Canoeing & Kayaking

As a British Canoe Union accredited watersports centre, and as part of our watersports programme, all students are given the opportunity to learn to canoe and kayak. The opportunities available depend on the different year groups.

At Windermere Preparatory School, Years 1 and 2 enjoy simple expeditions on Lake Windermere, then from Years 3 to 6 the students are involved in weekly sessions of sailing, canoeing or kayaking from September through to the end of October, and from April to July. The Preparatory School pupils work through the BCU Paddlepower Awards.

In the Senior School, Adventure! continues with fortnightly half-day sessions for students in Years 7 to 9. Students in Year 7 follow a rotation of different activities which currently involves at least two half-day sessions in the Autumn; one canoeing and one kayaking, followed by a river journey in the Summer term so that students who show commitment can complete their BCU One Star Award. Students in Years 8 and 9 can opt into half termly sessions of canoeing and kayaking, where they develop the necessary skills to achieve the BCU Two Star Award, and put more emphasis on easy white water rivers and paddling journeys.

We have a range of different canoes (suitable for both flat water and white water paddling), a collection of white water kayaks (suitable for all ages) and a fleet of sea kayaks for use on Windermere and some of our larger expeditions.

Canoeing and kayaking are popular after-school activities for all year groups. In the warmer months we run a variety of different sessions from our watersports centre, Hodge Howe, coaching complete beginners through to more experienced paddlers. During the Winter months, the more experienced students can attend the night sea kayaking activity on Windermere, and our kayak Eskimo rolling sessions take place in a local swimming pool.

Those members of staff who hold a 5 Star Award organise a variety of trips at the weekends. There are day trips on local rivers and lakes, and two-day expeditions to Scotland or Wales for larger bodies of water and expeditions on the sea. 

Students in Years 12 and 13 are encouraged to enrol for the Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and paddling expeditions have become increasingly popular. Training for the Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award takes place during the Sixth Form’s weekly CAS sessions.

Expeditions are tailored to meet the needs and interests of the group and in the last few years our students have completed their qualifying expeditions by paddling the Rivers Spey, Derwent and Wye. There was a trip to Loch Lomond and Loch Long, and the students whom enjoy sea kayaking completed their expedition around Arisaig off the West Coast of Scotland.

Outdoor Btec students, and any other students who are keen, are encouraged to work through their BCU 3 Star Awards in Sea Kayaking, Open Canoeing or White Water Kayaking. Some students then progress onto their BCU 4 Star Leadership Awards. Every two years we aim to run a BCU Level 1 Coach for senior students.

Canoeing and kayaking at Hodge Howe is available for hire, with kit and our instructors, to local or visiting schools.

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