The winners of National Children’s Gardening Week’s schools gardening competition are excited to be a part of the ‘Helping Children Grow’ exhibit at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019 taking place this week.
The ‘Helping Children Grow’ exhibit features in the Discovery Zone of the Great Pavilion at the show. The exhibit promotes National Children’s Gardening Week (NCGW), which takes place between 25 May - 2 June 2019, and is co-ordinated by the Horticultural Trades Association and supported by National Garden Gift Vouchers (NGGVs).
Schools were invited to take part in a square metre gardening competition to get more children gardening and outside enjoying nature. To get involved in the competition schools simply needed to create a square metre plot for pupils to grow seeds or young plants in. They then shared pictures of their plots and the benefits their pupils get from school gardening on NCGW’s Facebook page (facebook.com/nationalchildrensgardeningweek).
The award for the best school garden went to Ysgol Pen Y Bryn, Colwyn Bay, with a prize of £250 NGGVs to spend on their next school gardening project. The children at Ysgol Pen Y Bryn have learned a lot about the care of growing plants, flowers and vegetables and enjoyed caring for them. Some children don't get to do gardening in their own time and have really enjoyed the experience and look forward to seeing how their garden progresses.
Three runners up each received £100 NGGVs. These schools were:
Dame Dorothy Primary School in Sunderland - Their school re-cycling project has helped to provide positive mental wellbeing whilst also being a fun activity for the children.
Fyvie Primary School in Fyvie – As part of their gardening project the school children worked in teams, built resilience, learned about plant life cycles and what plants need to grow healthy. They also learned to care for plants, taking responsibility and learning about healthy eating, food miles and seasonality.
Edward Francis Primary in Rayleigh – Their project supported the learning of plant life cycles, the natural environment, nutrition and encouraged hands on experience of growing healthy food to harvest for the school kitchen, making the connection between growing food and healthy diets.
An additional prize of £100 NGGVs went to St Patricks RC Primary in Sunderland for its work with a local hospice. As part of their Easter celebrations, the children wrote out their Lenten promises and hung them on newly planted fruit trees and as well as planting trees in the hospice grounds.
The winners’ efforts along with all the entrants will be on show via digital display on the ‘Helping Children Grow’ exhibit. The exhibit also features fun and inspiring projects such as edible planters, a pizza wheel, runner bean tipis and a wildlife hotel.
School gardening can have a positive benefit on factors such as mental wellbeing, physical health, social skills and behaviour. An independent survey shows that out of 402 head and deputy head teachers 94% agree that gardening has a positive impact on children. Despite this consensus on the benefits of gardening, schools need more help. Primary schools typically have just 33p per pupil to spend on school gardening; teachers report a need for more funding, volunteers, and materials to draw upon that link school gardening to the curriculum.
With this in mind, the square metre gardening competition was launched.
For more information visit www.childrensgardeningweek.co.uk/schoolsDame Dorothy.jpg
Ysgol Pen Y Bryn.jpg