Schools offered ideas to get pupils gardening this autumn term

Written by: Pete Henshaw | Published:
Image: Adobe Stock

Schools are being offered ideas, tips and support to get pupils out of the classroom and working in school gardens this term.

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) says that gardening can deliver health, wellbeing and environmental benefits while also supporting Covid safety measures by getting pupils outside.

The RHS has a range of guidance for schools, no matter what size your plot. It’s Campaign for School Gardening says that autumn is an ideal time to get gardening with recommended activities including:

  • Soil testing: Conducting a simple, and messy, sensory test to work out what type of soil you have and what will grow in it best:
  • Sowing hardy onions, spinach and beans this autumn ready for harvesting early spring.
  • Making a mini-wormery by learning where worms like to live and their importance for healthy soil and plants:
  • Conducting a treasure hunt for items that can be built into a bug hotel that will attract wildlife onto your plot:
  • Collecting this year’s seeds from spent chard, lettuce and sunflowers ready to grow next year:

Four in five schools surveyed as part of RHS research said that gardening had improved the mental and physical wellbeing of pupils while nine in 10 said it had helped young people develop a wide range of skills.

Andrea Van Sittart, head of outreach development at the RHS, said: “Many of the schools, groups and families that we work with are eking out every last inch of space to get children learning and playing outdoors. From fruit-bearing baskets on balconies ripe for the picking to make-shift mud kitchens using old pots and pans, gardening provides so many opportunities to teach, calm and inspire.”

The RHS Campaign for School Gardening also runs the School Gardeners of the Year competition which involves more than 40,000 schools and groups across the UK in growing and gardening. Children are taught about plants and gardening and their environment.

Information, lesson plans and advice for schools is provided online and is backed up by support from the RHS Education team and RHS Campaign for School Gardening Regional Advisors.

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