We work with the teachers to link lessons with their curriculum and then we deliver practical hands on gardening workshops.
Here is an example of some of the projects that I run with my schools. Many of the lessons link in with science topics such as plant classification, pollination and photosynthesis to help enrich pupils learning.
The enterprise project involves the same year group from the Spring term all the way through until the end of the summer term. They become a mini food growing business, so they sow the seeds in the spring, nurture them in their classrooms, then plant them on and look after them until they are ready to sell. Pupils learn about marketing, they design their own banner and logos and they weigh and package their own produce. Finally they price their products and then have the experience of letting the general public know what they have grown, how they have grown it and then they hopefully will sell it!
We grow flax and teach pupils how to turn it into linen. This year we are growing, retting, rippling, breaking, scutching, heckling and finally spinning a ball of linen yarn to turn into mummy bandages exactly the same way as the Ancient Egyptian Homegrown Bread (aka Lessons in Loaf- London) is a workshop where we grow our own wheat to turn into a loaf of bread for each pupil to take home. As we don’t have acres of land we supplement in some lovely organic flour but each pupil get to understand how long the plant takes to grow and then how long it takes to turn that wheat into a loaf of bread. This workshop is kindly supported by the Worshipful Company of Bakers.
We grow lots of fruit trees and bushes in the gardens. Pupils get to see the flowers turn into fruits which they can then eat straight out of the garden.
We also do a lot of learning about the animals that live in our gardens, observing, learning and documenting what we discover.
We are able to get in groups of corporate volunteers to help bring funding and manpower into a school garden. It’s incredible what can be achieved in a day or two. Thank you to all the groups who have helped these gardens to happen. They are providing an incredible natural teaching resource for the schools.