Hazel Richards, Polar Ocean Challenge crew member, visited Blaise Primary school on World Book Day to talk about some real-life characters…
To celebrate World Book Day, I had the pleasure of visiting Blaise Primary School in Henbury, Bristol. During Assembly, I was greeted by many book characters including  Harry Potter, Cat in the Hat and Jack Sparrow. I also noticed quite a number of intrepid explorers!
The pupils were studying Sir Ernest Shackleton and where extremely excited to hear about Sir David Hempleman-Adams Polar Ocean Challenge and considering what such a journey must have been for our explorers new and old, how they survived and how they battled the weather at sea and on snow. We talked about how climate change had made such a journey possible, especially the open seas of the North West Passage when in days of old, explorers would have to overwinter for several seasons.
There were many questions about equipment and conditions and pupils were keen to swap their book characters to try on explorer clothing and boots. We also had the opportunity to review some polar books from the 1900s, books about huskies and life in the Arctic for polar bears. Pupils were keen to understand the qualities that made explorers endure such harsh environments and finally succeed, even after failure. A lesson we can all take through life.
The Polar Ocean journey enabled pupils to gain a greater insight to our climate change, build a respect for our weather and the importance of team work, qualities all our explorers considered. They left excited and inspired, with a pupil dressed as Jack Sparrow announcing he was going to be an explorer and follow in their footsteps. I believe every pupil can do the same and write their story for others to read.