Tall Ships set sail for schools

Pupils from Seahouses Middle School watch fishermen at work.
Pupils from Seahouses Middle School watch fishermen at work.

Schools and community groups across Northumberland are being invited to get creative for the North Sea Tall Ships Regatta Blyth 2016.

A new digital resource pack filled with innovative activities inspired by the Tall Ships and its cultural programme, aims to help schools know their knots, port and starboard, and to design their own ship’s flag.

Pupils and teachers are encouraged to get involved with the event by exploring themes such as international cultures, geography, local history and music.

The free resource, developed by Active Northumberland and designed by Shoofly Publishing, is suitable for Key Stage 1 – 3 and can be used for a single class lesson or for a longer period of study.

More than 30 Tall Ships are expected to gather at the Port of Blyth for The North Sea Tall Ships Regatta during the August Bank Holiday weekend (Friday, August 26, to Monday, August 29).

Northumberland County Council, in partnership with the Port of Blyth and Sail Training International, is hosting the prestigious Regatta which will be one of the largest events ever held in the county and the only Regatta in the UK this year. Fergusons of Blyth has been confirmed as the principal sponsor for the event in celebration of its 90th anniversary.

Coun Val Tyler, cabinet member for arts, leisure and culture at the county council, said: “The education pack offers an ocean of exciting opportunities for pupils across the county to get involved in the Tall Ships Regatta and provides a legacy for schools for future learning.

“There are some great ideas in the pack, like adopting a ship or writing a sea shanty, which offer some excellent ways to celebrate our wonderful coastal history and figures such as Lord Collingwood, Captain William Smith and Grace Darling.”

The pack, which can be downloaded from http://www.shooflypublishing.co.uk/tallships, will also signpost schools and groups to cultural activities taking place to celebrate the Tall Ships Regatta, including the carnival parade and libraries programme.

Julie Harris, headteacher at Seahouses Middle School, said: “Having visited Alnwick with my pupils in September 2015 to watch the Tour of Britain, I am very aware of the excitement and interest events like these generate among our pupils.

“It’s fantastic that the Tall Ships Regatta is coming to Blyth in August 2016 and these cross-curricular resources will help us engage and inspire our pupils to learn more about a range of subjects as well as increasing their cultural awareness.”

The Flying High element of the pack offers pupils a chance to create a flag or kite to bring to the Tall Ships event, while learning about Blyth’s renewable energy industry.

Martin Lawlor, chief executive, Port of Blyth, said: “We know schools are keen to get involved and this digital learning resource is a great way for enabling people to learn about our rich history including the origins of the Port of Blyth and how a modern trust port works.”

For more information about the North Sea Tall Ships Regatta Blyth 2016, go to www.tallshipsblyth2016.com or visit https://www.facebook.com/tallshipsblyth2016 or Twitter: @TallShipsBlyth

For further information on Sail Training International, visit www.sailtraininginternational.org