Our Mission

Humans have been learning for hundreds of thousands of years. Some scientists argue that this is what makes us human, our ability to learn a theoretical concept and put it into practice when we need that new skill.  Yet education is the theme of our childhood and early adulthood, and sadly for all too many of us, we hate every second of it.

Learning should incite our passions, inspire our hearts and minds, and open up a new world of possibilities. Challenge us yes, put up insurmountable walls no. Beyond that learning should be a part of our everyday lives. Learning new skills improves careers, keeps our minds active, and can be fun. Trust me on this, it just has to be the right kind of learning.

Our founder Ruth was lucky in one respect, her parents had little respect for formal education. Aged four and a half they took her out of education and spent the next 13 years travelling around the world. Asides from a brief spell in school in her early teens it wasn’t until she was an adult that Ruth had to enter formal education.

The initial assumption was that she’d be so far behind the other students she’d never truly catch up. But despite both of her parents having left school aged 15 or 16 they had managed to teach her so much about life and so many real skills that she was far beyond her classmates. Physics was a matter of diving, sailing, and extreme sports. Biology had been learned following Darwin’s voyage, visiting the Galapagos islands, and diving alongside Marine Biologists. Maths had been covered by celestial navigation skills with an old-fashioned sextant and the night time stars. English had been covered by reading thousands of books in her life.  Whilst completing her PhD having taken several degrees and a teaching qualification she wanted to find, and share that love of life and learning.

Sailing Through School was born. Working to take the hobbies, sports, and passions that many of us have and tying them into the syllabuses that schools teach to try and allow us to learn how our brains are programmed to, by doing, not just reading. Whilst it’s pretty difficult to send everyone to the Galapagos Islands to look a the difference in finches to show the way species change. Or to take up diving to show how Boyle’s law works.  But the wonder of the Internet and the human brain we can still learn whilst living life.

From our dedicated on-line school, books to diving into learning, and a collection of resources from videos to games, our mission is to take learning off the page and put it back into real life, both as adults and children. We want to unlock the potential in us all. Even those of us that never bothered with school. Learning is a part of life.