A HEAD teacher is taking on a 25-hour walking challenge through day and night to raise £10,000 towards a vital facility for her pupils.

Students from Penrose School in Bridgwater will enter their new school building for the first time in November.

But the school has been frantically raising money to kit out a £25,000 Sensory Room, which is vital for the children’s learning and development.

Executive head teacher Liz Hayward will be taking on a Sensory Stride challenge: leaving from Penrose School’s current primary stage location at Elmwood School at 10am on Thursday, July 17, for a gruelling 50-mile walk to Weston and back, planning to arrive at 11am on July 18.

Mrs Hayward said: “We had many years in an inadequate building and we had no room for specialist teaching spaces because more than 55 students filled every nook and cranny.

“Students at Penrose need these specialist spaces because this is where they will learn how to use their eyes to track objects and to understand how their actions can change their environment.

“This is also where they learn to balance and take independent steps in safe space.”

Students will also be holding an auction, family members are having their heads shaved and pupils will try to complete 400 laps of the field between them to fundraise.

They will join Liz for the first mile of the Sensory Stride, collecting donations along the way. But when everyone has returned home and gone to bed, Liz will walk back to Bridgwater and do a circuit of the town before returning to Elmwood School.

She added: “Fifty miles sounds like a long way to walk, 400 times around the playing field sounds like a long way to ride, to run, to wheel, but it is all possible when you take just one step at a time.

“I am so proud of our students – they deserve everything they are finally getting, and they have so much to teach our community about resilience and determination.

“We know Bridgwater is a generous community. Any small donation is very gratefully received.”

The school also hopes to allow the community some use of the sensory room.

To donate, click here.