WALNEY pupils have been learning the ancient art of karate.

Year One youngsters at South Walney Infant School are developing new physical and mental skills through karate as part of the school’s ongoing programme to provide a wide range of sporting activities.

Teacher Ms Hilary Ridgway said: “We have been focused on enhancing our PE provisions. Learning karate has inspired the children to take on new skills and will give them wider opportunities.

"We believe that PE shouldn’t be about a particular sport, but about movement and enjoying sport in general.

"The children have absolutely loved it. Karate is not just a sport, it’s also about control and confidence. It teaches the children about the importance of respect, and I have even learned lots from participating in the sessions!”

Local karate instructor Natalie Woodburn has been working with the pupils to teach them all about the noble marital art as part of the school’s enhanced PE provisions.

Ms Ridgway said: “We are keen for the children to have experiences that will open doors to them and that keep them confident, active, busy and strong.

"It is important that our pupils are exposed to as many opportunities as they develop, and we hope that karate is something that some of the children carry on into later life.”

The pupils in Year One are following in the footsteps of Year Two, who were awarded their half-orange belts earlier this year after being trained by Natalie.

Ms Ridgway added: “We are proud to provide a unique sports programme to give children access to a wide, rich variety of sports outside of the typical PE curriculum.”

The school has worked with SGO Furness, the School Games Organiser for the Furness area, to deliver the karate training.