The Goldthorpe Primary School in Barnsley, South Yorkshire has a very special asset – their very own school allotment, where the pupils are able to take part in growing plants and learning about the natural world. The allotment has become an important resource which is tied into the curriculum and has also become a popular lunchtime activity and an after-school Eco gardening club.
The allotment has been great for the pupils, because they have been able to get out of the classroom and learn through hands-on experience at every stage of the growing process. The school has seen a positive difference in behaviour across the different classes because the children have the opportunity to work outside, use tools and do things they may not have got the opportunity to do if it wasn’t for the allotment.
During gardening sessions, they have planted over 800 trees which will both provide food and habitat for local wildlife. This work has also been recognised by the Woodland Trust and they are currently a Gold Green Tree School.
The school hosts three Eco after school clubs each week which are attended by 30 children in total and it is the most popular after school club they offer. They have vast areas of wildflower meadow meadows around school to promote pollinators as a Polli-Nation School and this is something they are really proud of.
As a green flag Eco-School, they upcycle waste materials such as tyres and chimney pots to expand their growing capacity turning waste materials into useful planters. This is achieved by 240 pupils of all ages.
School-grown school dinner's
The school also grow food which features within their school meals and this has enabled them to achieve the RHS level 5 gardening school standard. They have used the food produced in school to make soup and chutneys which they donate to their local food bank during popular periods to help support families in need, many of which are linked to the school.
Plans in the pipeline
The plan for the next 12 months to have an additional polytunnel to enable them to be even more hands on with growing on a daily basis through their continuous outdoor provision. Within this time, they aim to increase the growing capacity with 8 additional raised beds located at the front of school as a potential start to an incredible edible network. They also want to start their own nursery within an unused area of tarmac which will be used to grow trees, plants and shrubs as part of their enterprise projects.
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