A unique opportunity exists for pupils at the Lady Elizabeth School to discover ways in which they can help to shape the future – through a course in Marine Science, like no other!
The recent release of the Blue Planet 2 from the BBC in the UK has seen a rise in awareness of the environmental problems the World’s Oceans are facing. Once upon a time the oceans were thought to be too immense for us to have any lasting effect on them and hence were used as an unlimited dumping ground.
At the Lady Elizabeth School, we take the environmental side of education seriously and living with our environment in a sustainable way is integrated into our curriculum at all key stages. We organise several whole school events such as World Ocean Day to motivate and educate our students and this special interest is introduced to the Year 6 pupils before they join the Senior School with a 3 day environmental camp in the local area.
Our School has a privileged and unique location on the Costa Blanca centred between no less than five Spanish nature reserves, all within eyesight of the Cumbre del Sol. Two of these are important marine protected areas and one in Serra Helada is the largest in Spain. On clear days we can even see across to the Balearic Islands, including the recently protected migration routes for whales and dolphins.
Of all the subjects on offer, the Cambridge International Exams (CIE) A level course of Marine Science is our principal environmental sciences course. We are the only centre in Spain that offers the course with a specialist teacher, Mr Russell Hollingworth, who is a UK trained Marine Biologist and runs active research projects in the local area.
The Marine Science A level has been running for the past 3 years and has seen not only a 100% pass rate at A level, but also 39% of students obtained a grade A* or A, which is well above the UK averages. This is most definitely due to the highly motivating nature of the course and why it attracts a wide variety of students. Last year’s cohort even obtained 2 awards from CIE for the Top Achiever in Spain, both students obtained the same number of total marks through their exams and this mark was the highest in Spain.
Another initiative being promoted by the Marine Science students is the Tritones Association. This association is involved in several research projects, which include the identification and tracking of bottlenose dolphins in the Serra Helada Natural Park, dolphin bioacoustics investigation in Mundomar (Benidorm) and biological surveys in the Natural Park of Cabo San Antonio (Denia). The Association, in collaboration with local companies, also offers excellent education in SCUBA diving as well as kayaks and yachts excursions. These place the students in the right environment and provides valuable experience and qualifications to improve their curriculum.
The School also offers other volunteer opportunities with the Duke of Edinburgh programme where pupils work in many extra-curricular areas to obtain a highly sought-after qualification. Of course, one of the favourites are the Tritones Association Beach Clean-Ups which are organised with local councils and very often by the Association itself. Over a number of years the Group have prevented various tonnes of plastic rubbish from entering the marine environment.
There´s so much more to Science if you are prepared to open your mind to exploration, research and an understanding of the world around you!
The future of our planet is in the hands of our children …. and this amazing learning journey of global awareness, appreciation of the importance of sustainability and becoming leaders of tomorrow starts right here at The Lady Elizabeth School.