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Sarah Dawson, Sales and Development Manager at Red Funnel Ferries, and her team have been shortlisted in the LOtC Innovator category in the national Awards for Outstanding Contribution to Learning Outside the Classroom (LOtC).

The awards are presented annually by the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom (CLOtC) and recognise those people who have had a significant impact on the lives of children and young people through their commitment to providing exciting and inspiring learning outside the classroom (LOtC) opportunities.

In the last 2 years, the Red Funnel sales team have innovated in creating what is essentially a floating classroom, with opportunities for fun and engaging learning. Many subjects are covered for 5 to 16-year–olds, with outstanding provision in geography. To enable a whole-island learning experience, Red Funnel has also developed 2 learning trails: firstly, an Isle of Wight Coastal Trail for students of geography, and secondly, an Isle of Wight Arts, Literary and History Trail which explores the history of artists linked to the Isle of Wight, myths and legends, church history, as well as literature, art, architecture, photography, and history.

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Red Funnel’s work has had a positive impact on young people’s attainment and development at surrounding schools. Bay House School, Gosport, said that their Year 9 visit to Red Funnel using the on-ferry geography resources and Cowes coastal trail resource as an introduction to GCSE skills was a “great opportunity for them to look closely at their surrounding environment”, and that “pupils gained a lot from their experience”.

The team at Red Funnel have shown innovation in promoting the Isle of Wight as an excellent place to learn outside the classroom, ensuring that fun, engaging learning begins on the journey, and not a moment is wasted.

Sarah Dawson and her team are shortlisted alongside 3 other candidates for the award which is sponsored by the Youth Hostel Association (England and Wales). The winner will be chosen by online public vote through the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom website at http://www.lotc.org.uk/news-and-events/awards-for-outstanding-contribution-to-lotc/.

The winners will be announced at an exclusive LOtC Awards dinner at the Arden Hotel, Birmingham on 24th November.

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