From growing pots of herbs and food for the school canteen to opening a farmers' market in your playground, gardening offers exciting new ways for children of all ages to learn and grow. Garden Organic has been bringing the benefits of gardening to schools, big and small, for over 20 years. Our education programmes help teachers and school professionals to develop gardening projects that teach children where their food comes from, develops their scientific and environmental awareness and encourages them to eat more fruit and vegetables.

Why grow at school?

The most effective food growing schools achieve significant learning, skills, health and well-being outcomes for children and young people. Food growing in schools has a positive impact on the schools, communities, organisations and businesses involved.

The evidence

Food Growing in Schools - taskforce report
Growing our future - the impact of growing food in schools as part of a broader food education program
Good food for all - the impact of the Food for Life.
Information on the benefits of growing food at school for head teachers and class teachers.

Case studies

Baginton School, Growing Enterprise - Ryton Organic Gardens, Coventry
Community Allotment Project - in Barnes, London
Edible playground - in Tower Hamlets, London
Encouraging volunteers in schools - in Flintshire, Wales
Enterprise Food Garden Award winners - in Hackney, London
Gardening for health - in Hackney, London
Gold Food For Life award school - in Greenwich, London
Growing Enterprise project - at Ryton Organic Gardens, Coventry
Growing in a small space - Hammersmith & Fulham, London
Growing in the Community - Camden, London
Growing together for Enterprise - in Flintshire, Wales
Rooftop Growing - in Southwark, South London
Tom, Growing Enterprise project - Ryton Organic Gardens, Coventry
Working with corporate volunteers - Tower Hamlets, London

Classroom resources

Garden Organic's online resources are packed with expert and engaging gardening information specially created for schools. It includes teaching materials, growing cards, handy guides to gardening, educational games and activities. These have been developed as part of the Soil Association Food for Life Programme and include the food growing manual, packed with practical advice to help you get to bronze and beyond.

Courses for School Professionals

Garden Organic is able to run a range of training sessions in regional locations and individual schools or clusters of schools. Many of our courses can be run as whole day events with practical activities, or half day or twilight sessions as more of a general overview.

Educational visits to Ryton Organic Gardens

Ryton Gardens demonstrates a wide range of organic gardening methods, where young people will see a thriving site where vegetables, flowers, shrubs and trees live in harmony with wildlife. This is a great opportunity for an educational day out in Warwickshire, the gardens are a place where many aspects of school learning (science, design and technology, geography, maths) are brought to life in the natural environment.

Food Growing in Schools - London

Food Growing Schools: London aims to support every school in London to become a food growing school and to fully embed food growing into school life. The ultimate aim is to demonstrate how every school (and the community it serves) can benefit from food growing, so that school leaders, staff and volunteers have the skills and confidence to get involved.

Give it a Grow

'Give it a Grow' is an ideal opportunity for staff, pupils and the wider school community to get started with growing their own food. Schools can pledge to give it a grow and then use the resources available on the website to get individuals, classes or parents involved. Registered schools will be contacted by email and will be sent activities to try out and suggestions for involving lots of people, these could include a Growathon, a stall at a summer fete, take home growing kits and lots more.

NB: We will be holding events and making available additional resources for schools in London including recipe and growing cards, seeds - further details will be sent to registered schools. This is made possible by funding from the Big Lottery.

Green Fingered Entrepreneurs

Garden Organic is a partner in this fantastic programme run by Laverstoke Park Education Centre. This programme is designed to aid cross curricular and cross phase partnerships with hands-on horticulturally based social enterprises.

Growing Enterprises Project at Ryton Organic Gardens

The Growing Enterprise Project was established by Garden Organic at Ryton Organic Gardens in September 2013. The project provides opportunities for young people with Special Educational Needs (SEN) and/or challenging behaviour to learn about organic gardening and making horticultural related products for sale within a small enterprise.

Soil Assocation Food for Life

Garden Organic has been involved with the Food for Life programme since 2007. It is all about transforming food culture – making healthy, tasty and sustainable meals the norm, reconnecting people with where their food comes from, teaching them how it’s grown and cooked, and championing the importance of well-sourced ingredients.
Working with thousands of schools, nurseries, hospitals and care homes, helping them build knowledge and skills through a ‘whole setting approach’. This engages pupils and parents, teachers and doctors, caterers and carers, and the wider community to create a powerful voice for long-term change.