Natural Thinkers is a new scheme designed to connect young children with nature, by ensuring all children have access to a natural outdoor area. The aims are to maximise opportunities for children to learn in an outdoor setting, providing an excellent alternative approach to complement classroom learning.
As a school with a large amount of natural outdoor space, we are proud to have gained Natural Thinkers status, and we are delighted to be a school in the local area for this.
This year we are lucky enough to have a gardener and garden designer in our midst who has taken on the task of getting us growing with the help of all the teachers and the support of the parents group. This is aiming to be a school wide project with a gardening club at its centre that is open to all pupils and community members where everyone can learn the skills and tools required to get things growing.
The children have already decided what they will be growing and we have strawberries, tomatoes, carrots, onions, potatoes, courgettes, squash and runner beans in the ground all over the school including the community areas at the front. Half of them donated by supportive local vegetable growers (thanks!).
A school wide potato growing competition is underway and the school office and kitchen staff are already working with our very supportive caretaker to compost all our food waste.
In fact, we're so proud of our endeavours that we've signed up to the prestigious RHS School Gardening Awards and have already gained certificate levels 1 and 2. The children will be opening the garden up for the summer fair and selling produce as well as showing off what we are growing and making.