In all Science programmes students should become aware of the way in which scientists work and communicate with each other throughout the world. All experimental Science programmes aim to:
- provide opportunities for scientific study and creativity within global contexts which will stimulate and challenge students;
- provide a body of knowledge and methods/techniques which characterise science and technology;
- enable students to apply and use a body of knowledge and methods/techniques which characterise science and technology;
- develop an ability to analyse, evaluate and synthesise scientific information;
- engender an awareness of the need for, and the value of, effective collaboration and communication during scientific activities;
- develop experimental and investigative scientific skills;
- raise awareness of the moral/ethical, social, economic and environmental implications of using science and technology;
- develop an appreciation of possibilities and limitations associated with science and scientists;
- encourage an understanding of the relationships between scientific disciplines and the overarching nature of the scientific method.
All science classes take place in laboratory settings and are designed to take full advantage of the opportunities this provides.
Alongside the topics, students will also be expected to develop the skills associated with both the conceptual and experimental activity as related to the subject as well as an appreciation of the limitations of the subject, its societal impact and the responsibilities of practicing scientists in the discipline.
Practical work and written tasks will be assessed using IBDP criteria and grade boundaries. Tasks are designed to guide learning, to provide feedback on progress, and to practice strategies that will support success on the final, externally assessed exams and written work.
IBDP courses take the students up to college entrance level in the respective subjects and are based on the relevant IBDP syllabus. Each course is covered in two years, and it is necessary to take both if students are preparing for the IBDP examination. Students choose to complete one or two Group 4 science courses as part of the IB Diploma. In each course, except Environmental Systems & Societies, students at Standard and Higher levels will be taught together. When work that is only relevant to Higher level students is covered, Standard level students take study halls. The Higher level material is significantly more demanding than the Standard level work. Environmental Systems and Societies is a Standard level only class.
Biology (Higher and Standard levels)
The major topics covered in this course include; cells, biochemistry, genetics, ecology and evolution, human health, physiology, neurobiology and behaviour. Students taking this course should have successfully completed an MYP level coordinated science course and should be confident with the Biology section of this course.
Chemistry (Higher and Standard levels)
The major topics covered in this course include; thermodynamics, kinetics, equilibrium, electrochemistry and organic chemistry, with the option topic of medicinal chemistry explored as an in depth application of some of the theory. Students taking this course should have successfully completed an MYP level coordinated science course and should be confident with the Chemistry section of this course.
Physics (Higher and Standard levels)
The major topics covered in this course include; measurement, mechanics, thermal physics, waves, electricity and atomic and nuclear physics. Students also study option material in astrophysics. Students taking this course should have successfully completed an MYP level coordinated science course and should be confident with the Physics section of this course.
Environmental Systems and Societies (Standard level)
According to the IBO (2015), “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.”
It differs from the other IBDP science classes in three important respects:
- The subject is available at Standard level only.
- There is no prerequisite for the class.
- It is a transdisciplinary subject that can qualify as both a group 3 (Individuals and Societies) and group 4 (Experimental Sciences) subject and so can form part of a wide variety of IB diploma programs. Further information on this is available from the academic advisor.