Junior Polar fun day

As part of their Humanities topics this term, Year 4 has been studying ‘Polar Environments’ and ‘Famous Explorers’. The girls have been really excited and engaged with both of these topics. As part of this work they have been focusing on  Polar expeditions, and were very fortunate to welcome Oli Milroy, a real life Polar explorer, to St Swithun's Junior School.
Oli works for an organisation called Education through Expeditions and at only 19 years old was the youngest member of the 2012 Arctic Jubilee Expedition, whose Patron was HRH Prince Charles. This historic expedition marked the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee by holding the worlds most remote Diamond Jubilee Tea Party, at the highest point of the Queen Elizabeth Islands in Arctic Canada. Oli was also honoured as a torch bearer in the London Olympics for his charity work and within schools outreach.

During the course of the Polar Fun day Oli ran various workshops including, ‘Blubber Gloves’, where the girls used plastic bags, lard and buckets of freezing water to see how seal’s blubber worked as insulator. They also made model mountain ranges using a ‘secret ingredient’ to represent glaciers and enable them to see how they would move.



 Oli showed the girls all of the kit that he took with him to the Arctic, before giving them the opportunity to dress up in it all.


The girls also got to put the skills that they had learned throughout the day into practice when they planned their very own expeditions. These varied in destination from Madagascar to the Antarctic or even to the moon! They had to choose where to go, what to investigate, who would fulfill which job in the expedition team and what kit they would take with them.

All of the workshops gave the girls amazing insight into the life of a Polar explorer. The Polar quiz at the start and end of session proved just how much the girls had learned over the course of the day. It seems that a new generation of explorers has been truly inspired.


Throughout the day the girls bombarded Oli with a remarkable range of thoughtful questions and impressed him with their knowledge.

Year 4 would like to wish Oli all the very best in his next adventure – to be the youngest person to row the Atlantic.