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News story

Seek out summer fun with a new story trail in Seven Fields

03 Aug 2023

Story trail

On Saturday, we invited families in Seven Fields to the launch of a new story trail based on the book Hide and Seek by Polly Noakes.

The story trail, which is based in the Seven Fields’ flower garden, gives families a fun, free activity to enjoy outdoors during the summer holidays and help to create memorable and positive experiences with literacy. We developed the trail in partnership with Child’s Play Publishers and Swindon Street Reps.

The launch event took place from 10:00 – 12:00 where the story was brought to life. Families were greeted by Swindon Street Reps, dressed up as charming book characters, who guided them along the trail. Illustrative boards were dotted throughout the park with original book pages and clue prompts for families to decode and follow, with thanks to the kind support of Central Swindon North Parish Council. Families were gifted a free copy of the book and an activity pack at the end of the trail, and there were refreshments to keep everyone cool.

Latest research from the National Literacy Trust shows that children’s reading enjoyment is currently at one of the lowest levels recorded, with less than half (47.8%) of children aged 8 – 18 saying that they enjoyed reading. Creating active and exciting story trails is a brilliant way to improve children’s reading enjoyment by weaving interactive clues and outdoor activities into the process. When children have positive experiences with literacy, they are more likely to do well in school and develop the literacy skills they need to succeed in life.

Anish Harrison, Hub Manager for Swindon Stories, says: “We loved bringing a new story trail to the community for the summer holidays, giving families a free activity to enjoy together. Story trails are a brilliant way to get outdoors and see reading in a new light by making it active, immersive, and adventurous. By creating these positive interactions with literacy-based activity, we can help children to develop the skills they need to succeed in life.”

Kelsea Jefferies, Marketing Co-ordinator for Child’s Play, says: “We’re delighted to be partnering with the National Literacy Trust and Swindon Street Reps to help bring this story trail to life this summer. Experiencing the power of reading set against the beautiful backdrop of nature ignites that adventurous spark, inspiring a lifelong connection to literacy.”

The story trail is freely available for families to enjoy throughout the summer holidays. Each section includes an activity that encourages families to discuss and share their experience with each other. Families can also collect a free book and activity pack at Penhill Library after they have completed the trail at any time over the summer break.

Penhill Library are accepting completion of the story trail to count towards one read in the Summer Reading Challenge, increasing accessibility by broadening what it means to read.

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