Aiglon Partners with Bear Grylls
“Courage, kindness – and never give up.” That is the motto of survival expert, adventurer and TV presenter Bear Grylls.
Like us at Aiglon College, he believes that learning is at its most powerful when it is experiential and outdoors, and when it develops character. Which is why we are excited to announce a new partnership with Bear Grylls and the Bear Grylls Survival Academy to create a value-driven outdoor education programme filled with adventure and challenge: Aiglon Mountain School.
Part of our recently announced Wonder curriculum for Years 3-6, Mountain School delivers a transformative education. How does it work? Each week, students locate their learning in our local environment – the stunning rivers, forests and mountains that surround us. They undertake team challenges, considering ecology and taking constructive action from their learning.
These learning experiences foster leadership, teamwork, creativity and evaluating risk-taking. Students collaborate and learn to respect each other – but they also experience the benefits of learning to lead, and how they can grow as people by taking appropriate risks. As Bear says: “Our achievements are generally limited only by the beliefs we impose on ourselves.”
School Director, Nicola Sparrow, says, “Alongside Manchester City Football Club and Lindsey Vonn, we are excited to welcome Bear Grylls as an ambassador alongside our growing network of partnerships who believe in Aiglon’s vision of holistic education.” Mrs Sparrow is also pleased that Bear Grylls will be working closely with our new Wonder Years cohort to develop Aiglon Mountain School. “This focus on our new junior programme will help our youngest students to develop the skills and the appreciation of our outdoor environment that is so central to the Aiglon experience.”
“I’m really proud to be partnering with the school,” Bear Grylls says. “Aiglon College has an incredible reputation in delivering a world-class outdoor education programme. Aiglon students are already summiting mountains and developing practical survival skills. I’m here to help them apply those skills to their lives and character.”
“Mountain School and classroom learning are fully integrated,” says Mr Stuart Hamilton, Director of the Junior School. “Together they form the bedrock of a bespoke, inquiry-driven curriculum, focused on the key themes that are defining the future: sustainability, interculturalism, entrepreneurship and innovation –or as we call them Nature, Culture, Passion and Create.”
Delivered in French and English, students are presented with big questions and complex problems – and supported to find innovative solutions. As Bear says: “If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere.” The Mountain curriculum links to the themes, questions and content of the lessons, while experiences on the mountain translate into the classroom via their creative writing, presentations and pictures.
The carefully planned and structured curriculum enables students to take ownership of their learning. They create experiences and lead groups, encouraging organisation, leadership and independence - “As the Scouts say, so much of life is about being prepared,” stated Bear.
As one of the world’s most iconic adventurers, Bear brings a holistic and inspiring perspective to this new partnership: he and his Survival Academy will have a presence on campus and will be regularly interacting with students and members of the community. He has achieved incredible success –and he sees experiences like Mountain School as a perfect opportunity to build confidence, independence and determination in the next generation of leaders.