St Benedicts school in Birmingham has it’s green thumbs wrapped firmly around a new award.
The school has been the proud winner of Community Education Award for Green Awareness, thanks to their fantastic school gardening project.
Slap bang in inner city Birmingham surrounded by high levels of deprivation and not many safe, green spaces around. The staff at St Benedicts resolved to make their own, Jodi Winter of the school explained that “Our children often never leave Small Heath during term or holidays apart from on school trips and therefore, they lead sadly, very sheltered lives with little understanding or care for the environment.”
The aims of the project therefore, were to provide children with access to outdoor learning, to nurture and encourage a passion to protect the environment and also to engage parents and the community, encouraging them to get interested too. Thus, the school gardening club was born.
Working with what little space was available, the school created a garden patch for students to get started on.Students soon got stuck in, learning how to grow vegetables and give wildlife a home at the school. Everyone was working tirelessly to sow, water and harvest the schools very own fruit and veg. Side projects such as creating minibeast houses, bird boxes and bee friendly areas were also established.
Soon students and teachers, having harvested a bounty of crops, began selling their local produce to the community. Getting the community involved worked in two ways: helping reach the initial goal of getting more parents and adults involved in the environment, but also began helping English second language pupils build their social confidence.
The creation and application of the school garden and gardening club has been a roaring success. Teachers and school staff have begun their own gardens at home, and have begun bringing in their own spare seedlings and veg. The workshops that have been run for parents have also had an impact, with students reporting that they’re now growing at home as well. The school has absolutely succeeded in creating a budding generation of little gardeners, and also a wider community of focus around the environment in an area previously untouched.