Great Sankey Primary School develop their wildlife garden
18 July 2012
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During the environmental review the school grounds team noticed that the wildlife garden was becoming overgrown though lack of use. It was then decided to do something about this problem.
Our aims included:
tidy up the garden
involve pupils, parents, staff, governors to work together
set up ‘A Big Tidy Up’
encourage classes to use the garden
Delivering the project and linking it to the curriculum
A small group of children, parents and myself came into school one Saturday and tidied up the area. The project wasn’t initially planned into the curriculum. However throughout the year classes were beginning to use it for some of their science topics.
Getting the pupils involved
It was the pupil’s idea to carry out the ‘Big Tidy Up’ on a Saturday rather in the week. They decided what needed to be tidied up and what to plant in the garden.
No funding was needed because we already had the equipment.
Parents helped during the ‘Big Tidy Up’ and donated gardening equipment. Some members of staff observed the gardening club and Eco-work. Governors were informed in the governor meetings. We are a member of the potato council so we grow our own potatoes.
Some members of the PFA (Parents and Friends Association) weren’t happy that we were digging up the nettles in the garden but they were informed that nobody will use it while the nettles were there.
Benefits of being an Eco-School
The children have enjoyed the wildlife garden and gardening club. It gives them a sense of pride when they see what they have grown. They have learnt how to care for plants and to tell the difference between plants and weeds.
It also gives the children a chance to work with other age groups. Years 2 – 6 attend gardening club so they have the opportunity to work alongside each other.
Measuring the impact
We could measure the impact by the number of children who attend the club. Currently we have nearly twenty children a week and this number will increase when our new garden area will be ready in October.
Using the Pod’s resources
We use the Pod for many things. In our new garden we will look at and use the Will the Worm and Bug Hotel resources.
Educational resources used
We are members of the Woodland Trust, Big Wildlife Garden and RHS Campaign for School Gardening. We have gained many awards and certificates since joining these schemes.
The main advice would be to work together. Lots of people have different ideas and experiences so, by working together, these can be used to their full potential. Encouraging older children to work with younger children has helped throughout gardening club.
The project has developed ideas for the biodiversity team. We are looking forward to our new school and garden in October. The new gardening area is a blank space at the moment so it will be wonderful to work together in developing this site into a vegetable and fruit patch, complete with compost bins and water butts.
Local Authority support
I have attended Eco-Schools network meetings.