September 28th, 2012 by Bedell Group
More than 40 delegates from 14 Guernsey schools, and a Jersey school, attended a Royal Horticultural Society Campaign for School Gardening seminar to inspire teachers and parents in school gardens, and to provide ideas and resources for their gardening and growing initiatives as part of the Bedell Little Green Fingers Schools’ Project – in association with Floral Guernsey.
Teachers, PTA members, parents and teaching assistants, attended the session on Saturday 22 September at St Andrew’s Primary School, organised by Ann Wragg, Floral Guernsey schools’ coordinator.
RHS regional advisors Alison Findlay and Anne Gunning provided ideas and resources for gardening and growing initiatives to develop school grounds for growing, wildlife and learning, as well as teaching tools to incorporate science and maths in the garden.
St Andrew’s Primary School headteacher Linda Paley said “what a fantastic turnout on a Saturday morning as teachers and parents were clearly prepared to give their free time to gain ideas to help improve their school’s gardening activities and enhance the curriculum.”
“I think what is really important about the success of today’s event is that not only have we benefitted, but the children in our schools will also gain from this experience. What today has shown is the strength of the Guernsey community and enthusiasm for gardening in schools with support from Bedell and Floral Guernsey,” she said.
Schools will be encouraged to host an event in October 2012 when grandparents, parents, carers and friends are invited to help in their garden.
Mrs Wragg said “I am delighted with the response to the seminar and the buzz of new ideas it brought.”
“I hope that gardening will become an integral part of school curricula with all the resource opportunities it can bring and give children the advantages of learning outside the classroom,” she said.
All delegates also were also encouraged to engage their school in the RHS Campaign for School Gardening Benchmarking Scheme, which provides a step-by-step guide to developing a school garden, encourages the setting of goals and provides motivation to garden, helps make gardening a regular part of school life and progress is rewarded with certificates, seeds, tools, vouchers and other gardening goodies.
Ms Findlay said she had thoroughly enjoyed her first visit to the island.
“We have gained a lot from this session and enjoyed working with more than 200 children over at three different schools.”
“We would love to see replicated in the UK what we have seen here, especially regarding the tremendous support from Floral Guernsey and the sponsors, Bedell Cristin,” she said.
Attendees had the opportunity to put their wellies on and view St Andrew’s Primary School’s environmental area with Jubilee trail, bird hide, pond and outdoor classroom.
Marcus Cooper, education officer, early/primary years said “I think the seminar was very useful. Not only did the delegates gain insight from the RHS advisors, but were able to exchange ideas and look at examples of what’s going on in the gardens of many of our island’s primary schools.”
“What I’d like the attendees to get out of the seminar is to continue the hard work that is already evident in our schools’ gardens and environmental spaces,” he said.
The RHS regional advisors also visited three of the island’s primary and infant schools on Friday 21 September 2012 to hold workshops with the children.
To volunteer for Bedell Little Green Fingers Schools’ Project or find out more, please contact Ann Wragg by email at a.hw @ clara.co.uk