Project Learning Garden has helped set up learning gardens in 30 primary schools as part of our pilot project, in the London Boroughs of Merton, Bexley and Southwark.
We have trained over 75 delegates, including teachers, caretakers, senior leaders, Governors, parents and volunteers. We have delivered 30 gardening, cooking and curriculum kits to our schools – providing everything they need to start or refresh a food growing space. In addition to hands-on training, we provide curriculum linked resources and ongoing support and guidance.
So far we have been focused on helping our 30 new garden coordinators to build and nurture their learning gardens, supporting teachers to build skills, confidence and capacity and most importantly, getting the pupils using the learning garden as an outdoor classroom.
Schools have set up new gardening clubs, held design competitions and hosted grandparent gardening days to set up the raised beds. Some have set up planting timetables, others have had cooking sessions with the catering staff. We have also been visiting schools during the summer term to help tailor our support and model how to deliver sessions in the garden, from sensory scavenger hunts to creative story writing.
Approximately 4000 pupils have used the learning gardens so far, and about 60% of the schools have done cooking or tasting sessions to sample the food they have grown. Nearly two thirds of schools have used the garden to deliver curriculum based activities.
It has been a busy year and we are excited to be able to support our network of schools from September. Project Learning Garden has been running successfully in the USA since 2011; Garden Organic has been the delivery partner for the UK pilot, which is funded by Seeds of Change.
See some great photos from two participating schools here.