A visit from an explorer...

On Friday, we were delighted to welcome Daniel Raven Ellison: a National Geographic Explorer to King's Ely, and my classroom.
Here's the report that I sent in for publication in the school newsletter.

Dan came and spent the day with the geography department, and talked about his work on a number of projects. Much of Dan's work takes place in urban spaces, and explores how we can change them to improve them for people. He has a philosophy of "purposeful exploration" and his message was that we are all explorers from the moment we are born, and we don't need to go to exotic far away places to start exploring.
Dan introduced Year 7 and 8 students to projects including Route 125, where he completed 125 adventures with his son,  and his walk across all the UK's cities and national parks wearing a headset which captured his emotions. He spoke about crossing the world's largest cities, taking a picture every 8 paces.
For Year 10 and 12, he focussed on a project he has spearheaded for the last 4 years, aimed at making London a National Park City. He has the support of the Mayor of London, and is close to getting enough political support for this to happen in 2019. Dan outlined how this plan would improve the health of London's population and help with the theme of sustainability. He shared outcomes from work with universities and architects to rethink the city, which he has explored in a giant 600km spiral walk.
Dan's philosophy can also be seen on the Geography department's webpage, where there is a quote from him. Thanks to Dan for finding the time to visit us - it's taken a while to finalise and get the dates to work...

“Exploration is the physical manifestation of Geography. Under the inspirational guidance of their teachers, King’s Ely geographers not only learn about the world, but how to become explorers of, and place-makers in it.
Daniel Raven-Ellison, National Geographic Explorer

Dan Raven Ellison, and KEJ Head of Geography, Alan Parkinson