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International Baccalaureate Environmental Systems and Society

Prior Pursglove College

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Course Description

INTERNATIONAL BACCALAUREATE ENVIRONMENTAL SYSTEMS AND SOCIETIES What is Environmental systems and societies? It is a trans-disciplinary (groups 3 and 4), standard level. Because the course is trans-disciplinary it offers students greater flexibility in their choice of subjects to study as part of their diploma. WHY SHOULD I STUDY ENVIRONMENTAL SYSTEMS & SOCIETIES? The aims of the environmental systems and societies course is to promote understanding of environmental processes at a variety of scales, from local to global. By studying ESS you will have a body of knowledge, methodologies and skills that can be used in the analysis of environmental issues at local and global levels. Therefore this promotes critical awareness of a diversity of cultural perspectives. You will be able to recognize the extent to which technology plays a role in both causing and solving environmental problems. Like the cartoon above you will be able to appreciate that environmental issues may be controversial, and may provoke a variety of responses. USEFUL SKILLS & INTERESTS You will need to have an interest in environmental and scientific issues and enjoy reading about these. Developing your skills as an independent learner (-yes this includes homework!) is crucial to covering the content of the course. COURSE STRUCTURE & CONTENT A range of topics will be covered over the two years including:- Structure and components of ecosystems Measuring changes in ecosystems like rainforests Human population, carrying capacity and resource use Environmental demands of human populations Evaluating biodiversity and vulnerability Detection and monitoring of pollution Depletion of stratospheric ozone Urban air pollution The issue of global warming The course satisfies the requirements for both hexagon groups 3 and 4, leaving students the opportunity to study another subject from any group of the hexagon including another subject from groups 3 and 4. HOW WILL I BE ASSESSED? Teaching for the course begins in September 2009 with first examinations being held in May 2011. External assessment (written papers, 3 hours). Internal assessment30 hours. Note: The Environmental Systems and Societies course is only offered at Standard Level. There is no Higher Level option available. COURSE COMMITMENT The course will require 100% attendance to lessons and all field excursions. Group 4 project work will require considerable input outside of scheduled lessons. You can expect 2 hours of homework/ independent study per week and this will be required to make good progress on your studies. COURSE COSTS A number of local, non-residential field trips are planned as part of the course the cost is subsidised by college and the student contribution is 40. There may be optional/ residential courses may be offered at additional cost time and staff permitting. PROGRESSION ROUTES The IB diploma is an internationally recognised alternative to A- levels for university entrance.

INTERNATIONAL BACCALAUREATE ENVIRONMENTAL SYSTEMS AND SOCIETIES What is Environmental systems and societies? It is a trans-disciplinary (groups 3 and 4), standard level. Because the course is trans-disciplinary it offers students greater flexibility in their choice of subjects to study as part of their diploma. WHY SHOULD I STUDY ENVIRONMENTAL SYSTEMS & SOCIETIES? The aims of the environmental...

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