We decided in 2014 that our delightful school, an old Victorian school set in the lea of the Dassett Hills, deserved to have both the grounds and an attitude and culture that fully recognised the beautiful part of the country that we lived in and fully embraced every element of ‘Greening’ our environment. It was decided that this would take place in many complementary stages and we started to construct and formulate a journey plan based around the complete overhaul of every aspect of our school environment – inside and out.
Our first initiative was to design and create a Peace Garden on an area of otherwise unused sloping grass for the use by the children as a quiet and reflective area. We obtained some sponsorship from a number of local organisations and the garden was designed and built and planting commenced during the Autumn of 2014, being formally opened and blessed by Bishop Christopher, the Bishop of Coventry in November 2014. Forming a Church isle the central corridor runs between four planted beds and has curved seating at each end and is enclosed on all sides by a native British hedgerow donated by The Woodland Trust.
Our Eco committee runs alongside the gardening club and we have individual Class Eco Committee members who aim to make our school as eco-friendly as it can be.
We have developed a large allotment space, which has been cultivated from a lawn area to the front of the school, for the growing of a wide range of fruit and vegetables and which is supplemented by coldframes, pots and growbags and a greenhouse. We use this to grow throughout the year and much of our produce finds its way into the school kitchen as well as being shared by the Gardening Club members.
These are also used to support areas from the wider curriculum.
We have a very active wildlife perspective to the club and have developed a number of bug houses and hotels!, a hedgehog house, frog village, bird feeding area and we are currently working on both a wormery and a second extensive wildlife area to the rear of the school which also includes all of the above, a butterfly and bee garden and bird and bat boxes. It was good enough to earn them all a Blue Peter 'Green' Badge!
The club endeavours to look at all forms of planting and cultivation and we have developed extensive composting facilties, have many water butts and everything is being grown organically.
We are registered with both the Food for Life Partnership http://www.foodforlife.org.uk/ and the RHS Campaign for School Gardening https://schoolgardening.rhs.org.uk and we are actively pursuing their respective awards. We are delighted to report that we have now attained the Silver Award of the Food For Life Awards and, the top level, Level 5 of the Campaign for School Gardening.
Our vision is to embed healthy eating and a greater understanding of healthy food culture within the school and we are very fortunate to have exceptional school caterers, County Caterers (Food for Life Catering Silver Award holders), and an amazing kitchen team, run brilliantly by Mel, who produce a fabulous array of fresh food every day. Our extensive school meals information can be found here https://www.thedassettprimary.co.uk/school-meals/.