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Arctic Academy

BBC Scotland

This four part documentary series for BBC Scotland follows Craig Mathieson the founder of Polar Academy, an organisation which lifts secondary school children out of their comfort zones and drops them in the wilds of Greenland. This year Craig is taking 10 Scottish teenagers from Bathgate Academy, West Lothian aged between 13-15 as they embark on a life-changing expedition.

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Two hundred pupils applied to join the expedition but Craig is looking for the children who will benefit most from the experience, those who will come back with stories to inspire a whole generation of teenagers. He calls these children ‘the invisibles’. Neither the high achievers nor the disrupters, they often pass through school unseen and never get the opportunity to shine.

The Arctic adventure will change the children, and while Craig knows they will experience upsetting lows while separated from their families, he believes the highs they also experience will stay with them for life.

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For a year these children undergo a tough training programme with weekly high-intensity fitness training to build up their strength, over night expeditions across the Cairngorms,  tyre dragging along St Andrews beach to prepare them for the challenge of hauling sledges through the Arctic.

A year ago they were unexceptional teenagers from the middle ground of an ordinary school, invisibles among their classmates. Now they are a team of teenage Arctic explorers ready for anything.

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Credits

Executive Producer for BBC Scotland: David Harron

Executive Producer for Freak Productions: Hamish Allison

Series Producer: Chris Marks

Director: Jack Warrender

Co-director & Edit Producer: Charles Stuart

Editor: Lindsay Watson

Dubbing Mixer: Alistair George

Online Editor & Colourist: Florian Viale

Titles: David Marin

Graphics: Robert Charleston

Edit Assistants: Adam Borys & Grant Jamieson

Aerial Photography: John Duncan

Production Manager: Penny Davies

Production Assistant: Ruta Zulpaite

Narrator: Jamie Lee

Special thanks to Bathgate Academy and the team at Polar Academy.