Growing at Greenfields Community School

Greenfields Community School have prioritised outside learning as a key part of providing a great education for our children. They have developed the outside area to include kitchen and wildlife gardens with eight raised beds, a wildflower meadow, a copse and a Forest Schools area. Their dedicated gardener has developed different areas around the school and runs an after school Gardening Club, as well as teaching the children gardening skills during curriculum time.   All of the food grown is used either within cooking sessions or by the kitchen staff at lunchtime. They also link with the local community, including the Arkwright Meadows Community Garden. In addition, two teachers are fully trained in Forest Schools, enabling children from Reception to Year 4 to follow the Forest Schools programme in the school grounds.

Website

www.greenfields.nottingham.sch.uk

Country

Združeno Kraljestvo

Keywords

growing, food, environmental, primary school

Media

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'Design a meal with produce grown in your garden to demonstrate how food miles can be minimised using local food'

How is the project linked to climate change & sustainability?

The Greenfields Community School growing project really engages the pupils in where their food comes from, equipping them with the skills to be able to grow their own produce. The school completes the circle by using the produce in cooking lessons and even in the school lunches. Combining this with the environmental Forest School learning, the pupils gain excellent knowledge about how to minimise impact our impact on the planet.

Who is involved?

The project is very much a team effort, with parents, teachers, teaching assitants, children, school cooks and Governors all working very closely together to provide the best possible education for the children.

How are the participants involved?

The school policy is to teach and encourage healthy living habits throughout the school. Aspects of health education are taught through Science and P.H.S.E. work.  The school gardener, Jane Needham, works one day per week, developing the grounds and outside learning areas Jane teaches gardening skills to two Year groups per year and also runs an after-school club as well as developing different areas of the site to encourage outside learning. The school links this to encouraging healthy eating via the provision of fresh fruit and vegetables for all of infant children. Greenfields’ involvement with the Food For Life Partnership promotes a ‘whole school approach’, linking curriculum education with the growing, cooking, environmental education and the school meals. It has dramatically improved school meals with more than 30% of our food being organic and 70% is locally sourced. Where possible, food grown on school premises in each class’s raised beds is used within cooking and school lunches.

Key steps:

1. Meet with parents to explain your plans and how their children will benefit. Ask what would they like to see in the garden space?
2. Seek out the expertise and skills of parents to volunteer in the garden
3. Put together a ‘wish list’ and draw a plan of everything you would like to have in your garden space. Determine what are your priorities?
4. Speak to everyone you know to see if they have any unwanted in items in the garden shed which they can donate to your project.
5. Prepare a shopping list that parents can contribute to for the resources need e.g. carrot seeds; lettuce seeds; bag of compost etc.
6. Organize fundraising activities to raise money to get you started. Once you are established you could look at selling then sell your harvested produce.
7. Establish some basic ground rules with the children and ensure they have clothing appropriate to the weather conditions.
8. Select the correct-sized tool for the child. Avoid sharp/mechanical items.
9. Provide hand-washing facilities with soap, warm water, and paper towels.