All Aboard – Portsmouth students set sail along the English Channel

All Aboard – Portsmouth students set sail along the English Channel

Students from The Portsmouth Academy took part in an exciting sailing experience, completing a voyage along the English Channel from Portsmouth to Chatham.

Students from The Portsmouth Academy embarked on a momentous five-day sailing trip, crewing a vessel from Portsmouth to Chatham.

The trip, organised by the charity Cirdan Sailing Trust, offered the opportunity for 12 students from the school to embark on a five-day voyage designed to help them develop valuable life skills.

Despite some sea sickness throughout the trip, the students did all the cooking and cleaning, as well as taking shifts steering the vessel, including taking watches during the day and night, under the close supervision of Cirdan Sailing Trust staff.

The experience was hugely rewarding and enriching for all the students involved, teaching them not only about sailing, but also important teamwork, leadership, and communication skills. The trip also helped to boost the students’ confidence and resilience as they undertook and overcame new challenges to complete the voyage successfully.

The students boarded the yacht after their counterparts from two other Thinking Schools Academy Trust; the Holcombe Grammar School and The Victory Academy in Chatham, successfully sailed the yacht from Kent to Portsmouth. The trip was a fantastic way to celebrate the links between the schools and their shared ethos of “Aspire, Challenge, Achieve”.

The trip is just one of the many extracurricular and enrichment opportunities offered by the Thinking Schools Academy Trust, a family of 17 high-performing schools across the South East, with hubs in Medway, Kent and Portsmouth. The Trust places significant emphasis not only on academic excellence but on student’s overall personal development.


Natalie Sheppard, Director of Education for the Thinking Schools Academy Trust Portsmouth Schools, said:

“We are thrilled to have been able to offer such a fantastic opportunity to a number of our pupils, all of whom dived in headfirst and learnt a great deal from the experience.

We pride ourselves on offering a vast array of enrichment and extracurricular opportunities to our students and believe these types of experiences are a vital part of the learning and personal development of young people.”

Stuart Gardner, Chief Executive of the Thinking Schools Academy Trust, said:

“What a fantastic experience for all students involved! Trips like this give students the opportunity to try new things and push themselves – teaching them not only about sailing, but also about themselves. The skills, resilience and confidence students gained from this experience will benefit them throughout their lives.

“It is a testament to the fantastic students and staff of both schools that it was such a success and we are grateful to the Cirdan Sailing Trust for making this possible.”