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Expeditionary Year – Iceland Trip Summer 2017

1st October 17

During the summer holidays, three Year 11 KAS students traded in their familiar London life for three weeks in the remote Icelandic wilderness. They joined nine other students from Whole Education Schools and travelled to North Iceland to pilot a new expedition programme. The purpose of the programme was for students to learn experientially about cultures, environment, working with others and ultimately to learn about themselves.

They travelled by plane to the picture book landscape of Akureyri, just 60km south of the Arctic circle and then by bus to their basecamp in Svartacot, Black Lake Farm. Many days were spent trekking through volcanic larva fields, mud pools and by hot springs.  It was a harsh environment for the young explorers, after a day of trekking, they set up camp, had ration packs for food and often slept in the open air under the arctic sky.  

For some blister management was the main concern. For others, the lack of contact with home (and no technology) was a challenge.  While they all walked the same route, each of the participants took something different from the experience. 

In reflecting on the experience, KAS student recalled, “The terrain was challenging but we all helped each other. We jumped in Icelandic rivers to wash and had the daily tasks of boiling water, pitching the tents and packing and repacking our rucksacks. It has been an unbelievable time in the land of fire and ice”. 

Accompanied by Chris, a Technician in the KAS DT department and former KAS student, the group took turns on sharing the workload. Chris commented that, “The trip was student led, they decided the timetable, the distances travelled each day and the route. We walked for over 200 miles, with a 12+Kg rucksack on our backs.  The life skills these students learned is something we cannot teach in a classroom. “

The programme was delivered in partnership with the British Exploring Society and Whole Education Its purpose is to incorporate themes of learning relevant to the expedition throughout Year 10 in each of the participating schools. KAS was one of the first “Basecamp” school to pilot the Expeditionary Year and look forward to making it an annual trip for KAS students.

For a full blog about the expedition, please go to http://www.britishexploring.org/stories/updates-from-expeditionary-year-iceland-2017.aspx?EntryId=389&tabid=343

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