They’re hooked on angling . . .

Pupils from William Henry Smith School, Rastrick fishing at Brookfoot Lake, Brighouse.'Bob Burrows with Debbie Ball
Pupils from William Henry Smith School, Rastrick fishing at Brookfoot Lake, Brighouse.'Bob Burrows with Debbie Ball

A NEW subject has been added to the curriculum at the William Henry Smith School, – fishing.

The sport, which has proved an instant hit with the youngsters has been running since March at Tony Riley’s Pond, Brookfoot Lake. During the 10-week course the boys are learning about health and safety, the countryside, fish identification and the characteristics of the environment and the eco-system.

The courses were introduced to the school by staff member Debbie Ball who is a keen angler.

“We go on camps every year and do the same thing, walking, canoeing and cycling so we wanted to do something a bit different and started fishing,” she said. “We have now introduced it into part of the curriculum.”

They are taught the techniques by coaches Sean Auty and Clive Milson from Brighouse Angling Association.

“The students absolutely love it and the others keep asking when it is their turn,” said Debbie.

At the end of the 10-week course the students are presented with a certificate in pole and whip fishing qualifications before another class is given the opportunity.

“It seems to be popular and I think the reason for that is because they can sit and think their own thoughts and it is something they can do by themselves. They have picked fishing up quite easily and don’t see it as an educational task. It boosts their confidence and self-esteem and they get quite competitive about who has got the biggest fish,” said Debbie.

During the course the students fill in details of air temperature and wind speed. Debbie said that while some of the students were on the camp they caught trout and then cooked it showing the process from river bank to plate. Some of the students have been dissecting a fish in science lessons..

“At the moment we are borrowing a lot of equipment from Brighouse Angling Association and through some donations we have managed to get quite a few things,” said Debbie.

“But if anyone does have any equipment doing nothing then they can get in contact with the school.

“Fishing has brought out a different side to some of the students and they are all really looking forward to learning how to fish.”

The school would like to thank Brighouse Rotary Club, Brighouse Angling Association and Kerr’s Angling Course, Ossett, which have made some generous donations to the school.