Grange Over Sands, Cumbria
Dean Barwick already has some growing areas but wants to do more, so this year’s action plan aims to develop a pond and wildlife area, to create a musical/sensory path and to re-vamp the greenhouse area. Parents are heavily involved with many keen gardeners willing to provide plants or horse manure, to loan specialist tools, and contribute time and labour for building, and watering in the holidays. The Learning Support Assistant is project managing the greenhouse area and the sensory/musical path, and there are several other members of staff with a good working knowledge of gardening.
The children have completed topics and workshops relating to healthy eating, life cycles and wildlife. From these discussions the children decided that they need to encourage more wildlife into the school grounds, including bees and butterflies as these are in decline. They are also aware that we all need a healthy and balanced diet, including five fruit and vegetables a day, and have decided which ones they want to grow. For the musical/sensory path they are currently looking into a range of instruments that can be made out of recycled products and will stand up to the weather throughout the year.
Good ideas from Dean Barwick
Get inspiration from local gardens such as National Trust properties. Dean Barwick also visited the kitchen gardens of a local hotel, the Beatrix Potter garden and Growing Well, a local social enterprise growing organic fruit and vegetables
A writing-with-symbols package can help make information sheets accessible to children with special needs
BBC Breathing Places can provide funding for environmental projects and have contributed £10,000 to the pond area at Dean Barwick