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Great Bowden Academy

Great Bowden Academy

School Steps Out for New Sensory Garden

These boots were made for walking - staff get ready for their sponsored walk in March

Over the next term our children and staff will collectively be walking the distance from Land's End to John O'Groats - a whopping 1,407km / 874 miles in total, to raise money towards a new sensory garden.

Executive Headteacher, Sarah Bishop, said, “We have long held a desire to create a sensory garden at both our schools, Great Bowden and Ridgeway Primary Academy. A space where children can feel grounded, calm and interact with nature. Around 1 in 6 of our children require extra support, a figure which has increased since the pandemic. While we are charged with ensuring a child’s academic success we are also determined to ensure their wellbeing.

“Our sensory gardens will be used by the whole of both schools, creating outdoor learning spaces as well as areas in which we can practice mindfulness. We want our children to develop a love for the outdoors, to grow plants from seeds and take pride in their achievements.”

To help raise the money needed for the gardens, staff and pupils will be spending the next few months counting their steps and miles as they walk around classrooms, up and down corridors and around playing fields.

The initiative is being driven by the school's SENDCO*, Libby Harris, who explained, “Every Friday each class will be submitting their total to us, and collectively we hope to walk the distance of Land’s End to John O’Groats by the end of the Spring term. We are asking parents and the community to sponsor our efforts. Alongside this a group of us will be doing a 50KM walk around London, a trekathon, during the Easter break. We’ve started training and just keeping our fingers crossed for fine weather and no restrictions.”

So far, the schools have raised just over £500, but with the gardens estimated to being costing several thousand each, they are hoping for more donations over the coming weeks. To find out more or to sponsor the children and staff, please visit https://gofund.me/e81493cb

Alternatively, if you work for or own a local business and would like to get involved, either though sponsorship, donations or an offer of materials and labour to help build the gardens, please do contact Libby Harris via lharris@rpa.learnat.uk