Guest speaker helps bring learning to life for Year 9 Geographers

Over recent weeks, Year 9 Geography students have studied the topic of rainforest destruction as part of their on-going GCSE course.

The topic provoked a number of questions from the students, which inspired Ms Harris (Head of Humanities) to invite a guest speaker in to the classroom to talk about his experiences of working in the rainforests of Borneo.

Richard ‘Rocky’ Clarke visited the school on Thursday 23rd November to answer students' questions and to share with class 9D his first-hand experience of witnessing the effects of deforestation.

The students learnt about the causes and effects of habitat destruction, the conservation projects that exist to support the wildlife in danger from deforestation – including Rocky’s own experience of rescuing an injured orangutan - and what the students themselves can do to help the situation globally. 

Ms Harris commented: ‘Rocky’s visit offered a unique opportunity for our students to interact with someone who has first hand-experience of a topic they have been studying in lessons. He really brought the subject to life and helped to impart them with the knowledge needed to form their own opinions about the impact of deforestation. This inside knowledge will be an invaluable resource for their wider case study surrounding this important issue.

I am grateful to Rocky for taking the time to speak to our students and I know they all appreciated his visit and benefited greatly from his knowledge and experience.’

Class 9D student Lucy-Jo Poole said: ‘I thought it was amazing. I want to visit Borneo and see the rescue centre for myself’. Classmate Sophie Lount added: ‘From talking to Rocky, I learnt how similar humans and orangutans are. We also discovered how people adopt orangutans to help save them.’

Rocky commented: ‘The future of endangered species in Borneo and beyond depends on the next generation. These students are the next generation. It was a delight to speak to them and to make them further aware of the effects of deforestation.’

Richard ‘Rocky’ Clarke is a retired policeman who now wears many hats including that of a fully qualified marine diver; a volunteer at a seal rescue centre; a scout leader and an expedition leader specialising in Borneo. He is a regular visitor to the island and has an enthusiastic passion for the conversation of wildlife.


Richard 'Rocky' Clarke speaks to Year 9 Geographers on Thursday 23rd November.