Pupils at Lady Hawkins High School getting stuck into the good life

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Kingspan Grant Nourishes Young Minds

Future Charlie Dimmocks and Alan Titchmarshes are being nurtured at a Kington school, thanks to a forward-looking gardening project instigated by the Geography Department and an equipment grant from the Kingspan Insulation Community Trust.

Seventy pupils from Years 8 and 10 of Lady Hawkins High School have been learning all about the food they eat by growing it themselves. With the help of a £500 grant from The Community Trust, they have been able to buy seeds and plants; and gardening equipment including: spades, forks, trowels, and rakes.

The cross curricular technology / environmental project will teach pupils how to grow vegetables and fruit. The boys and girls will also cultivate a herb garden and learn about the medicinal uses of their plants; and the young gardeners will even learn how to compost vegetable waste in order to make new soil in which to grow their healthy produce.

Their teacher, Wendy Watkins, said that she and fellow Geography teacher Kevin Smith had been keen to start some kind of gardening project with the pupils. She added:

“I started from what the children already know about eating 5-a-day, from the government initiative to make them aware of healthy eating. I wanted to get our pupils in touch with the food they eat and be aware of where it comes from.

“Environmental education is important to the school. We found that we had some curriculum time and so we took the opportunity to design this project.”

Other pupils at the school will also benefit from the new garden. Year 10 and 11 will be participating as part of their Certificate of Personal Effectiveness (COPE) qualification; and all pupils will be able to join an after school gardening club.

And there’s no danger of the local Peter Rabbits helping themselves to the fruits of the students’ labour. Thanks to the grant, the young Farmer McGreggors have been able to buy special rabbit proof fencing, which they will erect themselves.

The grant has also bought materials to build cloches. The cloches, which have already been built by the twelve to fifteen-year-olds, are currently protecting lettuce and radish crops. But the biggest treat is yet to come. Soon the pupils will be growing mouth-watering strawberries - and the local rabbits will only be able to look on in envy.

The long term aim for the project is to grow fruit and vegetables for the school’s kitchen so that the children can eat the home grown food as part of a healthy diet.

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