Learners at Highgate Hill House School, an independent school for children with social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) needs aged 5 to 16 years near Holsworthy, are proudly taking part in the RHS Campaign for School Gardening.
The campaign led by the Royal Horticultural Society, aims to give children and young from two to 18 years opportunities to grow and connect with nature, provides schools with resources, training and advice that encourages exploration of our outdoor environments, plus a passion for learning about and caring for plants and our planet.
There are five award levels to apply for in total, and as Highgate Hill House School completes each level, the learners receive a certificate and prize to mark their efforts. The school has successfully completed three of the five awards so far, with learners currently working on clearing a patch to grow wild flowers, plus drawing up plans for a bug hotel.
Highgate Hill House School Principal, Kerry Taylor said: “The level one award involved planning our gardening project and understanding the benefits that it will bring to our school, whilst level two focused on starting to grow some plants and using tools safely. Level 3 which we have just completed, involved building on our practical skills, and encouraging wildlife to the area. We are very much looking forward to levels 4 and 5, which will require us to continue to grow and harvest our produce throughout the year, and finally share the fruits of our labour with our local community”.
Kerry added: “Nurturing a passion for plants and the natural world around us, helps our learners to improve their physical and mental wellbeing, their understanding of the environment and sustainability, confidence, self-esteem and teamwork skills. It’s been such a fantastic project for our school to get involved with”.