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 - here is the the evidence and our case studies.
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.
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.
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.
Move More, Eat Well is a new project running from 2017/19 within the wards of Longbridge, Cofton, Northfield and Rubery (North and South) in the West Midlands. The project is made up of a programme of free events, support, activities and opportunities to help residents, community groups and schools feel healthier.
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.
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.
Project Learning Garden encourages and supports schools to set up and use gardens as an extension to the indoor classroom. By enabling more teachers to take their classes outdoors, more pupils will have the chance to work in the garden and cook the food they harvest. PLG is a one-stop shop for schools who want to integrate gardening and cooking into the school day.
'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.