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The Morning Star Trust offers a creative learning experience which harmonises with the curriculum. Over the last 45 years we have found that our best educational work is done in partnership with schools. This page is an evidence-based document and written primarily for teachers. We work with pupil referral units and special needs units as well as those who are in mainstream education. We discount our prices to schools who book during term time and offer bursaries as we believe that no young person should be excluded from sailing with us for financial reasons.


Morning Star Trust has three eleven-meter offshore sailing vessels with accommodation designed specifically for sail training enabling young people and vulnerable adults to access a unique environment. Two boats accommodate six students and can accommodate a staff member if required. The third boat accommodates five. They are MCA coded and all safety gear, foul weather gear and food are included in the price. There are no hidden extras.

Offshore the challenges faced are intense and very real. Morning Star Trust voyages provide an adventurous structured environment with defined boundaries and the clear common purpose of the successful completion of a voyage. Key learning areas are interaction with with others; insight into the world they live in, and most importantly, self-understanding.  

Participants learn self-management and interact with others, dramatically boosting their self-awareness and confidence. At sea, participants have no choice but to live and work together as a team, overcoming difficulties, and taking responsibility. Every action they take impacts on others. Participants learn that they, themselves, have value, can be successful, and that through their own efforts they can achieve truly remarkable things. 

Morning Star Trust voyages contribute to the overall learning of the curriculum and is beneficial to those who are kinaesthetic learners because of the experiential nature of a voyage. Our holistic approach, recognising every person as unique and valuable, means that a significant number of young people make return bookings with us. Most of our volunteer sea staff’s first experience of sailing was as a young person on a Morning Star Trust ve

We hope you will find our analysis of how sail training aligns with the curriculum useful.

The Impact of Sail Training on Core Skills 


Working as an individual on board does not work. People quickly learn that all have to contribute and work as a team for success. Every child has value and talent, and there is no child we would turn away that wanted to come on a voyage. The work we do is particularly adept at boosting confidence and development in participants with special educational needs and disabilities. 


Participants learn that what they contribute matters in a very real way. Through effort and overcoming difficulties, they realise their efforts can achieve something truly remarkable. The ethos of voyages is that those that come on board are given high levels of responsibility for the successful completion of the voyage. They cook together, clean together, learn how to navigate and keep the boat safe far from the comfort of their usual environments. This responsibility given leads to huge growth of character. 

Social skills 

Having to live in close quarters—sharing living space, sleeping in the same room and eating meals together—is an intense social experience. This can engender lasting friendships, as well as instilling the need for patience, respect and tolerance of others for a positive social environment. Participants also have to work effectively as a team facing common challenges (e.g., bad weather) to complete tasks necessary for the voyage. The successful achievement of team goals helps participants see that this can only come through good team-work.  

On top of this, being in a ‘risky’ environment evokes feelings of vulnerability and discomfort which acts as a leveller intensifies the impact of the close social environment and team work—both because participants are more likely to feel reliant on their peers and staff for their wellbeing and safety, and because feeling vulnerable may mean participants lose their ‘masks’ (bravado or other social identities). 

Critical reasoning 

The training we give is particularly practical focussed on developing reasoning and concise clear explanations. For every action that has to be done on a boat – raising sails, gybing through the wind, or creating a passage plan based on the weather, current, and navigational hazards – participants take it in turns to reason, understand, and then lead exercises. Participants must develop multi-structural and relational instructions to coordinate their crewmates to complete a task successfully. This model of learning mimics SOLO Taxonomy .

Impact of Sail Training long term on young people.



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