Skip to main content

The Family Adventure to Iceland: part four. Reflections [@dtw_holidays]

This is the fourth and final part in a series of posts that tells the story of our family adventure to Iceland. As regular readers will know, I've worked with Discover the World Schools for a while now, producing the award winning volcano and Norway study aids. This is the third adventure here this year but this time it's our own agenda!  When the company asked me to write a series of posts covering our family adventure I agreed as it will also serve as a record of our trip. 

People often say that the best time to reflect on a holiday is when you get back and this is true.  Three days after getting back from Iceland, a few thoughts have run through my mind about Iceland, the UK and geography.  Some of my thoughts have been underpinned by this great video within which Dan Raeven-Ellison poses an excellent question: what is local?

So, after a few days back two things have hit me.  The first is that it's nice to see darkness. After leaving our hotel at 4 in the morning to better weather and a brighter, clearer sky than during the whole week, it;s nice to sleep in the dark! The second, is that in an incredibly globalised world, Iceland's culture and outlook really is different.  Although it consumes the most Coca-Cola per-captia than any other nation, it retains a unique sense of identify.  The global brands were evident, as they are in many nations around the world, but Iceland doesn't feel dominated by them.

I thought that maybe this was linked to the rural locations that we mainly travelled through, but even within the most Northerly Capital city in the world, it was easy to find what is distinctive.  For example, where else would you find whaling boats and whale watching bots moored side by side in a harbour?

The differences really struck home when wandering around Hyde Park in London waiting to head to the Royal Geographical Society.  It's great that young people can climb in and around the Princess Diana Memorial Foundation, but it's so surrounded by safety fences and signs warning of the death-trap dangers of the area.  In Reykjavik, they put a pile of hammers, wood, nails and saws for liitle ones to make their own boat designs.

I hope that Iceland will continue to retain its charm and identity there are no clone towns here and there seem to be a perfect blend and balance betwene the local and the global.


Popular posts from this blog

#GAConf22: A paradigm shift for anti-racist, decolonised teaching and inclusion

 " You can't start a fire,  You can't start a fire without a spark" Bruce Springsteen.  Well, it's been a fair while since I felt the motivation or the need to blog. Whilst not a story for now, over the past five years I've danced along the knife edge and, often, the call of the abyss has been both tempting and compelling. Certainly, my failing in both my personal and professional life have been numerous. But. This is not about me, but the people that have (re)ignited the spark to the fire in my soul. I realise that this is from the perspective of a privileged, white, middle class male view. I even have a beard. I am scared of getting it wrong on this topic. Teach me if I am wrong, it is from the position of a learner. I was looking forward to the GA Conference this year, the first face to face since 2019. I have to say that Alan , as president, and the Geographical Association's team did a fantastic job at being inclusive. The hybrid format allowed peopl

What makes a learning experience profound? Personal reflections and possible implications for classroom practice.

I have recently begun a Leadership Pathways journey.  As part of the first core day, we were asked to reflect on a profound learning experience. This got me thinking about how many profound learning experiences I have both been involved in, and how many I have been able to give to others.  Our group came up with a huge long list, but these are my five. Emotional Connected Demanding Reflective Collaborative As always, these are personal thoughts and quite mixed up.  I put them here so that I can look back on them (plus they’d get lost inside my world-cup-free brain) 1. Emotional I can’t think of a time where deep learning hasn’t engaged my emotions.  From being awe inspired to that tingle feeling when a student gets a light bulb moment.  From this-is-the-happiest-day-ever, to I-think-I’m-about-to die.  How often do we engage the emotions of those we teach?  Here, I would argue that having a safe learning environment is not always conducive to profound

Trust and support our school leaders, the role of the governing body in the Covid times

One of the roles that I love is being the Chair of a Governing Body.  The aim of this post is to share what we are doing, as a Board, during these difficult time.  I will refrain from commenting on the role of the Government, DfE and local authority as I intend for this to be both a positive and useful post. What is clear is that governing bodies have a crucial part to play. I am grateful both to the brilliant Clerk and the National Governance Association whose Covid advice pages are fantastic. Firstly; from the outset, the brilliant leadership team that I work with have my unwavering and public support. Regardless. As this is a fast evolving crisis, often with pages of advice, guideline and directives to decipher and digest on a daily basis. As such, the role of governing bodies is twofold: 1.  to prioritise the providing of support to the Headteacher and all colleagues in the school, and 2. to allow them to get on with operational matters and decision making. The role of