Headteacher of Market Rasen C of E Primary School, Andrew Smith explains how the grant is helping to develop a ‘Discover and Do’ sensory garden.
Learning is all about understanding the environment around you. Building a new sensory garden will help our pupils to understand where their food comes from.
Last year we built a kitchen in the school to provide hot meals for our children. We now hold lessons for pupils on cooking and nutrition. We also hold family learning classes with the same aims. We have pupils who have never made a sandwich who are now aware of where their food grows and how to prepare a simple meal.
It’s a natural step for us to start growing our own food at school. With the help of the Bags of Help grant from Tesco, we will redevelop our vegetable garden. It will be a sensory, working kitchen garden. The children will be able to grow their own food in a natural, outside learning environment. It is important for children to understand about their own wellbeing.
The garden will have two areas. In the kitchen garden, children will see where fruit and vegetables come from. They will work on the plot planting and nurturing the crops. They will see the food they grow cooked in our kitchen. The second area will be a sensory garden with seating for a whole class. We'll have a pond with a water feature and a raised gravel area with sensory plants and a wildlife wall.
The Bags of Help grant will also fund gardening equipment to maintain both areas. The plants and trees will encourage wildlife such as bees and butterflies. We’re planning for the garden to be in use by spring next year. The children are already enthused by the cooking classes. The kitchen garden will enhance their education and experiences.
Bags of Help is a great community scheme. The children benefit, the community can benefit and the environment benefits too.