Gilwern explores Indian culture in a virtual “race around the world”


Pupils and staff at Gilwern Primary School continued the journey of a lifetime on Friday the 8thand April with a virtual hike that will see them circle the world. The project, which began in October 2021, will raise funds for charity and promote students’ understanding of different countries and cultures, with a current focus on exploring Indian culture.

by Gilwern Around the world in a new course will see staff and students cover the distance of 50,000 kilometres, both inside and outside the school grounds. The ambitious project aligns with the new and exciting Welsh Goals-Based Curriculum, with each age group focusing on ten different aspects as pupils and staff arrive at planned locations. Areas studied will include environment, food, dance, music, art, money, sport and climate. 10,000km have already been covered by the school, raising over £4,000 for the Alzheimer’s Society – Unite Against Dementia.

For each 10,000 kilometer leg of the trek, a different charity will benefit from the school’s sponsorship, with the aim of raising a pound via the wider community for each kilometer walked. St. David’s Hospice is the charity that Gilwern Primary School will raise funds for over the next 10,000 miles. St David’s Hospice Care is committed to providing bespoke individual care to all our patients and their families, working alongside patients and supporting them through the most difficult times in their lives. They aim to ensure that patients have choice in the care they receive and that maintaining dignity throughout their journey is paramount to them.

To celebrate their arrival in India, the students started the day by entertaining visitors with a traditional Indian dance accompanied by a musical performance using Indian guitar and ukulele scales in assemblage. As India’s national sport is cricket, the professional players of Glamorgan Cricket, along with members of Cricket Wales, were more than happy to join in adding a few miles to Gilwern’s tally, as well as organizing a bowling and batting workshop for students.

Jamie Mcilroy, Glamorgan Cricket

The school provided students and staff with traditional Indian dishes including Bombay potatoes, samosas, onion bhajis and vegetable balti. Recipients of this treat were able to wash it down with traditional Indian palette cleansers including Chai tea and Lassi.

Director Roger Guy said: “This project is multi-layered, focusing on well-being to begin with and having a common goal with each other as we all virtually race across the world. Collectively, we work as the Geese do, as they fly in formation and share leadership, which strongly reflects our leadership style here at Gilwern. A few of our staff have visited India before, so it was great to see this amazing culture here at Gilwern.

Classes and individuals will record the total distance covered on a weekly basis, and using extensive technology the school will plot the course as it develops. At the end of each 2,000 kilometres, the school program will be modified to include an in-depth study of the place reached. The progress of the race around the world is presented on the school’s Twitter account: @gilwern_school.

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