Ernest Shackleton ( 1874 –1922) was a polar explorer who led three British expeditions to the Antarctic. He was born in Ireland and moved to Sydenham in south London when he was ten. His first experience of the polar regions was as third officer on Captain Scott's Discovery Expedition 1901–04. During the second expedition 1907–1909 he and three companions reached nearer to the South Pole than anyone else and climbed Mount Erebus, the most active Antarctic volcano.
After the race to the South Pole ended in December 1911 with Roald Amundsen's conquest, Shackleton turned his attention to the crossing of Antarctica from sea to sea, via the pole (1914–17). Disaster struck this expedition when its ship, Endurance, became trapped in pack ice and was slowly crushed before the shore parties could be landed. The crew escaped by camping on the sea ice until it disintegrated, then by launching the lifeboats to reach Elephant Island and ultimately the inhabited island of South Georgia, a stormy ocean voyage of 720 nautical miles and Shackleton's most famous exploit.
Class Shackleton are following his example by exploring a new addition to the school syllabus – horticulture. Our first task has been to set up an allotment in order to grow vegetables in the future. We will also be exploring ways of improving the environment of the school through planting and recycling.
One day in the school week is also devoted to work experience on a plot owned by Barleylands and leased to a local charity called DIS (www.dis4u.co.uk). We are learning to recycle wood from old pallets to make an Endeavour bench and a bug hotel. We are also going to have a go at making our own go-karts