On Saturday, Windermere School hosted its 155th annual prize day, as around 600 students, parents and staff gathered…
We love our watersports at Windermere School. Hodge Howe is the school’s very own watersports centre on the shores of Lake Windermere, only minutes from the two campuses. Every student in every year group is taught how to canoe, kayak and sail by our qualified instructors. We take advantage of our beautiful setting by integrating watersports programmes into the outdoor education curriculum.
Hodge Howe is accredited by the RYA and British Canoeing as a recognised teaching centre for sailing and canoeing and kayaking. Our instructors are professionally qualified to issue these highly regarded certificates, and all students can progress through the levels in each watersport, ultimately working towards their own instructor’s qualification if they choose to do so. This is a unique opportunity that we have built into the curriculum, taking advantage of our waterfront location. Our aim is to enlighten and present an opportunity for each student to excel at their own pace and comfort zone in familiar waters.
As well as watersports in the outdoor curriculum, there is a programme of competitive watersports training and sailing team regattas. Recently our Year 4 girls team competed in the Independent Association of Prep Schools Regatta in Weymouth.
The centre is also used for after school and weekend activities. Each year the school hosts a Sailaway Day where students and their families are invited to participate in their favourite watersport. The centre is well equipped with toppers, lasers, wayfarers, canoes and kayaks as well as wetsuits and spray-tops for pupils to use. There is capacity for operating four groups at any particular time. Two groups work from the boathouse area and two further groups are accommodated from the beach. Staff operate with a maximum of six pupils per group for teaching sailing and a maximum of eight for teaching kayaks or expert level groups.
Three of our four daughters have been boarders at the Senior School following our unexpected move to Hong Kong in 2012. One moved back to board at Windermere following two years in Hong Kong and our youngest can't wait to follow in her footsteps and return as an overseas boarder into Year 9. We cannot fault the standard of education and care which the girls have enjoyed throughout their Windermere journeys. In particular, we love the location - and the way in which the Lake District becomes part of the curriculum - and the international flavour of the Senior School.
Windermere School is such a unique community to be a part of. Not only is it based in a truly beautiful and inspiring national park, but the environment created by staff and students alike makes for an incredibly supportive, proactive, exciting and international place of learning in which everyone can thrive and be the best they can be.