Children’s expedition to Tanzania airs in BBC documentary

A new BBC documentary to be aired this weekend tells the tell of the Hottest Classroom on Earth, where ten extraordinary pupils from across the UK have pushed themselves to the very limits of their endurance.

During an 8 day trip to Tanzania’s African Rift Valley, the pupils, who all suffer from complex emotional situations and autism, gained first hand knowledge of the nomadic existence lived by the tribes people of the Maasai.

Their tour also involved extensive climbing and trekking, allowing the children to experience the regions breakth taking scenery in its entirety.

Led by Trystan Williams, Principal at The Springfields Academy in Wiltshire, the Hottest Classroom on Earth was open to children with special educational needs across the UK.  To win a place on the trip, applicants were required to undergo a series of rigorous challenges to prove they could meet the physical and mental demands that lay in wait. Several hundred children, from more than 200 schools, applied to go on the expedition.

The expedition was the second in The Springfields Academy’s Extreme Classroom series, following The Coldest Classroom on Earth trip, 78 degrees north, in 2011. Williams believes the ‘extreme’ concept presents an opportunity for pupils to develop self-belief, overcome adversity and prove a point to themselves and others who may have written them off.

In a separate news interview to be aired on BBC World News prior to the documentary, Williams will speak about the Extreme Classroom idea, the Tanzania trip and the wider aims and objectives of The Springfield Academy. The interview will give viewers a fascinating insight into life at this unique residential school and the opportunities it provides to its pupils, many of whom were once deemed unteachable.

The expedition, along with a live interview with Williams, will also feature in a 10 minute slot on the BBC’s Sunday morning Breakfast programme between 6.00am to 7.40am.

The emphasis at The Springfields Academy is on nurturing pupils’ education and interests. From this grows self-belief among the children in their capabilities. The Springfields Academy builds on this confidence by providing academic and vocational opportunities for pupils to demonstrate their abilities and allow their peers to share in their belief.

The Springfields Academy is also a specialist sports college, offering high level coaching for gifted children and delivering sport for all.

The Hottest Classroom on Earth – summary of coverage

The BBC’s news interview with Trystan Williams will be shown on BBC World News TV, with six airings scheduled in advance of the documentary.

The half-hour documentary, entitled The Hottest Classroom on Earth, will be shown at the following times:

BBC News 24 Channel

Saturday 8 December          04:30, 22:30

Sunday 9 December             01:30, 05:30, 14:30, 22:30

BBC World News (GMT)

Saturday 8 December          00:30, 07:30

Sunday 9 December            12:30, 18:30

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