As schools around the county (and the country!) welcomed back pupils after two months of remote learning, one local Cumbrian independent primary school has been celebrating its pupils’ remote ‘pedal power’.


Thanks to the combined efforts of Penrith’s Hunter Hall student body, pupils aged 3 – 11 collectively cycled the equivalent of Penrith to Barcelona in a wellbeing challenge that took place in the final days of remote learning during the third national lockdown.

The house biking challenge proved to be exceptionally popular with each of the school’s four houses choosing a ‘destination’ to cycle to by collating distances from individual local bike rides from the children’s own front doorsteps.  After just 10 days of biking, the whole school total reached an astonishing 1217.41 miles – a distance that could take you from Penrith to Barcelona!

House captains Fergal, Annie, Casey and Hugo worked diligently to collate the results for each house, motivating and encouraging their teams (remotely!) superbly. Each house met their target destination with Hares and Squirrels both out-cycling the teachers themselves. The overall team champions were Squirrels, who cycled over 500 miles. Their original destination was Birmingham at 173 miles from Penrith!

Head of Games and sports enthusiast Andrew Hetherington presented certificates to all riders at the first ‘real’ school assembly last week since December 2020.  Certificates were also handed out for individual cycling challenges too – with everything from King or Queen of the Mountains (Tate) to marking first time ‘all on their own’ riders (Kiearra and Kitty).

Andrew commented:

“It was inspirational to hear about so many cycling endeavours; an adventure on two wheels proving to be the perfect break from online lessons.”



Happily, even key worker children in school did not miss out on the house challenge, with all children bringing their bikes to school to ride for their houses around the school grounds and in the immediate vicinity adding to those precious totals. Even pre- school got in on the act with their scooters!


Year 6 House Captain, Casey said:

“The house cycling challenge was great  fun and it was good to be able to include the whole school, from the very small children right through to year 6.”


Fellow House Captain Fergal added:

“Gathering in the results remotely as house captain was a challenge, having to read so many messages and collate the results by computer, but it was worth it to come second place with Hares!”


The Hunter Hall cycling challenge is the culmination of an impressive sports and outdoor education wellbeing campaign that the school has run remotely via their virtual school since April 2020.  Other challenges have included mindfulness drawing, online yoga sessions led by teaching staff plus the hugely popular ‘Lower School Live’ and ‘Upper School United’ – weekly online singing sessions led by the school’s dedicated Director of Music for all children from the comfort of their own homes.


Now that pupils are back, inter-house (in the absence of inter-school) sporting challenges continue apace while face to face lessons have hit the ground running both in the classrooms and around the extensive school grounds alike.


Hunter Hall’s next open day is planned for early Summer, however the school is now able to welcome in-person, socially-distanced visits by prior arrangement. To find out more, visit www.hunterhall.co.uk or to book call 01768 891 291.


Hunter Hall is Cumbria’s only independent preparatory and pre-school for children aged 3 – 11 years and is located on the outskirts of Penrith.