Pupils and staff at Gilwern primary school continued the trip of a lifetime on Friday 8th April with a virtual hike that will see them encircle the world. The project, which started in October 2021, will raise cash for charity as well as benefit pupils’ understanding of different countries and cultures, with the current focus being on exploring Indian culture.
Gilwern’s Around the World in a New Curriculum will see staff and pupils covering the distance of 50,000 kilometres, both in and outside the school premises. The challenging project aligns with the new and exciting Welsh purpose-driven school curriculum, with each year group concentrating on ten different aspects as the pupils and staff arrive at the planned locations. Areas investigated will include the environment, food, dance, music, art, money, sport and climate. 10,000km has already been achieved by the school, raising over £4000 for Alzheimer’s Society – United Against Dementia.
For each 10,000-kilometre leg of the trek, a different charity will benefit through the school’s sponsorship, with the aim of raising a pound via the wider community for each kilometre travelled. St. David’s Hospice is the charity that Gilwern primary school will be raising money for over the next 10,000 kilometres. St David’s Hospice Care is committed to providing bespoke, individual care for all our patients and their families, working alongside patients and hope to support them at the most difficult times of their lives. They aim to ensure that patients have a choice about the care they receive and maintaining dignity throughout their journey is paramount to them.
To celebrate reaching India, pupils started the day by entertaining visitors with a traditional Indian dance alongside a musical performance using the Indian scales on the guitar and ukulele in assembly. As the national sport of India is Cricket, Professional Glamorgan Cricket players, along with members from Cricket Wales, were more than happy to join in on adding a few kilometers to Gilwern’s tally, as well as hosting a bowling and batting workshop for the pupils.
The school provided pupils and staff with traditional Indian food, including Bombay potatoes, samosas, onion bhajis, and vegetable balti. Recipients of this feast were able to wash it down with traditional Indian pallet-cleansers, including Chai tea and Lassi.
Headteacher Roger Guy said: “This project is multi-layered, focusing on well-being to start with, and having a common purpose with each other as we all virtually run around the world. Collectively we work as Geese do, as they fly in formation and share leadership, which reflects heavily on our leadership style here at Gilwern. A few of our members of staff have visited India before, so it was great to see this amazing culture here in Gilwern.”
Classes and individuals will record the total distance covered on a weekly basis, and using extensive technology the school will plot the journey as it develops. On the completion of each 2,000 kilometres, the school curriculum will be amended to include an in-depth study of the location reached. Progress of the race across the world is featured on the school’s Twitter account: @gilwern_school throughout.