A LINK with a local garden centre has proved a big success for Cherry Garden Primary School.
Headteacher Tom Hutchings has been taking a group of ten pupils to That Plant Place for an after-school gardening club throughout the summer term.
Each week, the children have learned new facts and skills from the centre’s owner, Dean, and followed up on previous planting projects. As well as growing potatoes, radishes and giant sunflowers – which have now gone home to be cared for over the holidays – crown prince pumpkins and more, the children have learned about tendrils, how to create new plants from strawberry runners and how to use companion plants.
They have tasted foods such as broad beans, redcurrants and red gooseberries straight from the plant.
Mr Hutchings said: “The children have loved learning from an expert in a different environment and seeing how their plants and projects have grown over the weeks. Several of the children have already started their own growing projects at home as a result of the club.
“Dean is a total natural with the children and they have loved every minute. We have even created herb hanging baskets that have come back to school. As an added bonus, Dean is a keen golfer and the children have had a go on the putting green in his garden and met Monty the grey parrot who lives with Dean.
“We are always looking for ways in which we can engage with the local community and enhance the curriculum experience for the children. This project has achieved exactly what we wanted – the children have found out new skills and passions and got to know people and businesses on the doorstep.
Dean visited the school’s summer fair and there are plans for more collaborative projects including vegetable planters and a new pond and wildlife area at the school.