Children, parents and teachers alike enjoyed the great outdoors in Old Heathfield last week, as All Saints' & St Richard’s Church of England Primary School launched its new Welly Walk.
The entire school turned out for the 6km guided walk which was developed through a series of interactive workshops with Y6 pupils, led by the High Weald Partnership’s Education Officer Rachel Bennington. The route was designed to highlight unique High Weald features such as sunken lanes, gill streams, hedges, ancient woodland and wildflower grassland.
Welly Walks are short, circular walks which start and finish at the school gate and are specifically created for each individual school. They are used to encourage outdoor learning and are particularly effective at getting children active in exploring the history, geography and wildlife of the medieval landscape on their doorstep. The walks are also a useful tool to educate children on the importance and challenges of farming in their local community. To date, the High Weald Partnership has developed over 50 Welly Walks with primary schools across Kent, East Sussex and West Sussex.
Gavin Davison, Head of School, said: “Our first ever Welly Walk was a great success and the children really enjoyed themselves. The process of developing the route has encouraged our pupils to explore and enjoy the natural
habitats around them, and helped them recognise some of the historic features unique to the High Weald. We look forward to many more Welly Walks in the future!”
The school has a strong focus on outdoor learning and has recently installed a host of new facilities including a pond, dipping platform, meadow area and outdoor gym, all aimed at enriching the curriculum and helping pupils engage with nature.