Boating trip helps to teach vital life skills

Testing out rowing skills during the annual Steyning Grammar School boating trip
Testing out rowing skills during the annual Steyning Grammar School boating trip

SIXTY years of boating on the Norfolk Broads were celebrated by Steyning students.

A coach party of 80 Steyning Grammar School students headed up to the broads for half-term, along with 18 members of staff for the annual boating trip.

This year marked the 60th year of running these trips for students and every space was filled, so the 12 boats were fully laden for the popular school adventure.

Amanda Walker, marketing director at Herbert Woods Boat Company, said: “For us, Steyning Grammar School is part of the family, some of the teaching staff have been coming for over 20 years and we always look forward to seeing them.

“We are delighted to have reached such a significant milestone, 60 years is a great testimony to the benefits a boating holiday on the Norfolk Broads can bring to young people.

“The fact that this trip was again oversubscribed means its appeal is as strong as ever.”

Sunshine and blue skies provided the perfect start for the trip from Potter Heigham to Womack Water and close to the picturesque Ludham village.

This natural stretch of waterway is full of reed beds, windmills and plenty of wildlife.

At Womack Water, students had the opportunity to try out their rowing skills when they took to dinghies for some late afternoon fun.

With beautiful weather throughout the trip, the students had the opportunity to sail across the wide expanse of Barton Broad, where Admiral Nelson first learned to sail.

This stretch is popular with the traditional Norfolk Wherry boats, a magnificent sight at full sail.

After a busy few days in Wroxham, the onward journey took them to Horning, one of the calmest and prettiest stretches, littered with waterfront properties and many thatched cottages.

This leads to the quiet backwaters of Salhouse Broad, where students took part in a model boat racing competition and a talent show.

Katie Burtenshaw, one of the students on the trip, said: “It was a really fun week to get to know the teachers and other people in a different environment.”

Students took plenty of food to keep up their energy levels and even competed in their own version of Master Chef.

The trip finished with a barbecue on the banks of the broads and an evening disco trip on The Southern Comfort paddle boat.

Miss Peake, the trip organiser, said: “For both students and staff, this trip is an opportunity to build relationships with different people outside of the classroom environment.

“Students are able to develop life skills such as managing a budget and planning meals to making friendships that last a lifetime.

“Some even learned how to make a good cup of tea! Seeing what these students get out this trip makes it a pleasure to organise and take part in year after year.”