Ten year 8 pupils from St Michael’s C.E. Middle School recently returned from an amazing voyage with the Tall Ships Trust.
Each one of the students gained in confidence and self-esteem as a result of their trip and thoroughly enjoyed the challenging experience.
The crew of 16 (including the 10 pupils) sailed to the Channel Islands and stopped off at Alderney, Guernsey and Sark. They enjoyed working as part of the crew, cooking together, living together, operating heavy sails and winches as well as learning to tie knots. They were able to swim in the sea and listen to the French being spoken on the islands they visited.
" At times, the wind was blowing quite strongly and the young people found it very funny as we heeled over and plates slid across the table, anything not secured crashed to the floor and they had to stand at quite an angle to feel like they were standing up straight!
The sail back to Portsmouth took us right through the night and we had 3 hours on/off watch during the trip back! Although this was very testing for the tired young people, they managed it and being able to see the clear night sky so full of stars (far away from any light pollution) was particularly special."
Following the voyage, the children were asked to reflect on their experience and here are some of their observations about what they had learned and achieved:
‘I’ve learnt how to get along with people who aren’t in my friendship group.’
‘I think I have gained great team work skills.’
‘I found it challenging to go on a trip where I didn’t know that many people, but I have made a ton of new friends on board.’
‘I managed to achieve working in a team together in sailing, cooking and cleaning.’
‘I believe I’m much much more comfortable in confined spaces now.’
‘I really enjoyed the boat trip because we had a chance to learn new things and take on challenges’ and ‘I’ve improved my team work skills’.
‘Thank you for the life-changing trip that only with you I could afford to go.’
‘Thank you very very much for giving me this wonderful experience that I will never forget. I really enjoyed it and have had a great time on board. I could never have done it without the John Thornton Foundation.’
‘We are really lucky that we get to do that trip and it’s really fun. I would like to be part of Tall Ships Trust.’
‘Thank you for this opportunity and paying for most of this trip. I wouldn’t have been able to come without your help and I loved the trip.’
‘Thank you for paying because I’ve had the most amazing time and I’m thinking of doing more sailing, maybe joining a club.’
‘What you guys do is amazing.’
Their teacher commented; "Thank you very much indeed for your generosity which, we are mindful, has come out of your own personal loss. Please know that your kindness and hard work has changed the lives of these youngsters for the better and, for certain individuals, has been absolutely transformational."
We're so glad you all enjoyed your sailing experience!