Students at The Portsmouth Academy are looking forward to taking to the seas, as the school announces an opportunity to set sail this September.
The trip, which will take place with the involvement of the Cirdan Sailing Trust, will see six students from the school commandeering the sailboat Faramir for five days to sail from Portsmouth to Chatham. Alongside learning how to sail, students will have the chance to develop their team-building, leadership, and communication skills, as well as boost their confidence, self-esteem and resilience.
The schools, which are part of the Thinking Schools Academy Trust, a family of 17 high-performing schools across the South East, will also forge stronger links with Medway-based schools in the Trust as part of the trip. The boat is being sailed from Chatham to Portsmouth by students from The Victory Academy and Holcombe Grammar School in Chatham the week before.
The students will be taught all practical and mental skills needed by the boat’s crew and will rotate around each job so that everyone will be able to control each aspect of the boat, working beside a trained Skipper to become a competent crew. Every student taking part will receive a Voyage Certificate and some will also achieve Royal Yachting Association (RYA) accreditation.
Students will, with the assistance of the schools, raise the funds themselves through regular enterprise sessions, and will learn planning and budgeting skills before their voyage begins. Students from disadvantaged backgrounds will be supported to be able to attend if necessary.
The Cirdan Sailing Trust specialises in enabling groups of young people, particularly disadvantaged young people, to experience the challenge and adventure of life at sea.
Natalie Sheppard, the Executive Principal of The Portsmouth Academy, said:
“This sailing trip is a brilliant initiative that will greatly benefit the students involve. It’s an invaluable chance to learn a whole range of vital life skills whilst taking part in a hugely exciting experience, and I’m looking forward to hearing all their stories upon their return.”
Stuart Gardner, the CEO of Thinking Schools Academy Trust, said:
“I’m delighted that Thinking School students will have the chance to take part in such a fantastic trip, and I would like to thank the Cirdan Sailing Trust for their involvement in what I’m sure will be a week to remember.”