Gardening is good for everyone’s wellbeing – and children who grow their own vegetables are far more likely to eat them. We hear from two schools where pupils grow their own.
Dulwich Prep Cranbrook has a Gardening Club which runs at lunchtime break for children in Years 5-8. We grow lettuce, beetroot, carrots, parsnips, potatoes and rhubarb, herbs such as chives, basil, mint and sunflowers.
The Club runs all year apart from mid winter. Our Head of Science, Mr Middleton and Head of English, Mrs Dart run the club. Mr Middleton says gardening teaches the children about the seasons of the year and helps them learn patience as there is no instant gratification.
Edward in Year 6 said he likes getting out in the fresh air and being with nature. He enjoys cooking and took home the potatoes he grew which were delicious.
Younger years also enjoy growing vegetables in the raised beds outside each classroom. Every classroom in Nash House (Early Years) has its own outdoor classroom space with a retractable roof so the children can be outside rain or shine. This week the Nursery will be planting vegetables, which will be harvested before the end of term.
The kids in Eco Club fill the planters in the playground with colourful plants every spring and Year 1 particularly enjoyed harvesting a bumper crop of strawberries last year which they enjoyed as their snack at break time.
Dulwich Prep Cranbrook, Kent
01580 712179 dulwichprepcranbrook.org
Pupils at Frewen Prep have enjoyed harvesting fruit from their edible garden for many years. It is a small but well-established plot with pear and apple trees, which have beautiful blossoms as well as tasty offerings.
The raspberry plants produce full and juicy fruits and each year pupils help to harvest these along with strawberries in the summer months, which are shared amongst the pupils at break times.
It was initially planted as a sensory garden, so as well as edible fruits and herbs, there are fantastic roses to enjoy and tall bamboos chosen for their shape and texture.
The garden is always evolving and pupils have been helping plan for the next stage. We are currently creating a Roald Dahl garden, working alongside our Head Gardener, Josh Taylor who will be advising on chocolate and candy-themed plants for the borders.
We are also planning an exciting water feature which will represent the chocolate river from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory where pupils will be able to explore the physics of water by altering both the flow and water pressure – and water our garden at the same time!
Frewen College, Northiam, East Sussex
01797 252494 frewencollege.co.uk
Gardening at Dulwich Prep Cranbrook
Eco Club at Dulwich Prep
Little gardeners at Dulwich Prep Cranbrook
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