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Sustainable communities

Edible Playgrounds

We are delighted to have been working in partnership with the team at Trees for for Cities to deliver The Edible Playgrounds programme in the West Midlands.
Broad bean plants growing on bike wheels being used as trellis
The Edible Playgrounds Programme transforms school grounds into vibrant outdoor teaching gardens that get children excited about growing and eating healthy food.

Creating teaching gardens

Garden Organic has a successful track record of educational growing programmes in schools. The Edible Playgrounds Programme with Trees for Cities transforms school grounds into vibrant outdoor teaching gardens that inspire hands-on learning and get children excited about growing and eating healthy food. They help improve health and wellbeing, open up access to nature, and provide a fun outdoor learning environment that supports cross-curriculum teaching.

Design, build, planting, training and support

The Edible Playgrounds programme offers a comprehensive service comprising engagement of the whole school community, design, build, planting with pupils, teacher training, and planning support throughout the academic year. Garden Organic delivers the teacher training planning and support element of the programme.

The uniqueness and value of the programme lies in embedding food-growing into the school curriculum across all subjects so that teachers learn to teach through gardening, not to become gardeners themselves. This approach builds teachers’ skills and confidence to use their Edible Playground in fresh, innovative ways as an outdoor teaching resource.

Peas growing at Edible Playground project
Pea harvest at our Edible Playgrounds project in the Midlands.

Flexible teacher training

The programme offers a lively, engaging, multi-sensory way to teach children about growing and eating healthy food through the Edible Playground programme.

By adding a Moodle based, online resource pack to our schools programme we have been able to provide teachers with increased flexibility and use of a wider range of visual and interactive learning resources to support their classroom and garden based activities.

Marie Parsons is a higher level teaching assistant at Lyng Primary School in the West Midlands and an Edible Playgrounds support tutor working with 10-11 year olds. Having established a food growing container garden onsite, Marie has been able to use the online digital resources in a number of creative ways to support staff and students.

From the Moodle website, I particularly like looking at the 'jobs to do each month' and the Crop Cards. I have copied a selection of these ready for when teachers and children ask for help. When I have been on the Moodle site, I found a wealth of information which is great. During January, I worked with Year 5 and Year 6 to design a seed packet and used the template from Moodle. We linked this activity to Art, DT and Maths and the children were very much engaged. The overall winner received a gift voucher to spend!

— Marie Parsons, High Level Teaching Assistant, Lyng Primary School, West Bromwich