying Biology to participate in a one-day river study, during which they investigate the distribution of animals.  Valuable techniques are learned and students often discover animals and plants that are normally overlooked.  As so often happens in science classes, the wonder and joy of discovering something new is apparent on students’ faces.

As well as undertaking external visits, including to the local Country Park – a site of Special Scientific Interest, and coastal areas such as Camber Sands, girls also have very hands-on lessons within school.  Dissecting owl pellets in one such lesson that always holds great fascination for students.