Dundee primary school children will create a live Christmas card when they create a traffic-stopping scene on Tuesday 22nd December as they complete a 270-mile ‘Antarctic’ walk.
The 65 students from Rosebank Primary School will be walking the last mile in a long-distance challenge that has seen them match the furthest distance Captain Robert Falcon Scott, Ernest Shackleton and Edward Wilson reached from Discovery on their first trip to Antarctica.
The children’s wintery walk, which will be accompanied by a husky, will culminate at Captain Scott’s ship, RRS Discovery, now docked at Discovery Point in Dundee.
The pupils set themselves the challenge after becoming ‘school-in-residence’ to Dundee Heritage Trust, which operates RRS Discovery, now an award-winning visitor attraction. The school works closely with the Trust on projects related to the RRS Discovery and Captain Robert Falcon Scott’s Antarctic voyage.
Jill Sim, author of Shiver Me Timbers! and learning support teacher at Rosebank Primary School, has close links to Dundee Heritage Trust. She has been a volunteer tour guide at RRS Discovery for six years and penned the educational children’s book, which depicts the famous Antarctic expedition and lets the historic ship tell the story of its journey. Jill, set to accompany the students on the last leg of their walk, is currently working on a sequel to her book.
Also taking part in the walk is Ali Gellatly, education officer at Dundee Heritage Trust, and his husky dog Shadow.
Ali Gellatly said:
“It’s been heartwarming to see the pupils of Rosebank Primary rise to this challenge. We’ve been covering the distance during playtimes and lunch hours, and have been racking up the miles since August. The motto of Rosebank Primary School in Dundee is ‘Aim high’. But perhaps students should add ‘Aim far’ to that too! It seems appropriate that our Antarctic challenge should culminate in a wintery walk to the very ship that inspired it, RRS Discovery, now docked in Dundee.”
The historic RRS Discovery recently entered a nine-month restoration phase in which the ship’s masts and rigging were removed for essential cleaning and repair. The work was partly paid for by a public crowdfunding appeal which beat its target of £40,000.
Rosebank Primary School students were among the groups and individuals who donated to the appeal. They held two sellout bake sales, raising £30 for their favourite ship.
Shiver Me Timbers! can be bought from the gift shop at Discovery Point and Jill is currently busy working on a sequel.
For more information visit www.rrsdiscovery.com