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Ist. Edition of the Grower's News

Food for Thought are very pleased to welcome Jimmy Holland as our School Grower - Jimmy joined the FFT Team in September 2016 and his first task was to undertake a 'scoping exercise' to record what growing was being done in school and what support was needed for those schools that did not have any raised beds or growing projects involving their pupils.

Over the last few months Jimmy has being working very hard in establishing the growing potential of a number of schools - all his work is directly with pupils who have been learning how to prepare soil for growing - Jimmy has developed strong links with schools and pupils - he is also working with the YMCA at Dutch City Farm - a partnership we consider to be very important to our growing ambitions for all FFT Schools - obviously, all the food the pupils grow will be harvested and given to their school kitchen to prepare and cooks for lunch.........

  Jimmy The Grower’s

Newsletter

Issue 1                                                   December 2016

 

RHS Training

Do you feel that your school would benefit from a member of staff attending a day’s horticultural training, facilitated by the Royal Horticultural Society?

If we can identify enough staff from within the 35 Food For Thought schools, we could negotiate a reduction in the cost of a day’s training and also request the training be held in Liverpool, rather than everyone having to travel to Manchester (the nearest place the RHS currently runs sessions). Please contact me as soon as possible if you are interested, and I’ll liaise with the RHS to arrange this (minimum numbers would be required).

Aviva Community Fund

Unfortunately, we were recently unsuccessful in our application to Aviva. The bid was for money to buy-in horticultural training and gardening equipment for ALL thirty-five Food For Thought schools.  Although emails were sent to all schools, asking for teaching staff, teaching assistants, parents and carers to register on the Aviva website and vote for the Schools Growing Project, only 187 people actually voted (average of 5 people per school). Consequently, we did not make it through to the final round, due to lack of votes in support of the project.

Grow Your Own Potatoes

Some schools will be fully aware of this initiative, but for anyone who hasn’t come across it before, now’s your opportunity to register for next year’s GYOP competition.  GYOP is an initiative run by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board, focused on teaching primary aged children about potatoes.  Linked to the curriculum, children learn how potatoes grow and how they fit into a healthy balanced diet.  All you have to do is register your school to receive a FREE potato growing kit, use the supporting lesson plans and worksheets and, for a chance to win fabulous prizes for your school, enter the competition once you have harvested your spuds (www.growyourownpotatoes.org.uk).

Royal Horticultural Society Schools Christmas Card Design Competition 2017

The RHS are looking for young artists to design an RHS Campaign for School Gardening Christmas card to be sold in RHS shops and online in 2017.

Pupils are invited to create their best Christmas card design – it could be any design they wish, but including an element of horticulture or gardening is preferable.

There are two age categories for the competition:

  • 11 years old and under
  • 12-18 years old

For further information, and to download the entry form, go to www.schoolgardening.rhs.org.uk/Competitions/Christmas-Card-Design-Competition.

African Garden Days

I’ve recently been in touch with a charity called Send A Cow (www.sendacow.org/schools) and have been exploring the possibility of them bringing their African Garden Days programme to Liverpool.  Unfortunately, their funded three-year pilot project recently ended, so there is now a substantial cost attached to their unique experiential outdoor learning project developed for KS2 students.

This practical project is comprised of the building of a keyhole garden, a whole school assembly and classroom sessions.  Working intensively with one class or group of 30 pupils, the project starts with a two-hour preliminary visit to help pupils map, plan and prepare their garden area.  This is later followed by a one-day garden build, where pupils and teachers work together in small groups on a rotation of different outdoor activities.

Polystyrene Appeal

If your school is planning on developing vegetable, fruit and herb growing areas, using raised beds, in 2017, then now’s the perfect time to send a note home to parents and carers, requesting pupils bring in polystyrene after the Christmas break (any toys and other gifts may be packaged in polystyrene). This polystyrene can be used in the bottom of new raised beds, to assist with drainage, and also to reduce the amount of soil that might be required to fill up the bed, thereby keeping soil costs down.

Sefton Park Palm House

Following a recent meeting with the team at Sefton Park Palm House, Food For Thought schools will begin educational visits to the Palm House on 9th December.  http://www.schooltravelorganiser.com/Features/Art-and-Science-at-Palm-House-Sefton-Park.  The first two schools to visit will be Belle Vale Community Primary and Much Woolton.  It is hoped that the pupils will enjoy a tour of the Palm House and the surrounding grounds, and in the future it is hoped that trips will also include a tour of the park, led by the Park Ranger Service.  Any schools wishing to arrange a visit can contact Kate Martinez on 0151 726 9304.  There is currently no charge for the Palm House visits, but Sefton Park Palm House Preservation Trust is a charity and any donations would be gratefully received.

RHS Accreditation

Once again, several Food For Thought schools are well ahead of the game, but for any schools which are currently unaware, the RHS runs an excellent initiative: www.schoolgardening.rhs.org.uk. Schools can register for free and apply for accreditation for school gardening clubs, from Level 1-5.  As well as a certificate on completion of each level, schools will receive horticultural themed prizes, such as seeds, tools and garden centre vouchers!

Trees For School Grounds

Thanks to Ann Moore, Business Manager at Woolton High, who contacted me recently with information about a Woodland Trust initiative.  They are giving away 4,000 free tree packs to schools, communities and youth groups across the UK, for delivery in spring 2017.  The only catch is…….you have to plant them!  For further information log on to www.woodlandtrust.org.uk.

St. Paul’s

A big thank you to teacher Paul O’Callaghan of St. Paul’s, West Derby, who kindly donated thousands of seeds, harvested by his school gardening club, to the Food For Thought Schools Growing Project.  These seeds will be sown in pots at Dutch Farm in the spring and seedlings will then be made available to Food For Thought schools.  Any other schools which have a surplus of seeds feel free to contact me and I’ll arrange to collect them from you. Thank you.

Dutch Farm (YMCA)

I’m currently working one day a week down at the YMCA’s urban farm, in Garston.  The plan is to develop strong links between the farm and ALL Food For Thought schools in 2017, as it’s a fantastic resource relatively close to every school (www.liverpoolymca.org.uk/about-us/dutch-farm).

There are pigs, chickens and ducks on the farm, as well as glass houses, poly-tunnels and raised beds, where everything is grown organically.  There is a large dome marquee for hands-on horticulture sessions and an outdoor kitchen, including a pizza oven, where Food For Thought will be cooking up lunch for visiting schools.

At this time of year most of the beds have been cleared and plans are being drawn up for next year’s crops.  School visits are due to commence in the spring, so I’ll notify everyone of available dates nearer the time.

St. Cleopas

Teacher Carla Sheriff has been running successful lunch-time school gardening sessions three days a week, for the past year, and I have been supporting her recently with this.  Beds have now been cleared, seeds have been sown in the school greenhouse, winter bird feeders have been made, and a successful plant sale stall was run at the recent Christmas fair.

Much Woolton

Teacher Tommy Strode has re-launched the after-school gardening club, and the old site has had plans drawn up for a complete refurbishment in the new year.  Negotiations are taking place with Barclays, to support the refurb, and the gardening club are preparing a Christmas plant sale to raise funds for the club.

Belle Vale Community Primary

We’ve started running a group on Friday mornings for ten SEN pupils, taking them outdoors in the school grounds and introducing them to a few gardening-related tasks.  The group will be visiting Sefton Park Palm House on 9th December, when they will be presented with certificates, recognising their hard work and enthusiasm.

 

 

Hope School

Teachers Mark Bishop and Daniel O’Neill recently set up an Eco Warriors group, and we have started clearing the raised beds, which had become overgrown with weeds.  The team have now sown Broad bean Aquadulce Claudia and planted overwintering onion sets in the beds.  The school has obtained its RHS Level 1 accreditation and now has its sights set on Level 2!

Gilmour Juniors

Plans for a new growing area, as part of wider school redevelopment plans, are rapidly progressing.  The gardening scheme, led by Gilmour Ground Force, includes plans to renew the existing raised beds at the front of the school, install potted fruit trees and new raised beds at the rear of the school, and reduce the height of some existing trees.

St. Ambrose

We’ve been running three sessions every Monday lunch time with Miss Harris’s reception class.  So far, we’ve cleared three raised beds in preparation for growing in the spring, made three hedgehog habitats, had a garden scavenger hunt and made bird feeders which were hung from trees in the school grounds.

The Trinity

Science Co-ordinator Chris Sinnott has registered the new school gardening club for the Royal Horticultural Society Level 1 certificate, and the pupils have been learning about health and safety, pruning lavender, weeding, planting broad beans and onion sets for over winter. Plans are now being made for what to grow in the new year, and RHS Level 2 is now on the horizon for the club!

Woolton High

Plans are currently being made for a brand new growing area, aimed at supplying herbs, vegetables and fruit to the school kitchen.  The idea of the school manufacturing wooden raised beds, to supply to other Food For Thought schools, is also being explored.

St. Austin’s

Having had a giant poly-tunnel installed in the school grounds, staging and raised beds are being constructed by Ivor (Site Manager), in preparation for seed sowing early in 2017.  The school has recruited a number of new parent/grand-parent volunteers recently, and I will be assisting volunteer Margaret Dunne in running the school gardening club from the end of February.

Millstead

The school has developed close links with Everton Community Garden and has been allocated two raised beds on their site, at the rear of the school.  The community project has also constructed and donated seven raised beds to Millstead, which will be located in sheltered, sunny spots around the school grounds.  Polystyrene has been sourced for the new raised beds, and soil will be delivered after Christmas, so that planting and sowing can start in the spring.

St. Charles’s

Teacher Alison Mansell was already running a well-established school gardening club when I came into post, which successfully grew a variety of fruit and vegetables last year, and has attained Levels 1-3 with the Royal Horticultural Society.  I’ve been supporting horticultural activities at the school this term and will continue to do so in the new year.

 

If you’ve any information you’d like including in the next newsletter, or if you have any pupils who would like to assist in the production of the next issue (perhaps as an ICT project), then please contact me on:

 
 
 

Mob: 07931 657 608                                      email: jimmy247@hotmail.co.uk

 

SCHOOL

CONTACT PERSON

CURRENT GROWING

AFTER SCHOOL CLUBS

POTENTIAL GROWING

SCHOOL WISH LIST

WOOLTON HIGH

Ann Moore

None

None

Herb Garden outside kitchen

Work with pupils and their vocational construction skills department to build raised beds & shelving

 

NORMAN PANNELL

Gayle Threadgill

Well advanced raised beds/garden.

70 trees in grounds (Woodland Trust).

Grandparent helper (Ernie)

Tuesday 3.15pm to 4.15pm

Continue to develop existing provision

Any support with maintenance

 

ST. GREGORY’S

Shirley Green

Raised Beds growing peas/beans/strawberries

Lettuce/broccoli/tomatoes, etc

Yes, no dates yet

General Upkeep

General support.

 

Host growers’ forum for all schools in learning pod?

 

NEW HEIGHTS

None

None

None

Previously had growing space

None

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SCHOOL

CONTACT PERSON

CURRENT GROWING

AFTER SCHOOL CLUBS

POTENTIAL GROWING

SCHOOL WISH LIST

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OUR LADY OF THE ASSUMPTION

 

 

 

Martin Burke

3 raised beds not used at present (staff member currently on sick leave)

None

Yes

Regenerate raised beds

MUCH WOOLTON

Tommy Strode

Fenced off growing area.

Last term grew strawberries, potatoes, runner beans, onions, carrots.

 

Pear and apple tree on site.

Monday 3.30pm

Liaising with Barclays to have some raised beds installed

General support

 

HUNTS CROSS

Christine Powell-Veness

Well-developed internal sensory garden needs work

None

Regenerate old growing area

General support

 

 

 

 

 

BELLE VALE

Gemma Bowness & Andrea Nelson

Raised Beds – lots of produce recently harvested

Thursday 3.30pm

Lots of potential

Growing support & Advice

 

ABBOT’S LEA

Pete O’Rourke

Potatoes/courgettes/kale/sprouts/sweetcorn etc.

 

Number of raised beds

 

Shed & Greenhouse

 

During school hours, as part of classes

Fantastic school grounds with sensory garden, bog area, bird hide and small orchard

 

Not known

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SCHOOL

CONTACT PERSON

CURRENT GROWING

AFTER SCHOOL CLUBS

POTENTIAL GROWING

SCHOOL WISH LIST

 

 

 

 

 

 

ST. AMBROSE

 Mrs.Kruk

 

 

Garden shed/tools/growing area

 

 

Last Year

Yes

Not known

MATTHEW ARNOLD

Gary Pindar

Wild Garden

Unknown

 

 

Not known

Not known

 

HOLY CROSS

Ms Hodges

Tomatoes and strawberries (not very successful last year)

 

School garden area currently used by pupils at lunchtime (no growing at present)

 

Outdoor teaching area

Not at present

 

 

Yes

 

Raised beds

 

School Council to take lead

Very keen on accessing support

 

HARMONIZE         ACADEMY

Liz Cunningham

Raised Brick Beds

None

 

 

Yes

Very keen on accessing support

ST. PASCHAL BAYLON

Karen Lunt

Fruit Trees – vegetables –fenced off growing area with raised beds

Lunchtime gardening club

Yes

 General support and training

 

PALMERSTON

Mary Honess

Good growing history

Raised bed – greenhouse –

 

School time growing club

School to move to new site in 2017

Welcome any support

BOOKER INFANTS

Lynne Brown

Raised beds, currently not being used

Keen to develop an after-school club

 

 

 

Yes

Support on establishing after-school club

 

SCHOOL

CONTACT PERSON

CURRENT GROWING

AFTER SCHOOL CLUBS

POTENTIAL GROWING

SCHOOL WISH LIST

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BOOKER JUNIORS

OFSTED at present

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHRIST THE KING

Suzanne Diamond

Raised beds that need developing

After-School Gardening Club (Tuesday)

Great potential – offer of plot at local allotments

Support to develop existing beds and growing potential in school grounds

ST. CECILIA’S

Nathan Hughes

School has allotment and a horticulturist (Don)

 

 

In school time

Plans to develop a pond, bog area and mini-beast habitat

Well established and maintained

 

 

 

ST. CLARE’S

Kate Peaston

Support from caretaker – needs developing

Unknown

Lots of potential and herb garden requested by school cook

General support, advice and assistance in developing the potential of growing areas

 

 

 

 

ST. NICHOLAS

Laura Kay-Flowers (Early Years Teacher)

Raised beds unused at present

None

Limited but enough to begin effective growing areas

 

 

 

 

 

General Support and Advice

 

SCHOOL

CONTACT PERSON

CURRENT GROWING

AFTER SCHOOL CLUBS

POTENTIAL GROWING

SCHOOL WISH LIST

 

 

 

 

 

 

PHOENIX           PRIMARY

Sue Evans &

Jan (Teaching Assistant) who supports after-school growing club

Bio-Dome recently opened by MP

Tuesday 3.30 to 4.15

Bio dome good site for growing over winter

Support this development and maximise the bio-dome

 

ST. AUSTIN’S

John Carney

Fruit trees – 4 raised beds – new poly tunnel 30ft. x 30ft. – a number of volunteers – Caretaker and gardener – good basis of support

 

Needs to be developed with parent support

This could be another hub for other FFT schools with seedlings etc.

To really develop and provide additional support at this excellent facility

GILMOUR JUNIORS

Chris McDonald

No current growing

None

Reclaim land next to playground and install raised beds

General Support Advice and information

ST. PAUL’S

Paul O’Callaghan

Raised beds/ bug hotel

After School Gardening Club

Possibly develop a memorial garden for an ex-pupil

General support, advice and information

 SANDFIELD PARK

Lynda Kenrick

 

Carly

Poly Tunnel  – raised beds – chickens – well developed with a small orchard

Gardening Mornings

Keen to grow more winter produce

General Support

 KNOTTY ASH

Unknown

School employs a school gardener

Unknown

Unknown

Need to gather more information from school directly

RUDSTON SCHOOL

Unknown

 

 

 

 

 

 

SCHOOL

CONTACT PERSON

CURRENT GROWING

AFTER SCHOOL CLUBS

POTENTIAL GROWING

SCHOOL WISH LIST

 

 

 

 

 

 

MILLSTEAD

Sally Green

Raised beds well used in the past

 

Close links with Everton community council

 

 

General support & advice

 

 

OUR LADY IMMACULATE

Ian Stevenson (School Gardener)

Well established by school gardener

 

 

During school hours

Lots of potential

Good opportunity to follow some best practice

MOSSPITS

Karen Owens

 

Rachel Rogers

(Courgette in the City)

 

Mr.Kilbride

Raised beds – bug hotel – outdoor classroom – six raised beds – established garden – shed – fruit trees – water butt systems –polytunnel-employ a gardener

Monday 3.30 to 4.30pm

This school is a model of outstanding practice that FFT would want to roll out to all schools

 

THE TRINITY

 

 

 

 

Chris Sinnott

Raised beds (brilliantly maintained)

 

Mini-beast Hotel

No club at present

Would like to develop provision and link into Science curriculum

 

 

Would like to involve Nursery and Reception

ST. CLEOPAS

 

 

 

Carla Sheriff

 

Mr Ralston

Raised Beds

 

Greenhouse

 

Wildflower Beds

 

Fundraising

 

 

3x Lunchtime Club

 

(Y2, Y3 & Y5)

Continue to utilise all raised beds

Would greatly appreciate any support available

SCHOOL

CONTACT PERSON

CURRENT GROWING

AFTER SCHOOL CLUBS

POTENTIAL GROWING

SCHOOL WISH LIST

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ST. CHRISTOPHER’S

 

 

 

Vince Hall

 

Mrs Chadwick

Raised Beds

 

Forest School Activities

 

Wooded Area including Pond

 

Outdoor Teaching Area

 

None at present

Plenty of space in which to grow (beds recently cleared)

General support

ST. CHARLES

 

 

 

 

Alison Mansell

Raised Beds

 

RHS Accreditation (Level 1 & 2 Awards)

 

 

Wednesday 12.15-1pm

Aiming for RHS Level 3 Award this year

 

Continue to use existing beds and hopefully increase growing area

Much-needed general support

HOPE SCHOOL

 

 

 

 

Daniel O’Neill

 

Mark Bishop

6 Raised Beds

Fruit Trees

Bug Hotel

Upstairs Growing Area

 

Outdoor Classroom

 

Water Butt

Composter

 

Tool Shed

Eco Warriors

 

None at present

 

(Pupils involved in activities as part of lessons)

 

Would like to fully utilise beds and upstairs outdoor area

General support

SCHOOL

CONTACT PERSON

CURRENT GROWING

AFTER SCHOOL CLUBS

POTENTIAL GROWING

SCHOOL WISH LIST

 

 

 

 

 

 

DUTCH FARM (YMCA)

Liz Sabatini

Almost 4 acres of established farm – with pigs/chickens/ducks, 1 super- polytunnel - two greenhouses – outdoor kitchen – outdoor covered classroom -  a number of raised beds.  Everything is grown organically on the farm.

Dutch Farm could be a real learning and growing hub

Base for FFT to grow and develop ideas and produce – already been offered 

Maintain and develop training/educational and practical links with the YMCA and Dutch Farm

 

 

 

BASIC STRUCTURE OF PROJECT DELIVERY:

 

  1. To work with identified schools on clear projects – creating/sustaining raised beds for example
  2. To develop ‘growing hubs’ at Dutch Farm and St.Austins School
  3.    To develop a ‘building workshop hub’ at Woolton High

 

 

 

 

 

 

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