27 January 2022
A school in York has launched trips to the Arctic regions as part of a ‘super-curricular’.
Nigel Bidgood FRGS, the Head of Borealis Expeditions at The Mount School York, spoke with pupils and parents about the Borealis Academic Society and Arctic Expedition programme that the school has started.
Mr Bidgood and the all-girl Quaker school’s new Principal, David Griffiths, shared the merits and benefits that these expeditions have on a young adults’ personal development and their future aspirations and prospects.
The Mount School Borealis Society is dedicated to furthering the academic education of Sixth Form girls in matters relating to the arctic and sub-arctic areas of our planet and at its epicentre to providing opportunities for them to experience major mountaineering and trekking expeditions to these boreal areas.
These expeditions are intended to provide a challenging environment in which the girls can step outside their normal physical and mental comfort zones but within a distinct academic learning experience that is intended to both widen their intellectual horizons, and broaden their experiences, of the world beyond the school gates. This academic learning experience will involve areas as diverse as biology, geology, history, culture and geopolitics and will take place both within school and on the expeditions themselves.
The emphasis of these experiences is based firmly on developing such personal qualities as resilience, self-reliance, independence, team work and confidence. Past pupils from the Principal’s last school, Wycombe Abbey School in China, who have taken part in these expeditions waxed lyrical online about their experiences and the impact it had on them personally and on the decisions they had made in their College year about future academic studies. In light of these benefits, they strongly encouraged their younger peers to take part in the future planned Mount School Borealis expeditions to Iceland in 2022 (for the present College II girls) and East Greenland in 2024 (for present Year 11 and College I girls).
It is opportunities and experiences such as this that, not only set The Mount School York apart from others, but also sets our pupils apart from other applicants when applying for wider academic and working opportunities.
“These expeditions are intended to provide a challenging environment in which the girls can step outside their normal physical and mental comfort zones, within a distinct academic learning experience intended to widen their intellectual horizons and broaden their experiences beyond the school gates,” said David Griffiths.
College II girls enjoyed a brief chat with Nigel Bidgood earlier in January about the expedition offered to them so that their cohort, which had many international trips cancelled due to covid, can still enjoy a high-octane international expedition.
“Mr Bidgood’s visit opened our eyes to an amazing opportunity, because we had never heard of it before,” said Sophie in College II, “it sounds like a once in a lifetime opportunity. I think it’s good for the school to have this partnership. I don’t know if we’ve had anything like this in the past. Obviously we’ve had school trips for subjects but we’ve haven’t had anything like this before, and it does sound like it’s going to be amazing.”
“It’s good that they have given us this option, because we will be leaving. It’s nice that they have thought about what we might like to do as a Year,” said Lottie (College II).