As I hit over 500 followers in my first 6 months of blogging I want to make sure I stick to my roots of championing school gardening; this is one of the jobs I’ve been asked to do by the RHS.
This also ties in with the RHS Campaign for School Gardening’s Rocket Science Experiment this week as the seeds ‘blasted off’ into schools and kids have been busy planting them up.
When I was announced as an RHS Ambassador I spoke about how most subjects could be linked to gardening:
- Maths like counting seeds, measuring seeds, depths of bulbs in the ground
- Literacy like describing the plants using all the senses – smells, taste, feel, the sound, how it looks. A good way of teaching children about ‘personification‘ is by saying the leaves of a sycamore look like a hand because it has 5 points on it.
- Science like how a plant spreads it seeds. Just look at how the rocket science experiment links gardening to science!
- Geography such as the climates of the plants and where different plants come from
- For Environmental Studies we have eco monitors and are really good at recycling
- P.E – well digging is an exercise, it makes you healthy and fit
When I was given the opportunity to talk in the Houses of Parliament, I said that it sometimes gets too hot in a classroom and you feel tired, stuffy and you lose concentration. It’s more fun outside, you feel fresher and the air’s better. It affects your learning, outside wakes you up and when you come back inside you always feel alive and ready to learn. Some kids complain that it’s freezing, but I say it’s the clothes you wear; wear more layers, wear a coat, wear a hat and then you will enjoy it more. It’s also really good exercise and very healthy for you. I know a lot of friends love their Xbox – I’m not saying that you should stop playing it altogether, I’m saying, take 5 minutes, go outside into the garden and get some fresh air and it will make you feel a lot better.
What’s very important about school gardening though is a Head Teacher who believes that gardening should be on the school curriculum and thank goodness Mr H at my school does! Another thing is a good gardening teacher and I’ve got the best in the world, Sarah, she makes learning fun, she’s very patient telling us each stage one step at a time, very slowly. What’s important is she makes things easy to understand, whilst we also have a lot of fun ! I have friends who go to other schools and they don’t do gardening, they don’t have a gardening club and they don’t do forest school – all I can say is “I’m glad I don’t go to their school!”
As I’m leaving primary school this July, I really want to champion and encourage gardening projects at high schools, I think it’s really important that it’s included in the curriculum. The first thing I will do when I start at my new school in September, will be to make sure they are signed up to the RHS Campaign for School Gardening, I’ll tell them how important it is and how good it was at my primary school and what it can do to a child’s life, after all, I’m proof !
RHS Campaign for School Gardening’s Rocket Science Experiment
We have been very excited this week to take part in the very cool Rocket Science Experiment set up by the RHS and the UK Space Agency. 8,000 schools are taking part in the experiment to see how zero gravity affects the growth mechanism in plants. We have sown two packets of seeds VERY carefully and marked each seed in each module with a number and colour code so that we can compare the results of each packet of seeds. We don’t know which seeds went to space so we will have to wait until the end of the experiment to find out, when Tim Peake our very own astronaut reveals which packets were up in space !
I’m still working towards my SAT’s – I’ve decided they stand for Sat’s Are Torture!!!
Finally, Happy 90th Birthday to the Queen, who I met at RHS Chelsea Flower Show last year. It was amazing to meet her and my heart was pounding so loud !