Organised by shadow headteacher Jon Clarke, the trip took place in July 2023 involving a group of 23 students and two members of staff.
A year in the making, the expedition featured a range of life-changing experiences for the group including a jungle trek staying in local villages and following the ancient heritage trail as well as a visit to the world famous Orangutan rehabilitation and conservation centre in Sepilok.
Leader Jon Clarke kept a diary about the whole planning process, all the way from the original idea to getting the students on the plane for the epic 30-hour journey.
You can follow his diary in our special feature here.
He told us about why they chose Borneo and some of the things the students experienced:
“Even though we are experienced in planning expeditions for our school it always needs a great deal of thought. Planning a good expedition is much like planning a good lesson.
For us in 2023, we wanted to have a step back into expeditions following the pandemic and to achieve one of the whole school focuses - environmental education and resilience.
The location of Borneo was seen to be perfect as it allowed for a jungle trek to develop resilience but also to see some rainforest. The projects that we planned out were actually decided by the students using an online portal with Outlook Expeditions.
They as a group, decided what areas they would like to focus on with one group particularly interested in marine ecosystems and another the forest ecosystem. Our projects were planned to meet those aims with one group working on Project Aware, a global project with a local dive school and PADI (Professional Association of Dive Instructors) and the other with the Kopel project which is an NGO working on reforestation in Sepilok.
Even though we are experienced in planning expeditions for our school it always needs a great deal of thought. Planning a good expedition is much like planning a good lesson.
Both experiences were very different but they linked to the aim. The groups travelled to Borneo together then split up, finding accommodation then booking travel on local buses, six hours of bouncy roads, to the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabiliation Centre and to their respective project destinations.
The teams spilt and did not meet again they both went on the jungle trek and visited the Sepilok centre. They came together for the final day for some quality beach time in Kota Kinabalu. The students managed their own money along with the transport and communication with local groups. This was a lot for them to do but provided excellent character and skills development for them as individuals.”