We've learnt so much! - The Wettest Classroom returns to Bristol
On Friday 26th July, the Wettest Classroom on Earth returned to Welsh Back harbour in Bristol after an eight-week voyage like no other. 96 shipmates, made up of school children and teaching staff, have been sailing around the UK coast, with each shipmate learning, working, eating and sleeping on board the ship for seven days at sea. The Wettest Classroom on Earth was a fully inclusive expedition, with children from all over the UK working together, encouraging each other and overcoming challenges as a team – all on the open sea.
The initiative was developed by Venturers Trust, together with Extreme Classrooms, the Cirdan Trust, Whole Education and Kunskapsskolan. Read more about the project and the day it set sail from Bristol in May.
The children that took part in the project have ranged in age from 10 to 18 and represent 11 different primary schools, secondary schools, sixth forms and a special school. Venturers’ Academy in Withywood, has been at the forefront of this initiative from day one and sent 15 students on the voyage, across four separate legs of the journey. The academy’s motto ‘Where everything’s possible’ underpins the curriculum and so the opportunity to sail around the circumference of the UK was a challenge the whole academy got behind from the very start.
Of the 11 schools taking part in the entire voyage, five were from the South West region, three of which are part of Venturers Trust - The Dolphin School, Venturers' Academy and Merchants' Academy.
A Welcome Return
The boat arrived back in Bristol to a warm welcome from family, friends, teaching staff and film crew, capturing the moment the Queen Galadriel passed under the Clifton Suspension Bridge and sailed into the Cumberland Basin, finally docking back outside the Arnofini. It was a memorable sight, seeing the Cirdan Trust crew and all the leg 8 shipmates stepping back on to dry land in Bristol - everyone joining together to celebrate and acknowledge the fantastic success of the project.
Pupils who participated in one of the week-long legs of the voyage have been sharing stories with their friends, family members and local media about their incredible adventure onboard the Queen Galadriel. Highlights included climbing the rigging, steering the ship and spotting dolphins, puffins, seals and a minke whale.
Chloe, age 17 and a student at Merchants’ Academy said:
"I wanted to inspire my younger sisters to aim high and try new things. I knew that if they saw me take on this challenge, they’d wonder what extraordinary things they could achieve in life!”
Fern, age 11 and a pupil at The Dolphin School, said:
“I learnt that you have to keep going, even when things get tough. And that there’s a really big world out there to explore!”
to read more from shipmates interview with BBC Radio Bristol.
The Wettest Classroom has been over two-years in the making.
Click here to read about the challenging selection camp last summer in Snowdonia for 166 students from across the country.
Pictured: Venturers Trust shipmates onboard the Queen Galadriel the day before departure, with the Master Tony Kenny and other members from the Society of Merchant Venturers.
The Queen Galadriel will be open to members of the public who want to explore the ‘Wettest Classroom on Earth’.
On Saturday 27th July and Sunday 28th July, on both days between 11am - 3pm.
The boat will be docked outside the Arnolfini, 16 Narrow Quay, Bristol, BS1 4QA.
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