The school garden

 

In recent years the school garden has become a more common sight in school yards, as more and more teachers discover the benefits of integrating growing, harvesting and preparing home grown fruit and vegetables into their school curriculum.  

The list of benefits that arise from a school garden are huge: from exploring life cycles of plants,  to considering and documenting weather, sunlight, water flow and shelter, to studying insect life and biodiversity, understanding nutrition, and building awareness of where our food comes from. As we move into an age where the average child has no connection to the food cycle and an increasingly worrying proportion of children exist on food that come pre-packaged from the supermarket, it is essential that we begin to re-connect our children to real food, get their fingers deep into the soil and watch their faces as they harvest their first crop of fresh, healthy, organic food. 

If you would like to create a new garden for your school, or if you would like some help to breathe some new life into an existing garden we can help you! Get in touch and we can talk about the wonderful ways to allow your garden and children to flourish.

 

And there are even more reasons to work in a garden with your children. A sense of satisfaction, acheivement, independance, co-operation, design skills.. they really are the most wonderful learning and teaching space and all lessons (yes, all lessons!) can be taken outside. Working in a garden can support all different learning styles of a child and allows those who may not flourish so well in a conventional classroom setting to thrive and come into their own. 

Below are some examples of a school garden we created. This garden incorporated raised beds, a shed and greenhouse, orchard, wild flower meadow, sensory garden, wildlife areas, herb spiral, bug hotel, storytelling circle, teaching space and much more. This garden was created as part of a full school design, and included a teacher training day, parents evening, after school gardening clubs and a gardening library. 

Insect hotel
This hotel was made with pallets, and surrounded by perennial wildflowers to attract a host of insect visitors
Raised beds
Sturdy and deep, these raised beds are filled with the highest quality screened topsoil
Herb spiral
Taking advantage of the different light and moisture aspects of a raised spiral design, this herb spiral teaches children about the needs of different plants. It also smells wonderful and attracts a huge range of wildlife
Wooden greenhouse
This greenhouse is made from polycarbonate so is completely safe for the playground. Having a greenhouse lengthens the growing season greatly, improves the range of plants possible to grow within our climate, and gives the children a sheltered working space whilst in the garden for potting seeds and other tasks
Garden shed
This shed incorporates tool storage, gardening information and a growers library - with growing related storybooks for the children and gardening advice books for the teachers. It also includes easy advice on ways to link the new garden to specific points in the curriculum
Stage and backdrop
This stage forms part of the creative area of the garden, where children can explore imaginative role-play and performance
Garden weaving loom
This weaving loom also forms part of the creative area of the garden, where children can practice working together, fine motor skills and creative expression alongside creating beautiful tapestries to hang either inside the school or in the garden
Teaching space
With a waterproof board to display information, project work and new tasks and an oak table and seating, this space is for children to comfortably work on their tasks whilst in the garden
Shed storage
Lots of storage space within the shed for all the new tools
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E-MAIL: nim@organicplaygrounds.com                                                                                              Based in Pembrokeshire, UK