The sun was shining and the birds were in the sky - Exton & Greetham Primary School children were ready to step out into the sunshine on our traditional walk to Fort Henry on Exton estate!
Packed lunches were stacked in the car, sun cream was applied, hats were put on, water bottles were collected - we were ready to set off. The walk to Fort Henry is always a lovely walk. We take our time - a member of staff marks the front of the walk and another brings up the rear to make sure there are no stragglers: all other adults spread themselves through the walking party. Other than this, the children can walk with whoever they like.
It was lovely to see some of our older children helping the younger children, and our more confident walkers helping those who were not so confident. Mrs Davis was particularly impressed with the reception child who joined her to lead the way all the way there and then walked with Miss Bevins to lead the way all the way back - fab walking! The fields were beautiful with corn growing on either side of the path. Crickets were in abundance and birds were flying overhead. Perhaps the most magical nature moment was for those who spotted a Red Kite hovering and come down onto the road near where we were picnicking. Mrs Davis wasn't quick enough with the camera, but it was an amazing sight.
In our quickest time yet, we arrived at our picnic field - beating the picnics by ten minutes! Then it was time for lunch and a quick play before setting off back. The way back is always a little slower as legs start to get tired, but again, it was lovely to see children encouraging each other to keep going until we all arrived back in school for a well deserved cup of squash and a rest in the shade of the classrooms.
The Fort Henry Walk really brings out what is so special about our school. We walk together as one large family, with everyone looking after everyone else. Words of encouragement are shared, not just from adult to child and older child to younger child; but also from our youngest children to our older children. Conversations are had, and new friendships made across the year groups. It was lovely to be joined by some of our parents and governors too.
We are already looking forward to next year - some of the year 5 were talking about how next year would be their last walk with the school, and that they would miss it. It was great that it didn't rain this year, but we are hoping for slightly cooler weather for walking next year!!