GEOGRAPHY students at the Royal and Prior Comprehensive School in Raphoe received a letter in the post this week from broadcaster and natural historian, Sir David Attenborough.
The 94-year-old documentarian, whose work includes: Life on Earth, Planet Earth and his most recent documentary, A Life on Our Planet, wrote to the students as part of Geography Awareness Week.
Mr Orlaith Trearty, a geography and Irish teacher in Raphoe, penned the letter to the man who has inspired millions by bringing the natural world into our homes.
“National Geography Awareness Week was this week and usually we would take the kids on field trips or invite guest speakers into school to talk to them but due to Covid – this wasn’t allowed. So instead we had to arrange other Covid friendly activities to mark the occasion – like a geography bake off!
“The students were watching David Attenborough’s new programme on Netflix and we got chatting in the staff room. I then wrote to him and said it be lovely if he could send the students a well-wish.
“Earlier this week there was a letter in the school addressed to me and, lo and behold, it was from David Attenborough himself – a hand written letter.
“He said he was delighted that the students in school were watching his Netflix programme. He said he was really busy at the minute and asked if we would forgive him it he didn’t have time to send on a video to the students,” Mr Trearty said.
Today, Thursday, Ms Trearty and the other geography teachers in the school, Caroline Cowan, Daithi McColgan, John Doherty and Clare Craig will put the letter up on the projector screen for all the students to see.
Attenborough broke social media history in September when his Instagram account reached one million followers in just under five hours. But after amassing an audience of 6.1 million and 45 million video plays, the producers who run the account announced that they wouldn’t be putting up any more posts on the page.
The 27 posts on Sir David Attenborough’s Instagram account were used to promote A Life on Our Planet. The film was a noted departure from Attenborough’s previous softness on climate issues, instead delivering a powerful message about the damage humans have done to our planet, along with a manifesto for launching change.