Project Learning Garden

Captain Planet Foundation
What is Project Learning Garden™?
Project Learning Garden provides starter kits to schools with everything they need to start or refresh a food growing garden and use it as an outdoor classroom. Project Learning Garden provides schools with hands-on training, curriculum linked resources, raised beds and gardening tools, a fully equipped mobile cooking cart and ongoing support and guidance.
 
What is the aim of Project Learning Garden™?
The aim of Project Learning Garden is to support more teachers to teach outside more often, so that pupils have additional opportunities to learn in a garden as part of their education.
 
We are seeking to enable schools to integrate their school garden into curriculum delivery across a range of subjects. We want to inspire you and provide what you need to deliver these sessions. There is a particular focus on Science, English, Maths, Art and Design (including cooking).
 
Ultimately, PLG promotes environmental responsibility and will help children to develop a palate for fresh fruit and vegetables, setting them up to make healthier choices later in life.
 
What’s new this term?
Our focus this term is on nurturing the gardens, supporting teachers to build skills, confidence and capacity and most importantly, getting the pupils using the learning garden as an outdoor classroom.
The headlines so far…
  • 30 primary schools recruited, including 2 special schools in Merton, Bexley and Southwark.
  • 73 delegates trained at 3 training events.
  • Raised beds and top soil delivered to schools to set up 18 new learning gardens.
  • Garden vouchers provided to 12 schools to reinvigorate or develop their learning gardens.
  • Our schools have an average of 33.8% Pupil premium, the England average is 23.7%. The London average is 28.1%. At the most local level (Borough), our schools have significantly higher than average percentage pupil premium.
    Pupil premium is additional funding for publicly funded schools in England to raise the attainment of disadvantaged pupils of all abilities and to close the gaps between them and their peers. It is used as an indicator of deprivation. For more information visit: www.gov.uk/guidance/pupil-premium-information-for-schools-and-alternative-provision-settings
 
News from our learning gardens…
  • ‘New garden area cleared, getting the community involved to set up the new space’
  • A school held a ‘competition to design the garden’.
  • ‘The Vitamix [included in the kit] has been used to make soup / smoothies for trial sale in our school café.’
  • ‘We have set up a planting timetable and a watering timetable’ (we have shared this example on Google Drive). Each year group has a vegetable/fruit and an allocated week for planting out.
  • ‘Our PTA is helping us to gather people to move the topsoil and borrow wheelbarrows!’
  • ‘We are hosting a grandparent day to install our raised beds and topsoil’
 
Our Resources
We have a range of curriculum linked resources available via our Google Drive. They can be accessed here and will be updated regularly.
 
Take a quick look at ‘Introduction to Go Discover topics’ before you dive in, this should give you a little context (it’s a 1 page document). Please feel free to share it with your colleagues – we hope having it available electronically will enable more teachers to access the resource!
 
Wider Resources
For practical garden-focused activity resources visit our school resources. You'll find a range of games, growing activities, construction projects, wildlife projects, and planning activities and advice.

New to Project Learning Garden? Find out more below…
 
Who started Project Learning Garden™?
The Project Learning Garden programme was first set up by the Captain Planet Foundation in the USA. Captain Planet Foundation is a grant-making foundation that has funded over 2,600 hands-on environmental education projects with schools and non-profits that serve children in all 50 U.S. states and in 25 countries internationally. More than 1.4 million children have directly participated in and benefited from these educational projects.
 
Since 2011, over 340 learning gardens have been set up in the USA, across 10 States.  Due to its success, Project Learning Garden™ is now being piloted by Garden Organic in the UK.
 
Who is delivering Project Learning Garden™ in the UK?
Garden Organic has been promoting an organic approach to gardening and growing for 60 years. Through a range of projects, including Project Learning Garden, we work with individuals, community and schools throughout the UK to fulfil our purpose, which is to get more people growing organically.
 
We currently have 30 schools on board as part of our pilot project, in the London Boroughs of Merton, Bexley and Southwark.
 
Who is funding Project Learning Garden™ in the UK?
Seeds of Change®, who donate 1% of sales to research and promotion of biodiversity and sustainable organic practices, are generously funding this pilot project, making the partnership between Captain Planet Foundation and Garden Organic possible.
 
Seeds of Change is funding 30 schools in London so there is no cost to schools to get involved. The approximate value of the kit is £2,500.
 
Who can get involved?
We have now completed our recruitment for schools as part of our pilot. To express your interest in PLG, please email us at projectlearninggarden@gardenorganic.org.uk. We’d love to know if you’d like to be involved should the programme continue. We will keep your details on our database and keep you informed of any developments.

In the meantime, please take a look at Garden Organic’s educational resources or sign up to Food Growing Schools London – for a range of resources and support.
 
Questions?
Please feel free to get in touch with our Education Team, please email: projectlearninggarden@gardenorganic.org.uk or call 02476 217 747.
Twitter: @PLGardenUK