Overcoming a fear of being on the water
At Kingsweston School we have been working closely with All-Aboard Watersports for 4 years. They have given our pupils – all of whom have an Autistic Spectrum Condition (many have additional needs as well) – the opportunity to experience something that would have seemed completely inaccessible to them, and challenge themselves in doing so. Some pupils have enjoyed the experience of riding in a boat for the first time, overcoming a fear of being on the water – a number of pupils of various ages who were initially apprehensive about going on Aiming High have all found themselves in sailing dinghy’s within 6 weeks. Others have taken the opportunity to take it further and successfully compete in rowing and sailing against other schools – something that they would not have believed themselves capable of doing at the outset of the sessions.
A number of our pupils now access the club out of school as a result. All of our pupils have learnt new skills – be they specific skills relating to sailing or more general skills around following instructions and staying safe around water, and every child we have taken over the years has fully enjoyed the experience and expressed a willingness to return. Each of the activities that we access (sailing, group kayaking and riding on Aiming High) offer something specific and worthwhile to our students – the chance to work as a team or be in complete independent control of a boat. This sense of empowerment, responsibility and independence runs to the very core of what we try to do for our students as a school.
Find out more about All Aboard Watersports by exploring the Temple District Route on Bristol Giving Day.