Thursday 25 June 2015
Thanks to the efforts of pupils at The Willow Primary School and The Brook Special Primary School in recruiting parents and carers to take part in their Get Your Grown-ups Growing day, this spring the learning campus they share in Tottenham was transformed with more than 1,000 daffodil bulbs in bloom.
• TV presenter David Domoney presented The Willow Primary School and The Brook Special Primary School with £4,000 Hartley Botanic greenhouse
• Schools held joint all-day growing event with more than 115 parents and carers helping pupils to plant more than 1,000 daffodil bulbs
• More than 1,500 schools took part in RHS-run initiative aimed at encouraging people of all generations to get gardening together
The new greenhouse is the perfect environment to try out growing skills ©RHS
To mark their success in the nationwide initiative – organised by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Campaign for School Gardening – the schools have taken charge of a top-of-the-range Hartley Botanic greenhouse, which was presented by TV presenter David Domoney on Monday. Worth £4,000, the splendid greenhouse will form the centrepiece of a shared outdoor horticultural area, and allow pupils from both schools the opportunity to sow, watch, smell and taste an even broader range of home-grown fruit and vegetables throughout the school year.
As part of their Get Your Grown-ups Growing efforts, pupils held a day of back-to-back lessons outdoors, covering everything from weeding to preparing raised beds for winter vegetables, labelling up freshly sown seeds and even games inspired by nature. The day culminated with enlisting the help of more than 115 grown-ups to plant daffodil bulbs in an area at the front of the schools, providing a riot of colour and a showcase for some of their growing talents to passers-by.
Both schools form part of the Broadwaters Inclusive Learning Community on the Broadwater Farm Estate, serving Tottenham’s diverse community. Most families on this north London estate have no outdoor space of their own suitable for growing, so initiatives such as this provide a valuable way for families to engage in gardening together.
Of their success, Dawn Ferdinand, Head Teacher of The Willow Primary School and Margaret Sumner, Head Teacher of The Brook Special Primary School, said: “It is wonderful to be working with the RHS Campaign for School Gardening and Hartley Botanic on this project for our whole school community. We had an amazing planting day last October with over 100 families from both schools participating. Our parent volunteer, Jude Norden, has been an integral part of creating the outdoor classroom space for children where the greenhouse is located, ensuring that it is accessible for the whole Broadwaters' school community. Jude has also been the prime worker with children – each child finds a place in the outdoor classroom from loving the sensory experience, to selling and harvesting the produce. The local community benefits, too, as we supply the local Hub Café with our produce. We are planning the first sale of vegetables/herbs grown by children to their families, giving them a chance to use freshly grown products in exciting community recipes. We also, of course, grow our own produce for the school kitchen which the children eat every day. We feel incredibly privileged to have this greenhouse for both the present and future Broadwaters’ community.”
David Domoney, TV presenter and supporter of the RHS Campaign for School Gardening, said: “Through their participation in the RHS Get Your Grown-ups Growing initiative, these schools have shown just what can be achieved when people of all ages work together to benefit their local environment. I’m a huge supporter of the RHS Campaign for School Gardening, and Get Your Grown-ups Growing is just one way the campaign can help to encourage schools – and the communities they serve – to discover the fun to be had outside, as well as the benefits that gardening can bring to a child’s development.”
Schools’ Communications Officer, RHS Campaign for School Gardening, Alana Tapsell, said: “Gardens are incredibly valuable to schools and can really help pupils develop skills and get closer to the environment they live in. Hosting events such as these is a fantastic way to encourage the community to pitch in, share knowledge and resources and keep things growing.”
Notes to editors
Throughout October, schools right across the UK rallied local grown-ups to help put together an event for RHS Get Your Grown-ups Growing. More than 1,500 schools signed up to the initiative, each receiving a free support pack containing a collection pack of lettuce, spinach and pumpkin seeds courtesy of King’s Seeds, stickers, posters and useful event ideas and information.
For more information on Get Your Grown-ups Growing or the RHS Campaign for School Gardening, contact Alana Tapsell, Schools’ Communications Officer on firstname.lastname@example.org or Adam Budhram in the RHS Press Office on 020 7821 3366 email@example.com.
About the RHS Campaign for School Gardening
The RHS actively involves around 19,000 schools across the UK in growing and gardening through its Campaign for School Gardening. Children are taught about plants and gardening and their environment. Through gardening they learn about healthy fruit and vegetables, wildlife and important life skills such as teamwork, social skills and co-operation. Huge benefits are to be had from using an outdoor classroom where children can learn in a fun, engaging way. Information, lesson plans and advice for schools is provided online and is backed up by support from the RHS education team and Campaign for School Gardening Regional Advisors. rhs.org.uk/schoolgardening
About the RHS
The Royal Horticultural Society was founded in 1804 by Sir Joseph Banks and John Wedgwood to inspire passion and excellence in the science, art and practice of horticulture. Our vision is to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener, healthier, happier and more beautiful place. We believe everyone in every village, town and city should benefit from growing plants to enhance lives, build stronger, healthier, happier communities and create better places to live.
We held our first flower shows in 1820, were granted a Royal Charter in 1861 and acquired RHS Garden Wisley, our flagship garden, in 1903. From our first meetings in a small room off London’s Piccadilly, we have grown to become the world’s largest gardening charity. At our gardens and shows and through our scientific research, publications, libraries and our education and community programmes we inspire a passion for gardening and growing plants, promote the value of gardens, demonstrate how gardening is good for us and explain the vital roles that plants undertake.
The RHS is committed to bring the joy of gardening to millions more people, inspire the next generation of gardeners and invest in the future to safeguard a £10.4 billion industry employing over 300,000 people. We are entirely funded by our members, visitors and supporters. RHS membership is for anyone with an interest in gardening. Support the RHS and help us secure a healthy future for gardening. For more information call: 020 3176 5820, or visit www.rhs.org.uk/join
RHS Registered Charity No. 222879/SC038262