Our Garden Project – Key Stage 3
During one of our Emotionally Friendly Action Group meetings which are held once per half term to make sure mental health and emotional wellbeing are a key part of our everyday practice, we discussed the benefits of having a ‘green space’ for our students.
Green spaces are great ways to build an appreciation for the environment around us and to look at how important they are for our mental health and emotional wellbeing.
Being out in nature releases serotonin and endorphins which are our feel-good hormones. The more positive experiences we have, the calmer we are, and our ability to cope in stressful situations increases.
The physiological benefits are important, but so too is being responsible for caring for and growing plants. It gives a sense of understanding and responsibility which is an integral part of growing up.
The land we identified was very overgrown and not enclosed within our school boundary. The first phase of the project was to erect a fence to enclose the space, keeping all of our young people safe whilst they work in the area. The staff kindly volunteered their time on a Saturday to dig the holes in preparation for the fence going in.
The second phase was to dig again! Again staff volunteers and some of their families picked up a spade, rake and fork, and spent a whole Saturday digging and preparing the ground in preparation for topsoil and turf to be laid.
Our third phase is getting the students involved, so during activities on a Friday afternoon, our students are now beginning to prepare planters and plan for larger pieces of equipment such as benches, bird boxes and other garden staples, in readiness for our green space to be completed. We cannot wait to grow some herbs and veg for use in our kitchen and in food technology lessons.
All this costs money, and we have reached out to some local businesses and a national charity to see if they can support our project. So far we have received some wonderful support from Wickes, Taskers and Webster’s Turf, we cannot wait to share with them what their generosity has contributed.
The pictures below show our staff hard at work and the massive improvements we have already made.
A big thank you goes out to all of the staff and friends who have given up their time to support the young people in our care.