Saint Paul’s inspire pupils about Antarctica!

Year 7 pupils from Saint Paul’s Catholic High School in Wythenshawe, Greater Manchester took part in a competition to design a flag for Antarctica. Students flexed their creative minds to design an original flag which they felt represented the icy continent. There were a number of really detailed and creative flags submitted. 

As Antarctica does not have its own official flag, the UK Polar Network (UKPN) asks schools to design one which they believe symbolises this continent. UKPN then pair the flags with researchers that are heading down to Antarctica for the Austral Summer (November-January). 

If selected by UK Polar Network, the wonderfully colourful flags will be transported all the way to Antarctica with these “flag bearers”. Upon the flags return, schools receive proof of travel with a certificate and photos of their journey. 

Miss Helen Allsopp-Medley, Head of Geography at Saint Paul’s, explained: “The national Antarctica Day Flag competition is run by the British Antarctic Survey and is designed to create awareness towards why it is important for us to protect one of the Earth’s last natural wildernesses. Antarctica is the fifth largest continent of the world at 14 million km2 and is covered in a permanent continental ice sheet. 

Following a Geography lesson about Antarctica, the pupils were asked to design a flag for the Antarctic – as it does not have its own – based on what they have learnt. The flags were then entered into a competition in school and the winning flag will be taken to Antarctica by the scientists who are going on the expedition.” 

On December 1st 1959, 12 nations signed the Antarctic Treaty, a document declaring that Antarctica would be off limits to military activity and setting it aside as a place for peace and scientific discoveries. As of 2010, December 1st has been celebrated each year to mark this milestone of peace and to inspire future decisions. It is hoped that the celebrations can be extended worldwide through the Antarctic Flags initiative; giving new generations the opportunity to learn about the Antarctic Treaty and to share, interpret and cherish the values associated with Antarctica! 

“The competition was launched to all Year 7 geographers, to inspire new generations about the Antarctic and Antarctica Day, and I was blown away by the calibre of entries,” commented Mr Alex Hren, Head Teacher. “This really is a remarkable achievement, we are extremely proud of those students who took part in the project. They enjoyed the work and showed so much enthusiasm for the topic. We received some amazing entries from our Year 7s for the competition – well done to all those who took part!” 

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