The January edition of FundEd Magazine has a feature on Katrina’s Garden inside. Written by our own Mrs Keen, the magazine will be out in January. The text from the article can be found below.
‘Our small courtyard garden was built 10 years ago, as a memorial for a pupil who sadly passed away. Since then, the garden has become a beautiful oasis for staff and students in our busy secondary school.
The garden consists of a series of allotment plots, as well as a small orchard. We also have a wildflower meadow, a willow-growing area and willow structures, a pond, a tyre-wall for flowers, and flower borders at the front and rear of the school. Andrew, a dedicated volunteer runs a weekly after-school gardening club, which becomes more popular each year. He is the husband of one of our retired teachers and came in to work on our garden following his retirement. The children help him with any jobs that need doing, including planting and weeding. They also take part in cooking lessons, looking at a new recipe each week and using the produce they have grown in the garden.
The garden is a great way to teach our students about self-sufficiency by growing their own produce, nutrition, the importance of a balanced diet, the seasonality of food production, as well as teamwork. They’re also developing an interest in wildlife and the environment, and learning about the benefits of composting and recycling. All these skills link with the school’s curriculum, too.
Our produce is used in the school canteen and by the Food Technology department, which saves us buying ingredients elsewhere – the school’s extensive herb garden is especially popular. The children also fundraise by selling seeds, compost and tools, as well as vegetables, homemade jam and chutney, and plants. Local gardening schemes and other schools also buy bundles of cut willow from our willow-growing area. We raise around £150 a year, which may not seem like a lot, but the club is less about making money and more about teaching pupils new and valuable skills.
We are very proud of our garden, and it has even won us five gold awards in the last two years at the Portsmouth in Bloom competition. It truly is a little piece of heaven amongst the hustle and bustle of a successful school.’
Anne Keen, Medical and Safeguarding Support Worker, Admiral Lord Nelson School