MONMOUTHSHIRE schoolchildren are preparing to set off on a round-the-world hike -  without leaving the country.

Pupils and staff at Gilwern School set off on the trip of a lifetime with a virtual hike that will see them encircle the world.

The project, likely to last two years, will raise money for charity as well as benefit pupils’ understanding of different countries and cultures.

Gilwern School - Around the World in a New Curriculum will see staff and pupils covering the distance of 50,000 kilometres, both in and outside the school premises.

For each 10,000 kilometre leg of the trek a different charity will benefit through sponsorship, with the aim of raising a pound via the wider community for each kilometre travelled.

The Alzheimer’s Charity will be the focus for the first 10,000 kilometres.

Classes and individuals will record the total distance covered on a weekly basis, and using extensive technology the school will plot the journey as it develops.

On the completion of each 2,000 kilometres, the school curriculum will be amended to include an in-depth study of the location reached.

The first designated stop is Copenhagen with progress featured on the school’s Twitter account @gilwern_school throughout.

The project aligns with the new Welsh purpose-driven school curriculum, with each year group concentrating on ten different aspects as the pupils and staff arrive at the planned locations.

Areas investigated will include the environment, food, dance, music, art, money, agriculture and climate.

Cllr Paul Pavia, Monmouthshire’s cabinet member for education, added: “This is such a fantastic project that will inspire pupils at Gilwern primary school, and hopefully it will encourage other schools to follow in the footsteps of such an ambitious cause.

"The enthusiasm that the teachers have brought to the children is infectious.”