The floating school room

Position: 15 25’N. 040 36’ W.
Wind: E 15 knots
Course: 260
Distance Run: 134 nautical miles

The first Sunday since term began in earnest in the floating school room and time to reflect on how teachers and pupils are getting along. We always start the day with maths as it gets the brain in gear (including the teacher’s). The girls have a collection of workbooks to use and I flit between each child checking and helping out if they get stuck. Of course much of the time I am learning alongside them as the terminology and some of the concepts (identifying prime factors – anyone recall that from the O level syllabus?) are news to me, but hopefully they are taken in by my learned manner!

We’ve taken the opportunity to go off piste a little and Dora has been learning about the Transatlantic slave trade and comparing her own living conditions to those unfortunate enough to be sold into slavery and taken on the Middle Passage, which is the exact route we are following. Geography has naturally been geared towards studying plate tectonics and volcanoes and which are likely to remain a focus over the coming months – we will have an embarrassment of case studies from Lanzarote to St Pierre on Martinique to Montserrat and beyond.

We also have the ad hoc lessons out of school hours. Yesterday Tom gave an impromptu run down of US presidents and UK prime ministers since the Second World War. I’m hoping this will put them in good stead for their appearances on University Challenge in years to come.

We normally manage three lessons a day, which is surprisingly intense as there are no distractions. I actually find they get along better with a little light banter passing to and fro rather than sitting in eerily studious silence which sometimes happens. I trialled a PE lesson one day, getting them to put on their harnesses and do an assault course tour of the deck but with the boat all over the place, I had to pull that one on health and safety grounds.

Best be off now. Lessons to plan……

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