Seeing new horizons with UKSA

Ormiston Horizon Academy

Eight students and two members of staff went on a residential to the UKSA centre in Cowes, Isle of Wight. Ormiston Horizon Academy sixth form students participated in a range of activities including windsurfing, kayaking, keel sailing and paddle-boarding. Their instructors for the week were both were amazing with the students and encouraged them to feel confident when trying new sports, while at the same time making it fun and engaging.

The focus of the activities was to develop confidence, self-esteem and peer support. Only one student had previously tried a water sport activity, therefore students bonded quickly and team work was promoted throughout the week, with every individual achievement celebrated by the group.

The residential gave students the opportunity to try water sports, which given the location of Stoke-on-Trent, they would not have been able to experience at home. For many Horizon students this was the first time away from home for a significant length of time, enabling them to become more independent and self-assured as well as helping solidify their relationships peers.

Ailie Millward, Head of Sixth Form said: "I felt a great sense of pride. The students were willing to put themselves in an unfamiliar environment, fully immerse themselves in new sporting activities and give it their all. They didn’t focus on their own achievements but instead they supported one another. Through praise and reassurance each person felt like part of a family – because at Horizon we believe that we succeed through respect, excellence and friendship."

For more information, please visit or contact