Our Allotment- A place where we plant smiles and grow laughter
Amongst the red brick houses and in the shadow of our amazing school building, we are extremely lucky to have an allotment situated on our KS1 yard, along with our own school goats and hens.
Within our allotment, all year groups have their own planting bed to grow vegetables, herbs or plants connected to the curriculum they follow during the year. This year alone, nursery and reception have harvested a crop of potatoes. Year 1 have grown sunflowers, year 2 a variety of vegetables from cabbage to runner beans. Year 3 grew herbs such as thyme, sage and lavender. Year 4 attempted to grow avocados, Year 5 grew onions and Year 6 courgettes.
The lovely fresh produce we grow is amazing, however, the benefits of our school Allotment have gone beyond this. It has offered a safe haven for children who maybe not wish to run around the school yard but to sit in a safe and quiet environment. It has allowed the children to see the connection between the sowing of seeds, to growing and eventually the produce on the plate. It has also encouraged lots of children to eat that more healthily by trying things they have grown.
The allotment also offers a fun form of exercise for the children when working hard to keep things clean, digging over the beds and watering the plants. We have seen how children have made new friends through shared interest of nature, helping each other and watching how things grow. Our allotment is an extension of the classroom and offers enough space for classes to go outside and continue their learning challenges. A bug hotel was built to help Year 1 study mini-beasts and the children also enjoyed building their own mini beast homes.
Over recent times, we have a small team of dedicated teachers to remodel and ensure the allotment is maintained and used to its full potential and we have a gardening club for children of all ages. Each week they are busy working, tidying, maintaining the beds, planting bulbs, watering and weeding. With so much going on in the allotment and the enthusiasm shown by the children we have moved to now appoint a team of gardeners from year 6 to help with day to day maintenance and to help with our exciting planning for expansion over on the KS2 yard. Our school’s Eco team are also heavily involved in the running of the allotment, helping to provide bulbs for each year group and fundraising for new composters.
Each year our allotment offers our children something new. A wonderful area to have hands on learning and understand more about the environment. Our allotment is a place where our aim is to plant smiles and grow laughter.