By The Nation
Conducted by staff from the Phuket Yacht Club Sailing School, the programme already has 18 students from Grades 1 to 6 enrolled and is complete with a small fleet of five Optimist dinghies.
“The goal is for this to be the foundational level of a development programme,” said UWCT outdoor education coordinator Chris Lahey.
“In the short term we would love to have a school regatta, with the goal of expanding that to an inter-island regatta next. In the long term, we would love to see our students participating in larger regatta events like the Kings Cup and Top of the Gulf.”
The sailing programme aligns with several of the school’s focal areas, which are outlined in its five pillars: Academics, Outdoor Education, Service, Social-emotional Learning and Mindfulness, and Activities.
These pillars support the school’s educational philosophy, which focuses on experiential education designed to engage learners, often in collaborative situations, in critical thinking, problem-solving and decision making in contexts that are personally relevant to them.
“An ambitious programme of this kind, one that encompasses intellectual, spiritual, and physical challenges, cannot be confined to the classroom or, indeed, the school campus. This is why UWCT actively promotes outdoor education activities – like sailing – to provide authentic opportunities for its community to bond together as they engage in interdisciplinary experiences, interacting with the world around them,” Lahey said.