Move to get gardening onto the primary curriculum

The Sunday Times is reporting on a school’s upcoming call for gardening to be made compulsory on the primary curriculum after the impact it has had on its pupils.

The children at the school, Grassmoor Primary School near Chesterfield, Derbyshire, not only garden and grow their own food, they then cook it as part of school meals. This has led, the report adds, to many children eating and enjoying food they would never have touched previously. 

While this school is lucky in having a school field that opens onto allotments, the chair of governors Andrew Bradley says benefits can be had from much simpler set ups and is quoted:

“We are lucky we have an allotment, but even in the inner city you can create gardens out of hanging pots, window boxes and living walls.”

Bradley is introducing a motion at the upcoming ATL conference to make gardening part of the primary curriculum, and is further quoted:

“Children need to understand the link between the foods they cook and where the foods came from. They need to learn about healthy foods, and we have seen that when they grow these foods themselves, they are much more likely to eat them.”

The paper notes that if gardening does become compulsory in primary schools, it will “crown a long campaign by chefs and celebrity gardeners as well as teachers”, quoting figures such as Jamie Oliver, Alan Titchmarsh and Raymond Blanc, the later who says:

“We have a wonderful opportunity to truly reconnect with food. We need to engage with the outside world, with our gardens and the life within them. Children need to learn the simple magic of taking food from the seed, from the earth or from the rivers and then to transform it into something simple and delicious.”

More at: Let children go to seed (subscription may be required)

 

Is gardening something that happens at your/your child’s school?

If so, what impact do you think it has and what tips would you have for getting children engaged with it?

And what do you make of the calls for gardening to become a compulsory subject?

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Categories: Health and Primary.

Comments

  1. Mirror_Assembly

    Gardening teaches patience, and can contribute massively to pupil mental well-being. For me, the issue is what/who empowered the staff to find the conviction to give up some curriculum time to be confident to devote time to something that the school believes is essential.  Then how can this courage to “do something differently” be shared?

  2. Mirror_Assembly

    Gardening teaches patience, and can contribute massively to pupil mental well-being. For me, the issue is what/who empowered the staff to find the conviction to give up some curriculum time to be confident to devote time to something that the school believes is essential.  Then how can this courage to “do something differently” be shared?

  3. Kathfanderson

    SchoolsImprove Great proposal for fun, productive, accessible learning. Some of today’s 6-yr-olds may have to grow own food of necessity!

  4. Anyone interested in introducing gardening and/or cooking to their school should visit Charlton Manor Primary in Greenwich, where they teach a wide range of learning including maths and science via their garden, nearby allotment and on-site bespoke teaching kitchen. 
    They don’t just eat their home-grown produce themselves, they also serve it to their local community, who come in for lunch. Pupils are the waiters, thereby learning about social behaviour.

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