Aiglon's winter half-term break in February always provides an opportunity to explore a new part of the world. This year, one of our February trips set out to Thailand.
A dedicated team of ten students and two staff travelled to Koh Chang, Thailand's largest island, located in the eastern province of Trat. Whilst there, students engaged in three main activities: education, terrestrial and aquatic conservation.
In total three passed the PADI Open Water course learning to dive, six passed the PADI Advanced Open Water diver course, four passed the PADI Photography Speciality course, and finally, two completed PADI Freediver courses. It was a very intensive period, and students did very well to master the new skills required!
In the middle of the week, students completed an environmental clean-up project. The first of these was with the Koh Chang Trash Hero movement. This global initiative aims to spread awareness about pollution by cleaning the local environment. The Aiglon team were part of the organisation that helped clean the Klong Kloi beach area, removing around 25 large bags of rubbish.
After mastering their dive skills, the second element of the trip saw students involved in the PADI Coralwatch program. This project is designed to allow non-specialised groups to participate in valuable conservation efforts by providing useful data to scientists studying reefs.
During these dives, the students learned how to survey the health of the coral reef and collected data. On the surface, this data is collated and sent to the University of Queensland, Australia, for their ongoing reef monitoring projects.
Overall, this trip was an excellent opportunity for students to learn some new skills, explore the world and enjoy a change of pace from the everyday life at school.
About James Pigott
Mr Pigott is Aiglon's Assistant Head (Curriculum) and biology teacher. He frequently leads Aiglon trips, particularly to southeast Asia, where he has helped students participate in both service initiatives and ecology projects. On campus, he is a strong teacher and athlete, inspiring students each year to participate in the Aiglon Mountain Marathon.