b'THE ELLESMERIAN The Summer Term always seems short and exams seem to start even earlier each year so the Upper Sixth IB students were fully occupied right from the start and the term felt dominated by the external examinations, which were a first for all concerned. I was very impressed with the way47everyone took this in their stride and settled into a good routine without any major issues given the lack of experience of this process, having not done GCSE examinations.After an enforced break of two years, the Sixth Form Ball returned and it proved to be just the thing to draw an end to the last two turbulent years.The end of the year also brought the long-awaited trip to South Africa. For me, Mrs Welti, and the 12 remaining pupils who expected to be travelling to South Africa in July 2020, the highlight of the year was finally just around the corner and the trip certainly did not disappoint. During our visit to Dinokeng, we developed a better understanding of conservation, the conflict between animals and humans, animal behaviour, animal management and ecology. We lived in tents with no fences around the camp, yards away from a river which came from a lake that was home to hippos. The hippos and the frogs were very noisy at nightapart from the night when they were drowned out by the calling across the camp of a male and female lion to each other!We learned how to track multiple species of animals, identify animal behaviour, run eDNA samples for biodiversity monitoring, and understand the art of think global, yet act local. We also had the opportunity to interpret the importance of Sustainable Development Goals and other issues in some very interesting workshops in the first week.We tracked and saw black and white rhino (and had to quickly walk away when a black rhino with its baby came up behind uswell spotted, Ben Zakers!). We saw elephants (our jeep was chased by a matriarch and her family), lions (a big male walked past the jeep and stared at Ben before it went on to kill and eat 10 minutes later), cheetahs, hippos etc. The only thing we didnt see was a leopard, but we found its tracks during our track and sign course in the second week. We also had a close encounter with a puff adder waiting under a bush for its prey. Our pupils were brilliant and they almost all gained a level in the CyberTracker Track and Sign course covered in the second week. I managed a Level 2, which I am delighted with. We had to learn over 70 different tracks and signs. Lily Harvey Hemming managed a Level 3, which is really rare for a student having just one week of training!Our last two days were a very contrasting stay in the township of Soweto, where we were able to learn about its history first-hand and to explore the area on bicyclesa very emotional experience for all. The trip was arranged in partnership with Flooglebinder, the first UK specialist travel firm to become a Certified B Corporation and a company committed to raising awareness on climate action and biodiversity monitoring.These photos give a flavour of this life changing experience.MTG'