Midweek post update on previous work, in between riding around Poolemouth to get to teach Bikeability to schools at present Im making more maps for schools recognising the value of getting kids maprunning. Great to be asked to do these, back into some schools I worked for between 2009-2013 when working for Sustrans. This short post just outlines the work needed and gives some advice for any interested in obtaining their own school maps. Ive recently found out that 2016-2017 Key Stage 2 Geography Curriculum contains the following items which gives me even more encouragement with this work, and more reason for you to consider making it happen in your school:-

Geographical Skills and Fieldwork

  • Use maps, atlases, globes and digital/ computer mapping to locate countries and describe features studied.
  • Use the 8 points of a compass, four and six figure grid references, symbols and key (including the use of Ordnance Survey maps ) to build their knowledge of the United Kingdom and the wider world.
  • Use fieldwork to observe, measure, record and present the human and physical features in the local area using a range of methods, including sketch maps, plans and graphs, and digital technologies.

The pictures show me at work surveying at Langton Matravers, a survey takes a couple of hours, to pace out distances, record every aspect pertaining to the unique Orienteering symbol set. These grounds were the first complete new map I made for the Purbeck schools cluster that will be getting into some teaching on them this summer term. We make a base map copying the G-Map template or other, then complete the colours, symbols and make sure its as close to the exact site features as possible. Hard, meticulous work in front of the computer using a specific Software, even harder for me sitting still for hours…. So the overall map of these grounds shows a super site, lots of earth banks and small areas, all visible from a centre point for teaching.


St Georges Primary Groundsjf-page-001


Last week I was asked to revisit St Katharines at Hengistbury head, duly went along this monday for a meeting, good to see some familiar faces amongst the staff there again. Survey done heres an extract of whats looking to be another good site which gives plenty opportunities for siting controls, and decent running distance for children.

St Katharines extract
St Katharines extract

Sport Englands Strategy for 2017 is geared to the outdoors, read it here ,More reason that next year will keep Maprunning moving up in importance for schools and young people.   If you are liking this subject do get in touch, any readers from schools have a scan below- Thanks for reading.



Wessex mappers have also prepared the following outline of what we can provide, how and at what cost.

We can survey your school grounds and produce a full colour map using O-Cad software which will be suitable for organizing short orienteering courses. Once these maps are available we can design 2 or 3 suitable courses which will help the children progress from simple to more complicated courses. This will help them develop not only their confidence but also their spatial awareness. These maps and the courses will be provided as PDF files for you to print and/or laminate as you feel fit. The cost will depend on the complexity of the school grounds but is likely to be in the region of £80 to £100 per school.

Many schools find it useful to affix permanent markers around the school grounds at suitable locations (which will reflect the courses designed for you above). A set of these markers will cost around £45 for a set of 25 markers. These can usually be fixed in place by the school caretaker or similar.

Once the school grounds are mapped, Coaches registered with the British Orienteering Federation and fully CRB checked can run either a familiarisation session for a suitable teacher and group of children, a scheme of work or an after schools club series.  At sessions we can also use the electronic equipment which is now widely used for orienteering competitions. Children relish the competitive element and love the fact that they get an immediate print-out of their run

W.S.X hold many activity sessions throughout the year, using local areas and some of the most beautiful forests in Dorset, we welcome you to try the outdoor Adventure Sport of Orienteering.


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