Merchant Taylors’ Girls’ School Eco-garden and gardening club
03 September 2012
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We started the project to raise environmental awareness!
Our aim was to make a green quiet space for pupils to enjoy the wildlife in an urban environment.
Delivering the project and linking it to the curriculum
The Geography department was instrumental but it was led by the Eco-committee. There was a garden design competition which kick-started the project. A team of about twenty girls got involved in the physical work of transforming the garden.
Getting the pupils involved
They got involved through Eco-committee and gardening club. There was a national competition sponsored by BAE systems and we promoted it in school. One of our girls (H. Vitty) won 1st Prize for her garden design. We went to an awards ceremony and exhibition at Old Trafford. Prize money helped to buy some tools and plants for gardening club.
The school gave a small budget. A local garden centre came and helped us with advice, planting and provided some materials at cost price.
School staff and parents also donated time and some plants. Sixth formers donated an olive tree and the PTA gave funds for raised beds.
Had to stay after school on several evenings. Problem with sycamore saplings ‘taking over’. No one to water vegetables in school holidays. Most of the vegetables were ready after we broke up from school. We gave up on vegetables and moved on to growing herbs as they are easier to maintain.
Benefits of being an Eco-School
It is on-going project as gardening club still meet once a week. The garden is a great resource for all pupils but particularly Year 7 as their form rooms have doors that open and look out onto the garden.
Herbs that are grown in the garden (Thyme, Rosemary, Oregano etc) are cut regularly and supplied to the school kitchens. Local primary schools have been invited to use the Eco-garden and one school has taken up the offer to date.
Measuring the impact
We have a large number of girls in the Eco-committee and in gardening club so the girls must be interested in the garden. In a more general sense, the garden is always clean and tidy and girls that use it obviously appreciate it and want to keep it nice!
Using the Pod’s resources
We have taken part in the Pod’s Waste Week campaign.
Educational resources used
Keep your project small, simple and achievable!
We are continuing to work on our Eco-garden and have just produced a new reusable school water bottle that sold well at the new year 7 parents’ evening. We are also going to help Stanfield (our junior school) to gain Green Flag status next year.
Local Authority support
An outside speaker from the Local Authority gave a school assembly on reducing, reusing and recycling.