"Bridging the Gap"

Life skills

Why schools should offer watersports

Watersports focus on developing specific character attributes - these are creativity, confidence, teamwork, communication, determination, independence and performance.

How did this idea of teaching character through watersports come about?

When you speak to people in sailing they have known for a long time that the life skills young people learn from sailing go far beyond the practical skills of controlling a boat.
For several years now the UK Department for Education has recognised the importance of developing character in schools. Student development.

Sailing is all about teamwork, communication, and the ability to make decisions - these are some of the key reasons why independent schools recognise the benefits. For several years the Department for Education has recognised the importance of developing character in schools and has committed to helping them ensure more children develop character traits, attributes and behaviours that underpin success in education and work.

For more information then please watch this you tube film by Bill Lucas.


One of the things I have done is look at attributes the research says are helpful to individuals in life and as learners.

These are:


  1. Having a good idea when you need it
  2. Solving problems


  1. Open to new experiences
  2. Mistakes are ok; it's how you learn to get better


  1. Read the group; uses empathy to understand others' feelings
  2. Always prepared to learn new roles


  1. Give and receive clear feedback
  2. Clear speaking; no doubt about what you are trying to say


  1. Never gives up
  2. Bounces back after set-backs


  1. Knowing what to do when you don't know what to do
  2. Knowing when to ask for help


  1. Always a better way; keen to try new techniques
  2. Self-critique; always reflecting on how to improve

How will these actually be nurtured in our session?