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Be the best you can be

Gardening

We are fortunate to have the support of Mrs Sanders to organise all of the gardening activities across the whole school. Mrs Sanders used to teach at BCPA before taking retirement and studying horticulture and garden design with the Royal Horticultural Society.

We believe that gardening provides us with the opportunity to teach most areas of the National Curriculum outside the classroom. Gardening also provides many other benefits:-

  • children learn better outside
  • an awareness of healthy eating
  • contact with nature
  • support of the sustainable schools initiative
  • local and global learning
  • gardening knowledge
  • contact with the wider community
  • physical exercise
  • social skills
  • improved self confidence

We are fortunate to have many garden areas within the school grounds including the pizza garden, the quiet area, the Y2 patio garden, the reception garden, the Hungry Caterpillar garden, the secluded garden and  a Sensory Garden too.

We have registered the school with the RHS Campaign for Schools and we will be working our way through the Benchmark Scheme. We have already achieved our Level 2 Award and we are working towards the Level 3 award.

We aim to give all of our children some gardening opportunities at some point during the year.

Our learning objectives are:-

Autumn Term

  • How to take cuttings
  • How to plant plants
  • Revision of parts of a plant and their function
  • Revision of what a plant needs for healthy growth
  • Close observation of bulbs and their store of energy
  • How to plant bulbs
  • How to promote beneficial creatures in the garden
  • How to make a pebble hedgehog

Spring Term

  • How to plant seeds in modules
  • Observation of a variety of seeds
  • How to make a seed packet
  • How to make a plant sign
  • How to plant a pumpkin and sunflower seed to take home

Summer Term

  • What happens when a seed germinates?
  • The benefits of growing your own vegetables and fruit
  • What 'air miles' and 'carbon footprint' mean
  • How flowers attract pollinating insects
  • How to name pollinating insects
  • How to name some flowers that are good pollinators
  • How to sow lettuce, carrots, onions, peas, calendulas, sweet peas, cornflowers, nasturtiums and herbs
  • How to make a healthy sandwich

Autumn Term 2017

Our gardening year has started with a flurry of activity. The Year 3 children have each been taking cuttings from hebes, rosemary and penstemons to grow on and, hopefully, take home a new plant next summer.

Thanks to our wonderful sponsor Mark from Gotherington Nurseries, we planted up a hanging basket, tubs in the Quiet Area, containers in the Hungry Caterpillar Garden & the Reception Rainbow Garden with heuchera, grasses, dianthus and pansies.

As well as all of this the children have been learning to make leaf mould and drawing food that we grow for a display board.

During November and January the children will be making felt garden decorations, a project inspired by a garden at Chatsworth House.

Spring & Summer Term 2018

The children have had a busy time in the garden as the weather has improved. They have been making seed packets, using hand lenses to view and draw seeds, reading for information about how to grow the seeds before taking them home to plant.

The Hungry Caterpillar Garden and the Year 3 raised beds have also been worked on. We have been busy planting potatoes, peas, mangetout and new herbs.As well as this the children have been making bird scarers and planting some petunias in pots.

The Quiet Area has a bit of a makeover with some new sweet williams, forget-me-nots and Californian poppies as well as some petunias and pansies in pots.

The clay planters in the Sensory Garden have now been planted with Bellis, Violas and Poached Egg Plants which should look lovely in the summer months.

As well as all of the gardening, the children have also been sewing garden creatures to decorate the garden. They have learnt to sew a running stitch and to glue on eyes and other shapes.

We visited the Sensory Garden with the children. We listened and noted what we could hear in the garden. We touched soft grasses and lambs ears and we smelt the perfume from sweet peas, honeysuckle and lemon balm. We also discussed the plants that feed bees and butterflies such as lavenders, pyracantha, hollyhock and borage. Along the way we found caterpillars, ants, woodlice and bees!

Our Hungry Caterpillar Garden, raised beds and Reception garden are all in full production now with fruit, herbs and vegetable crops which are due to be harvested soon in time for our end of year picnic. We are looking forward to our best carrots, peas and mangetout ever!

The Reception garden has filled out well with the marigolds that the Reception children planted and also the cornflowers, sunflowers, heartsease and Californian poppies the Year 3's planted.

Sponsors 

We are delighted that Gotherington Nurseries and Toddington Garden Centre have offered to support our gardening activities where they can by providing seeds and other resources occasionally. We also hope that they will be able to come into school from time to time to see the results of our gardening efforts.

Gardening Resources

Mrs Sanders would welcome any seeds and cuttings, tubers, grasses or bulbs which will be planted in the school grounds by children from various years during the school day.

Mrs Sanders would welcome any kind of donations from the following wish list:-

  • Garden compost
  • Small plant pots (for Summer Fete)
  • Watering cans (any size)
  • Tubs and containers
  • Gloves
  • Aprons (PVC)
  • Seeds
  • Cuttings
  • Tools
  • Canes/Plant sticks

Tesco Vouchers

Thank you to all of our parents who bring in Tesco vouchers each year. We are able to order a huge variety of quality products which include child size trowels, spades, forks, gloves, aprons and wellies. We have also received high quality nesting boxes, insect housing and a tremendous insect study hotel! Please continue to support us each year as it really does make a difference.

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