"In every walk with nature, one receives far more than you seek…"
- John Muir, Scottish/American ecologist
Among the litany of Scotsman whose words and thoughts I admire, there are few that beat the simple prose of the naturalist John Muir. If you are ever fortunate enough to be roaming in the wilds of Scotland, or the State Parks in America, notably Yosemite, you will often see the name of John Muir. A man from humble beginnings in the Scottish town of Dunbar, he is often seen as the ‘Father of America’s National Parks’.
His love of the outdoors and environmental campaigning gave rise to a national consciousness to preserve and maintain the natural beauty found in the US. He was a man who believed that nature offered a reawakening of the soul as “between every two pines is a doorway to a new world”. It was of course with this mantra that a band of Diploma students embarked on their Outward Bound course in Aberdovey, Wales, last week.
Unlike most schools, Dwight’s intrepid hikers had a three-day expedition of wild camping in four separate groups in the wilds of Snowdonia National Park. Although everyone’s paths and activities were a little different - some went kayaking, canoeing, hiking, camping or bunking down in wood cabins - each student’s experiences were shaped by the core tenets of the IB Learner Profile, as Open-Minded, Communicative Risk-Takers.
There is no doubt the beauty of the Welsh countryside could have merited a trip alone, but the core rationale behind everyone lugging a large backpack around for Wales for two days, was to ensure each Dwight Diploma student returned to the new academic year with a greater understanding of the importance of communication, team-work and the power of resilience. I have no doubt that some muddy boots will bring about refreshed minds!
Talking of refreshed minds, on Thursday 30th September, we will have our first online event of the year - ‘The Benefits of the IB Diploma Programme’. During this event, I and a number of past and present students will be sharing why we think the best education for any Sixth Former is the IB Diploma Programme. Even if you are well aware of the IB’s many favoured acronyms, from ToK to EE, this will be a great opportunity to re-acquaint yourself with the many reasons an IB education trumps the National Curriculum in preparing students for both University and the working world. So, if you have any questions surrounding the IB Diploma Programme, it would be a pleasure to see you there - and I might even add some bucolic pictures of Snowdonia.
Cymru am Byth!
IB Diploma Programme Coordinator