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St Peter's School Blog

In an urban school where green space is getting smaller and smaller, Katy and her class explore how to bring nature into the classroom.




We’ve been working on our school garden for five years, but every year we discover something different, and things rarely stay the same! For example, we’ve had our big pond for four years, but this year is the first time that we’ve had so many frogs, and they have never made this much noise! It was just fantastic to hear them, and the children were really amazed that we could be very close and watch them croaking!

 

The spawn is now hatching, and we have some in a tank in one of the year 3 classrooms so that we can really study the tadpoles’ development. We will put them back into the pond at the end of term, then after Easter we will be hatching hens’ eggs in our incubator. This will be our third ‘hatching’, but this year we will have a coop in the garden so that the chicks can stay with us for longer than last year. Watch this space as we choose what eggs we’re going to hatch, and make the hen house area!

 


Every year, we take part in Britain in Bloom, and it has become quite a big thing in school. In the past, there have been different themes (such as Alice in Wonderland and Beatrix Potter), and we add things to the garden so that it fits with the theme. Pupils from our gardening club make a tea party for the judges in our class-sized tipi, and they present mini-plays and dress up according to the theme. This year they will have lots of fun with their judging day presentation, as our theme will be The Famous Five Go on an Adventure, which is also the RHS Wisley’s schools’ competition theme.

 


 

To prepare for our Britain in Bloom adventure, we have begun the transformation of the Magic Garden, which is right outside the school’s main entrance, so that we have room for our competition winner’s metre-square garden. We’ve had to transplant the very delicious St Peter’s Strawberries (which we make jam with every summer, and the children make bread and jam for their friends and families!), and there will be quite a bit of new planting too. Oh, and the reason we are trying extra hard this year, is because for the last two years we missed getting Gold for our garden by only two marks!

 


 

We have just taken delivery of a couple of new digital microscopes, which is really exciting. Up to now, we’ve had just one that works through a laptop, but these new ones can be taken outside or attached to a computer, so they’re much more flexible. It was such a lovely day that we took them outside and tried looking at the surface of dead nettle and other leaves. It was really fascinating.

 

Lunchtime gardening clubs are really busy – we have up to seventy children in the garden, some are doing gardening tasks and other projects, some are just enjoying den making and exploring. It’s not a big space, but we love it!