As we approach the next lockdown phase, Chiswick School is really fortunate to have access to the outdoors. We are continuing to take three separate groups of students to the plot where they learn how to maintain and plant their own produce, keep the plot tidy and watch new life grow.
Despite the brisk autumn mornings, the three groups of gardening fanatics have started to prepare the soil ready for planting in the coming months. The Year 9 group were particularly keen on mulching the soil with manure from the horses at Buckingham Palace, whilst the Year 7 students have enjoyed improving the appearance of the plot, edging areas with fancy borders kindly donated to us by a parent. Over the half term, one Year 7 boy impressed his family by using his newly acquired skills to maintain his own garden.
Over the half-term, we had the pleasure of hosting a group of runners from The Good Gym, Hounslow who volunteered by torchlight, digging over and weeding vast areas of the plot. Arriving after an evening 5km run, the group switched on their floodlight and spent an hour preparing the ground for new growth. We would like to say a huge thank you to those who took part in this session!
The allotment team would like to thank all the teachers and volunteers who have encouraged students to gain the most from these weekly sessions. You can follow the students' hard work and progress on the plot on Twitter/Instagram: @csallotment.
In addition to the other groups, Mr Arnott has opened up the allotment to all of Year 9 as part of the school’s Eco Initiative. The aim is to give all KS3 students the opportunity to learn gardening skills, supplement their scientific knowledge and encourage teamwork. Year 8s and Year 7s will be given the same opportunity to participate in due time.
So far we have had 3 groups of Year 9 students participate. Students have been very eager to learn how to use garden tools, and understand how food is cultivated. We are very happy with their attitude towards the allotment, and we will be running at least one more session for each group to progress with their learning.
(Please note that the photos were taken last term, when student mask wearing was not made compulsory in school.)