Years 5 & 6 Spring 2021

W/c 4th January 2021 

With schools once again closed due to COVID-19, the beginning of term would be slightly different than planned… Taking Mantle of the Expert online was something we now had some experience of and were prepared for. With the introduction of thrice weekly zoom sessions in addition to daily task setting, engagement has been high with almost 500 posts to our online portal from the class in just 8 days. Fantastic!  

We began the term with a whole class meeting via Zoom, immediately assuming our roles as members of a documentary film making team who specialise in filming in extreme conditions. Teachers- in-role as associates- outlined our latest commission from broadcasting giant NETFLIX. We are to film the American mountaineer Conrad Anker’s journey to the summit of Mount Everest.

Many questions and lines of enquiry arose. What would filming in these conditions be like? Have we the experience and equipment required for such an undertaking? Who is Conrad Anker, and why does he wish for his ascent to be filmed?

Pupils are tasked with co-constructing the company’s history. Using a world map, pupils conduct research and suggest titles and locations of previous documentaries we have filmed. They also describe in detail the landforms they have encountered, along with any significant experiences they have had whilst on location.

One pupil wrote, “On December 2nd 2010 our team ventured to the southernmost continent on Earth to discover the secrets of it’s landscape. Our oars found themselves splashing against the icy waters of the Antarctic Peninsula. Breath-taking shots of the Trans-Antarctic mountains were captured by our drone as the clouds powdered them with snow.”  

Later in the week we contacted Conrad Anker (teacher in-role) via zoom to discuss the documentary. Having discovered the body of British climber George Mallory in 1996, Anker wishes to find further evidence that Mallory and his partner Sandy Irvine were the first men to have ever climbed Mount Everest back in 1924. Currently the title belongs to Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay. Mallory and Irvine were last seen only a few hundred yards from the summit before being engulfed by the clouds and never to be seen again. Anker will be looking for evidence they DID make it to the summit.

Out of role pupils conduct research into filming and climbing equipment. They also begin to create information books on Mount Everest, complete with all the necessary features such as glossary, subheadings, and contents pages.

We have been told the application process to join the team on location in Tibet will begin next week.