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Wicor horticultural primary school

FireFire Posts: 17,116
edited May 2021 in Wildlife gardening
This is an interesting (state) school which teaches horticulture and has planted orchards, flower and veg beds. They offer veg boxes from the produce they grow and work with local chefs. They run glasshouses, bee hives, allotment space, polytunnels, being committed to widen biodiversity. Veg boxes, school made teas and soap sales help to fund the work.  They receive support from local garden centres and are backed by the RHS.

One of the most striking comments in the Roots and All podcast (above) was that having set aside gardening time for the children gave the kids time to learn how to have conversations. Without screens or phones or tight scheduled "activities" the kids can potter and chat in the gardens. It's deeply depressing that children are growing up not knowing how to have a conversation. They get to learn about beetles and other insect life cycles, how soils work and be outside, working closely with their local community.

This is such a great school infrastructure, well funded over ten years.


  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Posts: 11,195
    It's a shame not more schools are like that Fire.
    North East Somerset - Clay soil over limestone
  • FireFire Posts: 17,116
    All very inspiring. It's a shame more school don't twin with allotments.
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,158
    The RHS has been running a schools programme for years, providing info and practical support to teachers to help them use gardening activities to teach across the curriculum. 
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • NorthernJoeNorthernJoe Posts: 660
    Sounds like a variation of forest schools. I'm a bit fan of forest schools. My son's school had an amazing space around the school but due to a tired head teacher bereft of ideas nothing but done with the space. They even had a teacher half qualified in teaching at forest schools too. Indeed when school resumed after first lockdown they tried to not open because they couldn't get enough space for just the three year bubbles. However other schools with less space were teaching under gazebo tents or parachute shelters. His new school had fully opened not just the three years the government tried to open with.

    Sorry, rant over. It's a big bugbear of mine the way some primary schools are so bad at making use of the resources they have or could have. Every school can teach outdoors more. Every school can grow more than just a runner bean in a roll of blotting paper in a plastic cup. Every school can get out into any open spaces near them. Even towns and cities have green spaces and even mini nature reserves nearby. The potential is only exploited for the benefit of kids when the head teacher has a vision, imagination and drive. There's too many timid head teachers afraid to take the lead. Too many waiting for retirement too.

    Did you know in Norway even as young as pre school spend most of their day outside? I know of places who take kids as young as 3 and 4 into the hills in winter to ski and learn outside. Summer they do the same. Come rain or shine! It's not considered unusual or wrong.
  • FireFire Posts: 17,116
    As I understand, Wicor is just a regular primary school but they have the land close to grow on.
  • NorthernJoeNorthernJoe Posts: 660
    There's a nearby school to us with a bit of ground that has a decent growing area set aside. Another one night the neighbouring field to create a play field with football pitch and playground but I heard the plan is to have a growing area too. Easier for places next to farmland though. Our kids school is in the middle of houses in the village. There is a large open space end of the road that I think it's parish council owned. The cricket, football, bowls and tennis club use it along with school and there's a playground too. School uses it for sports but no growing area possible. School grounds have been nibbled away by expansion of classrooms over the years. Can't nick any more or there's no playground for them.

    It's annoying there's a great school, well run who could make a great use of a large site but it doesn't have one. Then there's another school 15 minutes drive away with a huge site but no inclination from head and staff to make good use of it. Wasted opportunities like that are probably around the nation. The school that doesn't use it's excellent resource that is it's site size is in the middle of a town. There's two other primary schools within 5 minutes walk of each other. The other two dont have quite the same space but they have decent growing areas, playgrounds and other things. Basically making good use of less resources. One school was in even more financial difficulties but still managed to do more.

    If you have a good leader in the head teacher with drive and imagination your kids school will do more your things.

    PS our kids school is planning a bushcraft sessions for years 3 and 4 shortly. At a nearby nature reserve with the resources of the charity running it helping.
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