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News story

Hastings hunt down local words in the great outdoors

24 Jul 2019

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This summer, Hastings families are being encouraged to explore the outdoors and practise their communication and literacy skills with community Word Hunts in Church Wood, St Helen’s Wood and Gensing Gardens.

As part of our Get Hastings Reading campaign, the Word Hunts challenge families to track down the eight lost words, which are specific to Hastings, dotted around the woods and park in their area. Families will be encouraged to take part in activities and complete puzzles along the way to get them talking about language and the local words they have found.

These community Word Hunts are inspired by The Hastings Lost Words Trail, which launched earlier this year and is open to all families over the summer holidays. These fun activities aim to reconnect children with nature and their community by exploring words that are falling out of common usage. Spending time outside as a family also gives children the chance to explore and talk about their surroundings, learn new words and improve their communication skills.

Get Hastings Reading was launched in partnership with Hastings Opportunity Area in January this year to improve the literacy outcomes of children and young people in Hastings and promote a love of reading throughout the town.

The Word Hunts are open through the school summer holidays and are available for families to take part in three different outdoor locations: Church Wood, St Helen’s Wood and Gensing Gardens.

As families complete their local Word Hunt, they will also find letters which they can unscramble to reveal a secret word. Once they have tracked down the secret word they then have the chance to pick up a free book at the nearby Health and Wellbeing Hub.

Free activity leaflets for the Word Hunts are available at the nearby Health and Wellbeing Hubs below, and families can download the leaflet for their local Word Hunt here.

  • Church Wood Word Hunt - supported by Hollington Health and Wellbeing Hub, Fellowship of St Nicholas, Robsack Centre, Bodiam Drive, St. Leonards on Sea, TN38 9TW
  • St Helen’s Wood Word Hunt - supported by North East Hastings Health and Wellbeing Hub, Education Futures Trust, The Firs, Elphinstone Road, Hastings, TN34 2AX
  • Gensing Gardens Word Hunt - supported by Central St Leonards Health and Wellbeing Hub, Fellowship of St Nicholas, 66 London Road, St. Leonards on Sea, TN37 6AS

Graeme Quinnell, National Literacy Trust Hub Manager, said:

“With The Lost Words Trail proving so popular, we are delighted to bring Word Hunts to the communities around Church Wood, St Helen’s Wood and Gensing Gardens. The Word Hunts give nearby families the chance to explore not only our beautiful woods and parks, but also discover local words important to the history of our town. We hope that these activities will engage and inspire families to continue learning and reading through the summer holidays and have fun doing so!”

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