From September 2022 Warminster will be offering Environmental Systems and Societies as a new IBDP Group 3 or Group 4 subject.

The IB Diploma Programme has been running at Warminster since 2006. It has been reliably serving as an excellent training ground for university and the workplace with its multidisciplinary approach of six DP subjects, its critical thinking focus in Theory of Knowledge, its development of independent inquiry through the Extended Essay, and its celebration of creativity, activity and service through the CAS project.

Up until now the Warminster subject offerings in Group 3 Individuals and Societies have been Economics, History, Geography and Psychology. Students have furthermore been able to opt for an online learning course in Business Management. In Group 4 Sciences, Warminster has been offering the traditional subjects of Physics, Biology and Chemistry. The new course is an interdisciplinary course, meaning it can be chosen as either a group 3, or a group 4 subject by pupils.

Environmental Systems and Societies is a course in which pupils “will be provided with a coherent perspective of the interrelationships between environmental systems and societies; one that enables them to adopt an informed personal response to the wide range of pressing environmental issues that they will inevitably come to face,” according to the IBO. It can currently only be taken at Standard Level, so there are two external examination papers and an internal assessment piece of coursework worth 25% of the final grade.

ESS is firmly grounded in both a scientific exploration of environmental systems in their structure and function, and in the exploration of cultural, economic, ethical, political and social interactions of societies with the environment. As a result of studying this course, students will become equipped with the ability to recognize and evaluate the impact of our complex system of societies on the natural world. Key topics include ecosystems and ecology, biodiversity and conservation, water and aquatic food production, soil systems and terrestrial food production, climate change, energy production and resource use.

Given the climate crisis we are currently facing, this could be exactly the course our pupils need to educate themselves and work towards finding solutions for fixing our climate. I’m certainly very tempted to take the course myself!

Simon Hall, IB Coordinator



Environmental systems and societies | International Baccalaureate® – International Baccalaureate® (ibo.org)