Fairy trail: a magical journey of discovery for all the pupils

A group of pupils from Cumbernauld Academy and Kilsyth Academy have joined forces to support the development of younger children.

Academy pupils lead children from Kildrum Primary on a magical, mystical journey of discovery on the Fairy Trail. (Pics: Michael Gillen)

Seven students from the two Academies are taking part in the Mark Scott Leadership for Life Award.

The personal development programme for young people across the central belt was set up after the sectarian murder of teenager Mark Scott in Glasgow.

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As part of the programme, they had to create and produce a project which brings the community together and tackles a problem which affects the area or the people living in it.

Massive thumbs up for those searching for clues in Palacerigg

The group decided on a Fairy Trail to encourage people of all ages to get involved with nature and become more adventurous.

They were joined by pupils from Kildrum, Chapelgreen, Balmalloch Banton and Abronhill Primary for its launch last week.

The pupils spent two days rediscovering a secret village at Palacerigg where fairies and elves have lived for thousands of years – a truly magical place!

Megan Anderson, one of the Mark Scott award participants, said: “Nature offers a rich variety of opportunity for people to develop their understanding of the five senses.

Doorways on the trail helps open young minds to the magic of nature.

“With our project we aim to support children’s development and decided a Fairy Trail would help achieve this as nature offers a rich variety of freedom, risk and play opportunity!

“Risk play builds confidence and nature enhances decision making skills and provides real world experience –fewer rules means more room for self discovery, imagination and creativity.

“The Fairy Trail experience heightens children’s curiosity and forever increases the wonder and potential magic of any future walks.

“Our walk engaged children and encouraged them to look carefully at their surroundings, while exercising the self-control required to notice objects and a number of clues tucked along our trail.

Massive thumbs up for those searching for clues in Palacerigg

“As they encountered clues and tried to solve the mystery they also practiced their theorising skills.”

Behind every door on the Fairy Trail there was a unique individual fairy story which also explained their roles within the community.

The ultimate reward at the end of the trail was the ‘earn your wings certificate’, but there was also something more profound to be gained from the event.

Megan added: “Treats help, but we hope it was worth their while to exercise their imaginations and get a sense of joy from imaginative scenarios.

Doorways on the trail helps open young minds to the magic of nature.

“We also hope that this experience went some way to building empathy by practicing communication to share ideas and listen to the needs of others.”

The Academies’ pupils are planning future activities as the project develops.