Gardening at St James'
The creation of the school garden was the brainchild of the School Council who represent the thoughts, ideas and wishes of all the children at St James’. The children wanted a dedicated area where they could grow, tend and harvest their own produce. This can be used to support the Cooking and Science elements of the National Curriculum. Any surplus could then be used in the school kitchen for pupils to experience the full flavour of food, grown by them, using organic principles. Any excess seedlings, plants and produce can then be offered to parents through the School Garden Shop run by the Garden Council. All proceeds will then be reinvested in to the garden to make it self-supporting.
The school garden was opened on 22nd September by Mr Jo Johnson, MP for Orpington with Mr Gary Carvosso, Managing Director of Coolings Garden Centre, Knockholt. With the assistance of a core team of talented and enthusiastic parents, raised beds were manufactured from timber, donated by our local timber merchants Champions of Bickley and compost and leaf bins from recycled pallets, again donated by a keen parent.
Jane Wiseman, Schools Coordinator from Coolings, spoke to the children at a special assembly in January. Seeds, seed trays and compost were later donated by Coolings to give the children a head start for the start of the growing season.
Weekly updates related to the School Garden may be found in the school newsletter, however, seasonal tips, general advice and other items of garden interest may be found on this page in the Notes from the Potting Shed section. Other updates can be found on the school’s twitter account - @stjamesrc
Building on the successes of the school gardening club, the children will be encourage to compete in a number of competitions through the Woodland Trust, The London Children’s Flower Society, The Soil Association and the Royal Horticultural Society throughout the year to help with their understanding and knowledge of the subject.
Notes from the Potting Shed
- To give plants a good start in life it is essential to provide well-prepared, fertile soil.
- Whatever your scenario, the cure is the same - elbow grease.
- Check the Jubilee Country Park website for some local activities and talks about our local nature reserve.