Our canoeing programme consists of kayaking and canoeing. Canoes are generally open boats where you use a single paddle often in pairs. Kayaking is usually performed solo with a double paddle. Kayaking and canoeing fills a big part of our summer programme, not just because it’s great fun in the sun, but because it is a great activity to help our students to develop skills like balance, co-ordination and self-control.

Week 1-2
The first two weeks are spent on enclosed water like lakes, one of our favourite venues is Taylor Park in St Helens. This provide us with everything we need and is a great facility, the shallow water makes it great for beginners knowing they can stand up at any point. Plus the wild life is endless considering its urban location, which allows us to identify all the different species from terrapins, fish and bird life.

Here we learn how to use canoes and both sit-on-top and closed cockpit kayaks. Having access to this equipment allows us to keep the sessions interesting and varied, meaning our students can experience the most benefit from their time with us.

Week 3-6
After the introductory sessions we moved to journey based sessions, conducted on some of the canals surrounding St Helens and on our white water circuit in Bury. This allows our students to develop their existing skills and learn new ones like travelling on moving water and rescue techniques. As well as the water based skills we touch on navigation and learn about other bits of essential equipment.

Here is a list of some of the skills our students will learn at the end of a term;

Hard Skills
• How to fit and check all equipment
• How to select the correct craft and paddle for them
• How to adjust the craft to their size
• How to paddle in a straight line
• How to turn the craft
• How to control a kayak on moving water

Soft Skills
• Communication
• Self control
• Respect and trust for others
• Ability to manage their feelings positively

All students in school will work towards their AQA unit awards in every aspect of outdoor education and will have the chance to achieve level 1-3 in nearly all activities available. The students understand that the unit awards take hard work and will only be awarded to those students meeting the challenging assessment criteria. Our students also develop their soft skills in communication and self control. Through the challenging situations we place our students in they learn how to manage their feeling and can then transfer these new skills to the classroom making for a calm and safe learning environment.

“Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.”

― Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows

Penkford School. Wharf Road, Newton-le-Willows, Merseyside WA12 9XZ

Tel: 01744 678745 | Fax: 01744 678748 | Email: