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  • Writer's pictureFishing for Schools

A year with Orchard School

Orchard School in Kent is unique in its participation in Fishing for Schools, with almost weekly delivery during the school year, providing Orchard students with the opportunity to immerse themselves in the world of fishing and the educational and wellbeing opportunities it offers.

Leading our sessions with Orchard School is Fishing for Schools coach Kevin Durman:

What a fantastic year of coaching I’ve had with Orchard School. The school supports youngsters with behavioural and learning difficulties, not that you’d know should you meet them on the bankside. With hectic lifestyles I often think the few hours we spend together at the fishery may well be the only bit of quiet time they get, so I really do think they value it. It’s only on speaking with school staff that I get the true picture of what the power of nature, the outdoors and angling can do for these sometimes-troubled youngsters, as the staff see such a change from classroom to bankside.

I have seen around 50 Orchard pupils this year, a good few of these now go angling out of school, which is mission accomplished for me.

With the many donations of tackle I am given, I have been able to donate a fair bit of kit to help them out. Kit is always gratefully received, if I can’t find a use for it myself, I always find gear a home.

This year we’ve covered so many types of angling having used long pole, whips, float rods, feeder rods, carp rods and surface carp rods. We’ve had little fish only sessions and other summer sessions where we have perfected catching carp off the surface. On the miserable rainy days, we set up camp and fish under brollies with rods on bite alarms hoping for a big carp.

The pupils know carp fishing can be a waiting game, it’s great to see that they have learnt the art of patience. And that in itself is a skill. It also shows that angling can be whatever you want it to be. You can keep busy and highly active fishing a whip for roach, rudd, perch, gudgeon, or fish with a rod concentrating on either a float or a quiver tip if feeder fishing. To the other extreme of taking it easy, setting a trap for a carp with a rod on a bite alarm.

What a fantastic year we’ve all had. The pupils have learnt new skills, made new friends, gained new experiences, for some maybe even life changing.

And all thanks to the donations we receive at Fishing for Schools that keeps us being able to do what we do.

Thank you to the Red Hill Trust for supporting our work with the Orchard School.

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