Global climate change, poverty, inequality, plastics pollution, deforestation, desertification, migration and the rise of nationalism are all themes common to GCSE, AL and IB Geography specifications.

More importantly these issues are all global issues that need a global co-ordinated approach (from this generation to the next and beyond) and this approach begins with the strong student voice (with a global outlook) that we have here at Taunton School.

To have a strong student voice our charges need to be knowledgeable, principled, caring, reflective and above all open-minded. All of these traits are part of the IB learner profile though they also manifest themselves more widely in everyday school life and certainly in the student led groups that we have; the ‘Green Club,’ Amnesty International and the MUN (Model United Nations) to name but three.

The Green Club was founded this term by a group of Year 13 IBDP students who believe in tackling environmental issues on both a global scale (in support of the ‘Extinction Rebellion’ movement) and at a more grassroots level (addressing the challenge of reducing food waste here in school); their aim is to leave a legacy for other students to build on in future generations.
Amnesty has a significant student following. It considers human rights in weekly meetings; already they have considered the current situation in Hong Kong, the infringement of human rights associated with climate change (the right to shelter, food, water, livelihoods and life) and they will continue to support the ‘Words that Burn’ campaign (the consolidation of human rights through the medium of poetry).

The MUN aims to role play the solving of Global Issues by simulating Security Council and General Assembly meetings; each year our students meet students from other schools at local, national and even international events (being part of a wider movement totalling 400,000).
These clubs (and others) in tandem with a full academic programme, and our long and successful history of debating, ensures that the student voice at Taunton School is both a strong one and one which certainly has a Global Outlook; all the better for helping our students to succeed in a rapidly evolving Global Community.

 

Adrian Roberts,
Head of Geography and IB Coordinator