SCHOOL AT SEA CURRICULUM

School at Sea is all about developing your talents. You sail, cook, clean, plan your schoolwork, take tests, prepare for expeditions, evaluate, communicate, take charge and cooperate with others.

On board, you follow a unique curriculum tailor-made for the journey. This curriculum expands on your regular schoolwork and is made up of:

  • Your regular school curriculum;
    • Watch days and school days;
    • Staying in touch;
  • Sail training;
  • School at Sea lessons;
  • Expeditions and independent journeys;
  • Writing a portfolio;
  • Personal projects.

Read more below!

SCHOOL AT SEA CURRICULUM

School at Sea is all about developing your talents. You sail, cook, clean, plan your schoolwork, take tests, prepare for expeditions, evaluate, communicate, take charge and cooperate with others.

On board, you follow a unique curriculum tailor-made for the journey. This curriculum expands on your regular schoolwork and is made up of:

  • Your regular school curriculum;
    • Watch days and school days
    • Staying in touch
  • Sail training;
  • School at Sea lessons;
  • Expeditions and independent journeys;
  • Writing a portfolio;
  • Personal projects;

Read more below!

Your regular school curriculum

In the six months at sea, you will study the same subjects that your classmates at home are also studying. The learning materials and tests can be sent between the ship and your school via e-mail, so you can rejoin your classmates after coming back.

The teachers on board are all qualified to help and coach you. They will aid you in developing study skills like planning, summarizing, focussing and remaining goal-oriented. Time management is also a challenge. How will you divide your time between watch, school and expeditions?

It is your journey and your schoolwork, so it is up to you to the teachers for help. Studying independently does not mean you have to do it alone! That is what taking responsibility is all about: asking help when you need it.

Watch days and school days

At sea, life is simple. You rotate between watch days and school days. The group is split in two. On any given day, one group has watch and one group has school.

On watch days, you maintain the heading and the ship, supervised by our experienced crew. You are responsible for the ship for a period of four hours. Then, you can rest for eight hours followed by another four hours of watch. You raise and lower the sails, maintain the logbook, steer the ship, check the engine room, bake bread, and clean the ship, but you can also look up to the stars, watch whales and dolphins and see the sunrise.

On school days, you focus on school. It will take some getting used to, because your classroom is constantly moving and there are distractions everywhere. Just another School at Sea challenge!

Our teachers help you, of course, but it is up to you. You sail, you learn.

staying in touch

 After six months at sea, you want to rejoin your classmates.

School at Sea starts at home and in your school. Together with your teachers at home, you plan your work for the coming six months. You agree on the tests you have to take. This way, you will know what to do before stepping on board.

School at Sea regularly e-mails your school with updates about your development and progress.

Mid-April you will rejoin your old class without having missed a test.

 

SAIL TRAINING

The rigging, the navigation systems, the engine room, the wind, the heading, currents; there are a lot of variables to take into account when sailing. During the watches, the crew members will help you learn what you need to sail an ocean worthy sailing vessel.

However, sailing is about more than knowing what all the lines do. It requires cooperation, leadership, communication and sharing responsibilities: the deckhands set and trim the sails and the helmsman controls the rudder. The officer in charge decides the heading.

You will get to know a different side of yourself and others. Pride, fear, shyness and insecurity will surface at some point and that´s fine. You will face these challenges and deal with them, becoming stronger in the process.

SCHOOL AT SEA LESSons

How does anything work, really? How is salt water transformed into fresh water? In three weeks we will be in Panama and they speak Spanish… Will you be able to ask for directions? Negotiate about the price of the hostel? Rent a surfboard?

Physics, chemistry, geography, mathematics, Spanish, biology, history: they all come alive during School at Sea lessons. Through expeditions and assignments you will experience the various destinations in a way different from regular tourists.
Engineering will make sense, languages become useful. Historical awareness helps you understand a foreign culture and knowledge of geography can explain why an island is shaped the way it is.

School at Sea lessons are based on what you experience along the way, from discussing ways to improve your focus during a school day to dissecting a flying fish that unfortunately landed on deck and died.

After all: how does anything work, really?

EXPEDITIONS AND INDEPENDENT JOURNEYS

The Caribbean is home to many different countries, peoples and cultures. That makes it perfect for expeditions, explorations and independent journeys. Most expeditions will be planned by our team as a part of the School at Sea lessons, though you will have to take some responsibilities as well.

Twice, you will leave the ship for an entire week. During your “independent journey”, you will travel through Panama and Cuba in a small group of students, accompanied by a member of the team. You will be given a limited budget for sleeping, eating and travelling and you decide how to spend that money. Everything is up to you, but everyone in the group has to agree!

Expeditions require you to function independently, but also as a team. You are responsible for yourself and others, so communication, expectation management and leadership are important.

You will learn to deal with setbacks and how to improvise, further improving your skills.

Fast forward yourself.

writing a portfolio

In a portfolio, your personal School at Sea-story or SaS-story for short, you will reflect on the journey and every aspect of it. Every month, you will add more pages to your story and every time you will look back upon the previous month and ask yourself: how am I doing? Am I still working towards my personal goals?

Other questions will be: How have I been working on my leadership skills and talents? How was my behaviour the last few weeks? What consequences did my actions have? You will be asked to reflect upon who you are as a person and how your behaviour influences the ship and everyone on it.

This portfolio will be shared with your parents and your school, so people at home can read all about your progress.

PERSONAL PROJECTS

Maybe you like drawing, music, movies or taking pictures. Maybe you like to write. Along the way, you will discover your interests and creativity and how you can use these on board.

Everyone is free to pursue personal projects and explore their passions. Simply write a well written proposal and the captain will decide how to continue.

Beach clean-up? Good idea, but what do you do with all the trash you collect? Come up with a plan and get to work!

Painting the quay on Faial? Present your design to the group and they may vote for you!

Writing and designing the yearbook for your SaS-year? That will also require a lot of work after coming home. Are you up to the challenge? Surround yourself with editors and a graphical designer and go for it!

Whatever it is, it is up to you.