• Back to RYA Home

The OnBoard programme is carefully designed to further develop life skills and has learning at its core.

Sessions give children the opportunity to gain an extensive range of skills and benefits through learning to sail or windsurf. The programme compliments the National Curriculum and provides a variety of valuable life skills that help to build confidence and shape personal development through water activities.

OnBoard is open to anyone aged 8-18 and, whether it’s a small group or a large class, we can help you get started.

Learn to sail or windsurf with us.

Find an OnBoard venue
Find an onboard club by name

Life skills and broader learning benefits 

Children's sailing and windsurfing provide invaluable skills that can have positive impact on an individual’s personal development. RYA OnBoard has worked closely with the University of Winchester, the Centre for Real World Learning and Professor Bill Lucas to develop this part of the programme.


As well as learning the core skills to get afloat, participants will be developing six key character attributes; Teamwork, Creativity, Communication, Independence, Determination and Confidence.


RYA OnBoard have also worked alongside the University College London to conduct research that evidences the positive learning outcomes that watersports and outdoor pursuits can have on young people taking part in a series of OnBoard sessions.


Able to listen carefully and offer an opinion, matching language to audience, Capacity to see the world from someone else's perspective

Happy to learn from mistakes with self belief, Have a good idea when needed and understand how different experiences can be connected

Mindset to stick with difficulty, bouncing back after set backs, Can communicate well with others, seeing the world from someone else's perspective

Learning to sail has taught many of our children so many new skills. Over the course they learn the technical aspects of sailing, STEM, they work as a team as well as independently. They gain resilience and grow in confidence.

Rebeccah Jones, Teacher at Greenbank Primary

At Tollgate School we want to provide disadvantaged children with learning opportunities beyond the classroom that will give them the skills to compete globally

Emma O'Connor, Headteacher Tollgate Primary School

More information

Learn to sail sessions usually take place between spring and autumn and sessions can be from 30 minutes to a few hours. All watersports sessions are run at RYA accredited training centres so it’s completely safe!

The venue will be able to provide all the equipment needed to get afloat, it’s a good idea for the group to bring some spare shoes, a change of cloths and a towel.

The National Curriculum & OnBoard

Sailing and windsurfing cover many areas of the National Curriculum, delivering practical application of academic subjects including geography, maths, and science. 

Watersports and outdoor pursuits engage children in key areas of personal and social development as well as character education, including building personal identities, improving communication, and learning to form good relationships. 

Specific National Curriculum links are included within the session cards used by OnBoard instructors, but the children's sailing can be tailored to your specific educational needs.

Browse our digital leaflet or click here for our printable classroom poster

Let us answer any questions you have about getting started