Paddlesports for Schools

Paddlesports school trips in Dorset

Cumulus Outdoors offer a range of paddlesports for schools during our youth residential trips. Young people have the opportunity to try kayaking, canoeing, paddleboarding and raft building as part of a bespoke and varied programme of outdoor adventure activities.

Spending the morning or afternoon on the water is often a highlight of our young visitors school trip in Dorset. This is because, in addition to teaching core skills and water safety, we’re able to incorporate lots of games into our sessions. These games, whilst intended to be fun and enjoyable, serve an important purpose. They can help improve participants balance, communication and water skills in a relaxed and positive environment.

School groups learning kayaking skills

What paddlesports do you offer?


Stand up paddleboarding has grown increasingly popular in recent years. During our paddleboarding sessions we take groups to sheltered water, where they can develop the patience, balance and core body skills needed to progress from kneeling to standing up on the board. Once confident in the water, our instructors will accompany groups as they move across the lake putting their new found skills to the test.

Kayaking and Canoeing

Our kayaking trips offer great fun for all ages. We take groups to a variety of locations across Dorset, including beauty spots along the Jurassic Coast and the River Frome. Under the watchful eye of our experienced instructors, participants will learn and master a range of paddle strokes, enabling them to skilfully manoeuvre in the water. Depending on the needs and experience of the school or youth group, we’re able to offer sit on kayaking sessions as well as canoeing.

school group kayaking

Raft building

In our raft building sessions participants are required to use a range of materials such as barrels, rope and wood to construct a raft that will carry their group across the lake. As an added element and to encourage friendly competition, groups then to see who’s raft performs the best!

raft building outdoor adventure activity


Learning outcomes

Our paddlesports sessions provide schools with plenty of opportunities for learning outside the classroom. As well as learning the key skills needed to perfect each of the watersports on offer, young people can develop a number of practical and social skills that are transferable to many different aspects of every day life.


Communication is key in each of our paddle sports sessions. Paddlers will need to work together to control the kayak or canoe to ensure they are travelling in the right direction and following the leaders instructions. In our raft building sessions students will need to communicate with others to explain their build ideas and assign roles to group members.


Concentration means focused attention, and it has many uses and benefits. It assists in studying, enables faster comprehension, improves the memory and helps in focusing on a task. Young people will need to concentrate in each of our sessions to ensure they are listening and processing instructions so that they’re able to learn core skills and participate in the paddlesports sessions safely.


When your team trusts you as a leader, it increases commitment to team goals. Communication improves, and ideas flow more freely, increasing creativity and productivity.

Leadership skills

Team games including Kayak Polo will require tactical planning and leadership. Within our raft building sessions students have the opportunity to take on leadership roles, delegating jobs to other participants to complete. Working together in a structured and supportive manner helps progress the job in hand whilst enabling young people to reach their common goals. During these sessions we often see quieter members of the group find their voice and have the confidence to share their ideas with the rest of the team.

Water safety

Safety in the water is our upmost priority in all of our paddlesports activities. Prior to commencing the watersports session students will receive a thorough safety briefing from our team of experienced staff. This will include demonstrations on how to use equipment properly and responsibly.

Coordination and balance

Functional movement and motor skills are incredibly important in paddlesports. Participants must refine their movements to accurately control the direction in which they wish to travel.