The aim of the scheme is to:
- Show the children where fruit and vegetables come from as well as how to grow them from seed to crop.
- Teach pupils how to maintain their crops by using the correct feeds and fertilizers.
- Educate pupils how to care for their plants using both watering can and irrigation systems.
Through our ‘Growing Together’ scheme, we want to inspire and support children and adults to grow food and flowers by focusing on raised bed and container gardening.
We hope to enable pupils and adults to recognise that being a producer of food is simple, fun, and rewarding. We also hope to see the transformative experience that gardens can have on participating individuals and families.
Our intention is to share our school grounds at no cost with all people who are interested in growing food, while continuing to enable the pupils at Orchard to plant and maintain the garden on a weekly basis.
How it started...
We made a start in Summer 2018 … our newly refurbished garden contained some raised beds, a polytunnel, a wild flower area and an orchard and large soft fruit patch to give the school a constant supply of fruit for the children to pick themselves. We have got big plans!
Why is the project so important?
We feel that the community garden project is a brilliant idea as it enables children to grasp gardening skills at a young age and encourages them to question, understand and appreciate their environment.
As a natural and sustainable resource, the project will offer huge benefits to their pupils across all areas of the curriculum, but importantly also in supporting children’s social and emotional development.
Not only do we believe that the project provides opportunities for increasing scientific knowledge and understanding, and improving literacy, numeracy and oracy, but it will improve pupils’ confidence, resilience and self-esteem. It will give them a sense of responsibility, and foster positive behaviour, particularly for those with behavioural and learning difficulties.
We hope that the project will make pupils stronger, more active learners capable of thinking independently and adapting their skills and knowledge to new challenges at school and in future. We also hope that they will gain a more resilient, confident and responsible approach to life so they can achieve their goals and play a positive role in society. They will learn vital job skills such as presentation skills, communication and team work, and fuel their entrepreneurial spirit.
As the project develops, we hope to be able to open our own nursery so that pupils can then learn to perfect their business skills by selling produce and items such as hanging baskets, to members of the local community.
Through our ‘Growing Together’ scheme, children will have the opportunity to grow crops and then use the harvested fruit and vegetables to make jams, pies and soups with, thereby helping them to understand the importance of a healthy diet.
We hope pupils will embrace a healthier, more active lifestyle as an important tool for success at school and beyond.