PUPILS walked 7,000 miles combined as a Witney school made great strides towards £50,000 worth of upgrades.

Nearly 700 children took part in a scenic sponsored walk around the town as part of Wood Green School's 50k Challenge.

Wood Green's parent teacher association (PTA) has set a three-year deadline to reach the magic number, which will help revamp the school's hall and library and deliver improvements to its health and wellbeing support.

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The walk is expected to have raised thousands and PTA chair, Maria Grindley, hopes it will help the school smash its target.

She said: “Considering we started in earnest this year, this will put a big dent in the total. It’s going to go a long way.”

Ms Grindley, who has children in years 9 and 7 at Wood Green, added: “We had a lot of support from local people who came out to say hello. There were lots of smiles all the way round the route.”

The school's headteacher, Rob Shadbolt, said: “It will help us in our 50k Challenge target, which underpins our ethos of delivering excellence for all.”

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Children could opt for the bronze, silver or gold route in Wednesday's walk, which spanned seven, nine and 11 miles respectively.

Most pupils opted for the longest distance, which took them through the Cogges area, around Witney Lakes and into Ducklington.

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Thousands of pounds have been pledged but a lot of money is still yet to be paid, with parents encouraged to give generously to support Wood Green for years to come.

The 'reinvigorated' PTA was formed in February and immediately began putting together a plan of action to reach the total.

Ms Grindley, from Witney, explained the £50,000 will haul the school library 'up to 21st century standards', with the improvements set to benefit more than just pupils.

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She said: “The PTA has been working so well together and the teachers did all the marshalling for the walk, so that shows the commitment is there.

“Not only do children in all years see the benefits, but the teacher’s engagement makes a difference.

"This isn’t just about standards, it’s about the community as well.

“The improvements will be a fantastic asset for the community and it’s great to see everyone getting involved."

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Events are one of three fundraising strands, with grants and business development also expected to bring in much-needed cash.

The school has already hosted a quiz night and last month 'took over' Witney Park Run to raise awareness of the 50k Challenge in the wider community.

The fast start means Ms Grindley is confident of reaching the target within three years, with more events on the horizon.

In October, thrill-seekers will be invited to take part in a fundraising fire walk, which involves walking barefoot over hot embers or stones.

One month later, the school will host a race night, where participants stake money on the outcome of recorded races.

Read also: Wood Green rated 'good' by Ofsted

Wood Green was rated ‘good’ by Ofsted in March, less than six years after it was placed in special measures.

In 2014, fewer than 160 students joined the school, but it had more than 230 first choice applications for September this year.

Any parents of Wood Green pupils who wish to contribute to the 50k Challenge can donate via ParentPay.

Visit wgswitney.org.uk for more information.