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Gitana - Teachers countdown begins

07/11/18 - Time for teacher.

Today marked first of two assemblies at school to let the students know what we're going to be doing from November 25th, 2018... 

As a teacher, it's not a 'normal' thing to be allowed time off (particularly in the autumn term in a state school) to do something like this, but A. This is not a normal thing to do and B. I work at quite an extraordinary school where the head has the autonomy to make those calls and took a leap of faith with me looking at this is an amazing opportunity for me and our school community!

In today's assembly with Hypatia and Aristotle houses, it was a chance to think about 'What if we dared to dream?'. What's your dream? What do you aspire to do? To be?

We talked about how important it is to chase those dreams down, don't sit back and think it'll never happen, do not assume that they can never 'be'.

For students and staff who watched the amazing efforts of Ross Edgley in recent months and his #greatbritishswim, the finale in Margate at the weekend was broadcast on Sunday morning. Now there is someone who had a dream (a little crazy, but a dream all the same), he chased it hard and achieved it whole heartedly. Ross has inspired the world of Open Water Swimming and beyond with his 157days of swimming around Great Britain and all of us who were privileged enough to take part in it felt to energy, the inspiration, to drive to make our own dreams a reality. For the crew of Gitana, our skipper James drove the support boat for Ross whilst he made his way around Devon & I joined the swimmers flotilla for the final mile on Sunday - lessons learned? Chase those dreams!

At The Portsmouth Academy (TPA), our headlines are Aspire and Achieve, so that became the building blocks of what this could mean for everyone involved in this dream, the #transatlanticdream. As a Thinking School it also gives us the chance to reflect on seizing opportunities that are out there.

At school, through online teacher forums and the #geographicalassociation I've asked staff and students to think of questions to ask us about the trip, the prep, the race itself and the after party! I've already had a few and will save them up for departure day! (Ask away!!)

We've talked about the amazing efforts of the skipper and mate in the tremendous amounts of time and effort they've put in to make this happen! I've talked to students about the boat delivery in the summer, from pods of Orca in the UK to whales in the Bay of Biscay, from dolphins in Spain, tuna catching & gutting near Portugal to bread and water making along the way...

21 days (maybe less), 24/7, no phones, no social media, no shops, no land... What would you take? What would you miss the most? What would you hope to see? How would you feel during that time? All questions, all potential experiences right there.

In the final few weeks before departure, James and Mike are already on the boat getting the final preparations under way, before Des arrives next week, Dave on 19th and me on 21st November, let the blogs begin!!

We will be able to upload/download emails once a day once the race starts and some key people will have those addresses and be able to share questions from home and keep an eye on social media to share the things you ask .. be part of something amazing and let's see where it can take all of us!

Meet the crew of Gitana, let the adventures begin!!

Kirsty (if I teach you, you'll have to stick with Miss!)

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