Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Sir Ranulph Fiennes showcases how Geography can be discovered beyond the realms of the classroom

Meeting Sir Ranulph Fiennes OBE         
 As a reward for hard work writing controlled assessment at Swanage, Lennox and Klaudia attended a lecture by Sir Ranulph Fiennes called ‘Living Dangerously’ paid by the Geography department on Thursday 30th June. The Guinness Book of Records in 1984 named Ranulph as the “World’s greatest living explorer”. Most notably he is known for leading expeditions to remote parts of the world including navigating both poles. To date he has raised over £16m for UK charities, which gained him an OBE in 1993 for ‘human endeavours and charitable services’. He was also the UK’s top celebrity fundraiser by Just Giving in 2010.

Other impressive achievements that has led Sir Ranulph to be named the world’s greatest living explorer include:

  • First to reach both Poles (with Charles Burton).
  • First to cross Antarctic and Arctic Ocean (with Charles Burton).
  • First to circumnavigate the world along its polar axis
  • Achieved world first in 1992/1993 by completing the first unsupported crossing of the Antarctic Continent. This was the longest unsupported polar journey in history.
  • In 2003, only 3½ months after a massive heart attack, 3 day coma and double bypass, Ranulph Fiennes the first 7x7x7 (Seven marathons in seven consecutive days on all seven continents).
  • March 2005, climbed Everest (Tibet-side) to within 300m of summit raising £2 million for the British Heart Foundations new research MRI scanner.
  • March 2007, Sir Ranulph climbed the North Face of the Eiger and raised £1.8 million for Marie Curie Cancer Care's Delivering Choice Programme.
  • Becomes the oldest Briton, at the time, to complete the Marathon des Sables – the ‘toughest footrace on earth’ in aid of Marie Curie.
Lennox and Klaudia were able to hear the stories of Ranulph Fiennes’ adventures first-hand and how he became known as the accolade of the greatest explorer in the world. Klaudia – who is often known for her own thirst for adventure – was captivated by Ranulph and his solo navigation of Artic, especially with the story of how he used a hack saw to cut his frost-bitten fingers off in his garden shed. Lennox – although impressed with Ranulph’s adventures – considered that he would never want to navigate these areas for fear of serious injury.

Year 10s Lennox and Klaudia meet Sir Ranulph Fiennes after his ‘Living Dangerously’ lecture.
 However, speaking from experience of attending The Royal Institution for the lecture, it was an amazing opportunity to listen to and meet one of my own geographical idols. I would strongly recommend researching the historical background of this role model and reading ‘Mad, Bad and Dangerous to know’ or his UK bestseller ‘The Feature Men’ as Ranulph Fiennes is also a renowned geographical author. Both students with myself and Mrs Gregory strongly recommend attending any future lectures with Sir Ranulph as he attempts to raise £20m for charity and suggesting that there is another expedition in 2017, which bodes to be unique in its potential achievement. Sir Ranulph epitomises the vision of the Geography department by challenging the idea of classroom learning and advocating discovery of Geography in reality. So my challenge to you is….

#Where’s your next Geography classroom?

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