An innovative sports development at St Nicholas at Wade CE Primary has scored a hole in one with children.
When pupils returned from their summer break they were delighted to discover a mini golf course set up under the trees in the corner of the school grounds.
The idea came from Head Teacher Taralee Kennedy, who said: “It was a big surprise – I wanted to offer them something new, exciting and challenging as part of our school community.
“I haven’t heard of a primary school setting up a golf project so I seized the opportunity and spoke with Graham Stroud of Quex Adventure Farm Park who created their popular mini golf course.
“He visited the school to hear my idea of a themed course with holes based around our school core values. He was brilliant and so supportive.
“A bespoke course surrounded by newly planted Laurel hedging was designed and it was installed on our field in the summer holidays with a variety of holes testing different skills.”
The main pathway through the area features paw print shaped steppingstones, while the holes are surrounded by a river of bark from locally-felled trees as part of the sustainability concept. Each hole also features coloured Astroturf surfaces.
The first hole is a rainbow to symbolise Christian values and God’s promises of love, hope and redemption while celebrating diversity and inclusion in the Christian faith.
The next series of holes encompasses deconstructed lettering as part of the design to mirror the school’s values of courage, resilience, honesty, kindness and be the best you can be.
Hole six is based around a wall with a tricky ramp and the theme of ‘being the best you can be’ while hole seven features the concept of books and literature. Hole eight highlights growth through the use of models of trees and upturned plant pots, as well as being a metaphor for the personal growth opportunities provided for pupils by the school.
The final hole embraces the biblical tale of the wise man who knew not to build his house, nor a mini golf course, upon the sand but rather on the rock. The centre piece of the course is the large lighthouse set on the rock – representing the parable from Matthew 7:24-27 – with a separate sandpit hazard, bunker, and house sinking into the sand.
Children are already testing their skills on the course at break time, lunch time and as part of the PE lessons.
Mrs Kennedy said: “Our plan is to host internal ‘house’ and year group competitions, and to reach into the wider educational community and welcome other schools in to enjoy this wonderful amenity.”
The course was funded via the school’s ‘sports premium’ and by the PTFA (Parent Teacher and Friends Association) whose chair Kayleigh Williamson said: “This is a wonderful venture that embraces our ethos of supporting the school to provide a rounded education that encompasses the best of learning, having fun and creating treasured memories.”
Children are being set a challenge to come up with the most appropriate name for the course and this will be announced at the official opening this autumn with guests including the course professional from Westgate and Birchington golf club.