Antartica speaker shares life stories with Rydon students

Henry Burgess from the Polar Regions Department of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, visited Rydon Community College
Henry Burgess from the Polar Regions Department of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, visited Rydon Community College

Year 7 geographers had the opportunity to experience a first hand account of life at Rothera and Halley Research Stations, Antarctica, when Henry Burgess from the Polar Regions Department of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, visited Rydon Community College.

This is one of a series of presentations, organised by Rosie Westrup, Curriculum Leader of Geography, designed to extend and challenge pupils’ understanding of life in different parts of the globe and enrich the learning.

Henry was able to share practical issues of everyday life, the spectacular scenery and wildlife as well as some of the challenges that face this vast and remote continent, including tourism, commercial fishing and the exploitation of potential resources.

Many pupils commented on how much they enjoyed learning about the wildlife and Sophie Strong was ‘very warm’ in her layers of clothing. Joseph Blakely said he found the whole presentation ‘very inspiring,’ whilst Shaun Coughlan said, ‘Fascinating. An insight into life in the southern most continent.’

Henry commented that he was, ‘Genuinely impressed with the questions and level of engagement from pupils.’

Pupils were also able to view a range of essential clothing to cope with extreme temperatures and minimise the risk of frostbite, along with heavy duty footwear, insulated boots and some rather impressive gloves!

Pablo Brookes summed it up succinctly when he said that it was, ’A thrilling experience.’

Report and pictures contributed by Rydon Community College.