Norwich School Blog

Friends of Norwich School Support Norwich Model Arctic Council

This year’s Norwich Model Arctic Council (NORMAC) conference was our seventh, and once again the funding from the Friends enabled many Norwich School pupils to benefit from this unique and innovative educational experience – still the world’s only stand-alone Model Arctic Council for secondary schools.  In all, 17 Norwich School pupils were involved, alongside three pupils from Wymondham High.

Pupils had the opportunity to take up the roles of diplomats representing the Arctic States and Arctic Indigenous peoples sitting around the Arctic Council table.  Others constituted a smaller ‘Secretariat’ helping to run the conference – including two veterans of NORMAC 6 last year.

Our pupils gained some important benefits from their NORMAC experience – through their preparations, through taking part, and through the educational ‘debriefing sessions’ which helped them transform their experience into learning:

  • Knowledge and awareness of the Arctic – arguably one of the most important places on our warming planet today – and of Arctic peoples and the challenges they face
  • Hands-on experiential learning of negotiation and diplomacy – building valuable skills in dealing with disagreement and reaching consensus
  • Leadership and logistical skills (especially for those on the Secretariat)

Just some of the feedback from the pupils who attended:

"I think simulations are a fantastic way to learn how to build bridges between areas of disagreement in an attempt to find common ground between people who don’t normally share overt agreement."

"I learned more about the impact of climate change in the Arctic and the history of the Indigenous people in the Arctic."

"I learnt a great deal about the Arctic’s rich diversity of different peoples and their cultures, where before I had believed much of it to be rather barren."

"Excellently organised and the materials provided were vastly useful"

"Awesome learning experience."

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