Our Science Garden
St. Johns are proud to announce that we now have a fully functioning Science Garden, which the children will use during their recreational and lesson time to grow and harvest their own produce. The garden was the vision of head teacher Ms. Wightwick, who wanted a space available to the children where they could take part in hands on practical, out-door learning, and has made an exciting addition to our school provision for pupils, teachers and parents.
is a beautiful place in our school that was transformed from a maintenance area
into a place where anyone can go to water, plant and describe the growing
plants. Ideas are taken in and used to make the garden better. There are
competitions we do in the science garden going from Foundation Stage through to
Year 6. such as the ‘Silver Trowel Award.’ Next year we are hoping to
make the strawberries into jam for the Year 6 cream tea."
Eden Elextienne-Amedewonu, Year 5
transformation of a neglected corner of our school into our new science garden
has been very exciting for the pupils. They all feel a sense of ownership and
are delighted to get in there, get their hands dirty, learn about plants and
grow their own vegetables. It is a very special space, a little green
oasis in this vibrant school."
Jo Cardiff, Parent of Year 1 and Year 4 pupils.
garden is an invaluable addition to the children’s learning at St. Johns. It
gives the children the opportunity to take part in hands on, practical science
lessons in a purposeful, outdoor environment. The children ask to visit and
actively want to dedicate their free time to gardening. They have also
undertaken independent research outside of school and brought it back into
school to share their ideas. The garden has a positive effect on their
behaviour and staff have noticed that they become calmer and more engaged when
in it. It is allowing them to develop an awareness of how to care for living
Mrs Hassoun and Ms Lynch, Year 3 teachers.
Creating the Garden
corner of concrete car park into a beautiful garden was no small task.
Thankfully, we had the help of Fern Construction Ltd, whose team worked
extremely hard to finish the garden to an amazing standard. Our Year
6's lent a hand by creating plans of the garden with suggestions of
what they would like it to contain. The school also benefited enormously from a
grant awarded by Wholekids Foundation School Garden Grants Programme and School
Food Matters, and a generous contribution from former St Johns Head teacher
Pauline Morozgalska. With their help, the garden was completed in May 2018.
Growing in the Garden
In early June, we were able to plant our first crops in the completed garden. Each year group planted radishes and took part in a whole school competition to see whose were the best! The Winners were Year 3, who received the coveted Silver Trowel Award for their efforts. We sold the radishes at our Summer fair and raised £30 towards the garden. Next year, every class will plant and grow crops in their very own planter, and use them to cook with.
Gardening Club - Making Chutney
The gardening club, led by Mrs Richards, successfully grew tomato plants over the summer months. These plants produced many tomatoes, many of which were eaten in July. Upon our return to school in September there were many more ripe ones. Along with the red ones, there remained many green tomatoes. Thus the new autumn gardening club (KS2) decided to make green tomato chutney.
The whole club spent a lunchtime chopping the different vegetables and fruits; 4lbs of green tomatoes, about 8 onions, 4lbs of cooking apples,
1 large courgette, (all homegrown)
And then added vinegar, brown sugar, raisins and spices.
We set about cooking it for 3-4 hrs and soon the vinegar had permeated every room in the building! However, as the chutney bubbled and boiled, the colour changed, it thickened and eventually resembled a brown sticky sauce. After school, the children learnt about sterilising jars and filing them, omitting any air bubbles. The end result - a dozen or so jars of chutney, all prepared and labelled by the children. Only downside is waiting 3 months to taste it: a cheese, cracker and chutney tasting session is planned for the New Year.
Award Winning Gardeners!
This year, our Gardening club received a level four award from the Royal Horticultural Society, for their hard work growing vegetables which they then used to cook their parents a meal. We have some very green fingered pupils at St. Johns!
Our Year 4 children took gardening to the next level this year when they took part in a sponsored fun run to raise money for the Rainforest Trust. They raised an amazing £1,346.76, which with matched donations from UK and US donors, became an incredible £4,948! This is enough to buy and preserve 3,500 acres of rainforest in the Rungan River Peat Swamp in Borneo, which is home to 4% of the worlds Critically Endangered Bornean Orangutans. The children have saved an area of rainforest the equivalent size of about 2,000 football pitches!
We are excited to get going with all our gardening projects next year, and look forward to a green fingered future at St. Johns! If you would like to support our garden project, then please donate using our school gateway.