Willington Lower School in Bedford started the new term on a high this week with a demonstration of hot air ballooning from our Hertford and Bedford pilot Kerry!

Kerry visited the school on Monday afternoon in between his Biggleswade and Berkhamsted hot air balloon rides over Hertfordshire.

The primary school children were taught how the burners work, how the basket is constructed and how the fabric envelope is inflated to become an exciting method of air travel.

You may have already seen this hot air balloon school story covered by Bedfordshire local press.

Headteacher Heidi Smith also had a go at operating the burners, so it was fun for all the staff involved as well.

Speaking about the educational visit, Heidi said:

“Our topic this term is called 'Up, Up and Away' - we will be studying the history of flight and linking the many ways that man has flown with all the curriculum areas.

“We always aim for a stunning start to every term and the Virgin Balloon Flights visit provided this. The children were surprised, amazed and inspired by what they saw.

“Kerry and crew member Olly were great with the children, they answered all kinds of questions and explained everything in a child friendly way. Their enthusiasm to get all the children into the basket was excellent and made it an unforgettable experience.

“Watching the burners was breathtaking and the differences between each burner were clear from the colours and noises.

Children at Willington Lower School also commented:

"It was great that all the children got into the basket and also break the record." Harriet, 8 and Lizzie, 7.

"It was awesome to come round the corner and see the balloon on the field." Harrison, 8.

"I loved the burner, I want to see it again!" Sam, 5.

We also provided children with a goody bag to take home after the two hour demonstration.

“Having the goody bags gave the children a great opportunity to discuss the experience and what they had learnt from it with their families,” says Heidi.

Sophia and Harry, both age 6, pose with their hot air balloon goody bags back at Willington School.

Speaking about the school visit, our Kerry said:

“The children were really well behaved, and asked some great questions. I hope we have inspired some of them to think about learning to fly or maybe working in the ballooning industry when they're older.”