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'All Aboard' St Benedict's Gains RYA Status

Published on isbi School News dated Wednesday 1st of February 2012

St Benedict's School, Ealing is now a Royal Yachting Association (RYA) training centre. This allows students who are in the Combined Cadet Force (CCF) to have the chance to gain international yachting qualifications from the school's ICT classrooms. There are only five other schools with RYA status, however, St Benedict's is the first to offer the courses interactively with online learning.

This initiative is being driven by PE Teacher Nikki Woodroffe who joined the school in September 2011. Nikki, a Lieutenant in the Royal Navy and an Ocean Yacht Master, is passionate about sailing. In 2010 she was part of the Naval sailing team that sailed around Cape Horn and across the Equator, via New Zealand and Uruguay, covering 15,000 miles in the course of four months.

St Benedict's CCF is training its first Year 10 cohort from January 2012, and certificates for their first course 'Essential Navigation' will be awarded by March 2012 in time for the CCF Biennial Inspection. Over twenty-five students are enrolled on the course. However, Jacob Bell and Oliver Lythgoe started the course earlier as trial runners. They are keen sailors and have been members of the Richmond Sea Cadets unit since the age of ten. Jacob and Oliver are over half way through the course which includes tidal passage planning, buoyage, anchoring and safety at sea. Both are very keen to progress to the RYA Day Skipper theory course which would enable them to charter a yacht by day in familiar coastal waters anywhere in the world.

Nikki Woodroffe, who is organising the online training and assessing the cadets said, 'Due to government legislation, we currently cannot offer a Naval section, but this is one way to whet the appetite and develop a different adventurous training for our cadets. These are qualifications for adults that are recognised worldwide.'
'All Aboard'  St Benedict's Gains RYA Status - Photo 1
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