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Seven reasons why gardening has helped these youngsters in Snape

PUBLISHED: 07:30 09 February 2019

Snape Primary School have won an RHS award for gardening.  Sarah Gallagher with some of the children in their new outdoor space    Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Snape Primary School have won an RHS award for gardening. Sarah Gallagher with some of the children in their new outdoor space Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Archant

Pupils at Snape Primary School have been using their green fingers to good effect and have been given a top award by the RHS, but what impact has the project had on pupils?

They get away from screens

In the summer the school estimate that pupils spend two half days a week outside whilst still taking part in the rest of the curriculum.

“It’s obviously very healthy for them to go outside in a climate of being stuck on a computer all the time,” said headteacher Sarah Gallagher.

“They have naturally enjoyed the hard work.”

Rhys exploring the forest school at Snape Primary   Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNRhys exploring the forest school at Snape Primary Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

One youngster added: “I love forest schools because I like climbing trees and being free.”

They are working together

All 45 of the school’s pupils are involved in the project and so, as a result, they have to work together to ensure the vegetables bloom.

Joseph in the woodland area at Snape Primary  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNJoseph in the woodland area at Snape Primary Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

They are given responsibilities and learning key skills

From sowing seeds to watering the plants, the children are expected to be out in all weathers to help the garden succeed.

The staff at the school have seen changes in the pupils as a result of spending time outside and being involved in the long time growing of vegetables.

Kane enjoying the new outdoor space  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNKane enjoying the new outdoor space Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

“It helps them with being patient,” said Mrs Gallagher, “There’s a process and I think it helps them understand.”

They get to eat the fruits of their labour

One of the most important aspects of setting up the garden was making sure that the children would be able to make the most of their garden before they broke up for the summer.

The school decided to grow vegetables and flowers that the children would be able to sow and watch grow.

The school grow lettuces which are turned into salads for the children by the cook in the summer.

Pupils also grew sweetpeas and had particular success with radishes.

“There were thousands of radishes,” said Mrs Gallagher.

“The cook ended up recreating Masterchef by cooking them three different ways.”

They are getting involved with their community

Without the help of pupils, parents and community group Green Snape, the garden would never have been brought back into use.

“We had lots of volunteers,” said Mrs Gallagher.

Now they are going back to the community to share the results of the work by selling potatoes at Aldeburgh Food and Drink Festival.

They are planning for the future

With the money they receive from selling potatoes and from securing the RHS award students have been at the heart of the process of planning for the garden’s future and helping to decide what happens next.

They get to play

“I think the best thing that we have seen watching them just at play,” said Mrs Gallagher.

“It’s about being free.”

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