Hi, my name is Fran Lee and I am a Teaching Assistant at High Storrs.
In the past we have run very small scale gardening projects with students on the SEN (Special Educational Needs) register. These projects have proved to be very successful and the pupils thoroughly enjoyed them. In these projects we are able to cover a variety of curriculum including; English, Maths, Science, IT and Art/Creative Skills, whilst educating pupils about environmental issues. The projects help develop social skills, build confidence and have very calming and therapeutic effect.
This year we are aiming to start the project up again but on a larger scale with a view to it becoming a permanent, all year round piece of work. We have been given a large plot of land within the school grounds to use and we have a lot of ideas for it in the long term – these include growing fruit, vegetable and flowers; making our own compost; designing and building the compost bins; solar and wind power projects; creating a sensory garden; raised beds for wheelchair users; making bird boxes; attracting a variety of wildlife; constructing a greenhouse out of drinks bottles; building a barbeque and a pizza oven and designing a system to collect rainwater.
The project is aimed at pupils on the SEN register and disaffected pupils in need a new challenge, however we will encourage other pupils to get involved too. It has the scope to build confidence and raise self-esteem, whilst simultaneously creating a sense of pride and ownership of the school. This will be a great opportunity for students with little of no access to a garden at home to learn new skills.
It is important for young people to understand the importance of looking after the environment and learn about self-sufficiency and we believe that this project will be invaluable to them – it’s learning while having fun!
Similarly, we believe that schools should be seen to be setting the right example, not only to the pupils and their parents, but to the local community as well. We want to show what can be done through recycling and care for the environment and believe that the students involved will become advocates as they will so quickly see the visible results of their work giving them a real sense of pride.
We aim to produce as many resources ourselves as possible, but there will be some items that we will need to purchase, such as a secure shed and some tools. To aid this we will be contacting gardening and hardware businesses asking for their help and support, but if you are able to help in any way at all we would really appreciate it. We are seeking donations of old tools, plant pots, seeds, wellies, DIY and gardening books, gloves (basically anything that could be of use!) or monetary donations.
If you need any more information, would like to be involved or have any donations please be in touch - firstname.lastname@example.org