All aboard for KnowleDGE pupils in the Wettest Classroom

Grub’s up! River and Oliver from KnowleDGE preparing food for the crew on the Queen Galadriel ship while taking part in the Wettest Classroom on Earth 2019 project.

Two Knowle West pupils have been experiencing life at sea – after being picked to take part in the Wettest Classroom on Earth project 2019 – sailing around the UK. 

River Francis (13) and Oliver Wride (12) from KnowleDGE in Leinster Avenue joined the leg of the journey from Poole to Ipswich in June. 

For a week students aged from 11 to 17, under the watchful eye of the crew, have to live, learn and work abroad a 32.9 metres long ship – Queen Galadriel – on part of the journey around Britain.

The two-month initiative has involved 54 students from both mainstream and special schools around the country, as well as three pupils from India – who all went through a stringent selection process to join. 

River and Oliver worked on shifts through the night, plotted co-ordinates and had to cook for everyone. Two school staff members went with the pupils to support them. 

River swabbing the decks during her week on the ship.

River told The Knowledge: “It was absolutely amazing and such a good experience for young minds. You were able to do different challenges to test your skills and help you do teamwork and stay in a small space.”

She enjoyed “driving the tender” – a dingy attached to the main ship, going in an RNI boat and “watching the sunrise over the sea.”

Oliver said: “I liked climbing up the mast and driving the tender and doing different tasks, tasting different foods like pasta and I had to cook for the whole crew.”

The project has been developed by Bristol-based multi-academy trust Venturers Trust, together with Extreme Classrooms, the Cirdan Trust, Whole Education and Kunskapsskolan. 

The ship which started out from Welsh Back in Bristol on 25 May will return to Bristol on 26 July after completing its eight leg journey.