Portland teachers on the open road for an adventure

Dorset Echo: Pictured from left, Caroline Portsmouth, Matthew Bell, Jonathan Smith, Steven Simmonds, Elliott Sawyer and Jacquelyn Luke Pictured from left, Caroline Portsmouth, Matthew Bell, Jonathan Smith, Steven Simmonds, Elliott Sawyer and Jacquelyn Luke

A TEAM of Portland teachers will be going the extra mile for their students this Easter – when they pedal 180 miles in their honour.

Royal Manor Arts College staff are gearing up for their own adventure this week while students are undertaking two separate voyages with Weymouth’s Tall Ship Pelican and the Morning Star Tall Ship.

The five intrepid cyclists will set off from the school in Weston, Portland on Wednesday, April 11 and pedal over two days to reach Chatham Maritime Marina, Kent, where the Morning Star vessel is based.

Science teacher Jonathan Smith, ex-student Danyal Haskins, teaching assistant Elliott Sawyer, technology teacher Steven Simmonds and geography teacher Matthew Bell will be making the trek.

Their trip will take place while the Year 11 youngsters, doing their sailing trip, are at sea so they will sadly not meet ashore.

But Mr Smith, who is also head of Year Eight, said the main aim was to raise funds to enable future pupils to undertake similar adventurous trips.

He said: “A group of teachers, teaching assistants and an ex pupil are going to do a cycle from the school to Chatham marina, Kent.

“Data assistant Caroline Portsmouth and teaching assistant coordinator Jacquelyn Luke will be our support crew, encouraging us and keeping us well stocked with water bottles.

“It’s about 180 miles to where the Morning Star Tall Ship is based.

“The idea is that while the students are sailing on the Pelican and Morning Star Tall Ships, we’ll be raising money to support kids in the future to go on similar adventures.”

He added: “We’re going to set off on April 11 in the second week of the Easter holidays, we’ll be doing 90 or so miles the first day and then the rest on the second.

“We’re hoping to raise money for the Friends of Royal Manor (FORM) charity, run by the parents and teachers association – the money will be used purely for adventurous pursuits, one of which will be tall ship sailing.

“It’s very much about creating a legacy. As I’m head of year eight, in a couple of years time my students will be old enough to go on the tall ship for extended voyages, not just day sails.”

Businesses and individuals wishing to make donations in support of the ride are asked to make cheques payable to the registered charity Friends of Royal Manor (FORM) and bring them in to the school once the holidays are over.

Donations of support can be Gift Aided if they come from a UK taxpayer.

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