We have developed an area at the top of the old school driveway into a new garden. This has been designed to provide a series of mini habitats: a wildflower micro meadow, a small pond, wood and rock piles, insect hotels plus bird houses and potentially two bee hives.
The garden area is enhanced with the addition of a greenhouse with solar panels and multimeter to measure output, raised beds for demonstrating permaculture, a potting shed and wall planter, a water butt and a learning space canopy. Pupils with an interest in horticulture will be encouraged to get involved with ideas for planting as well as maintenance of the garden in a sustainable way. The garden is planned to be used by both pupils at Emanuel and other members of our community.
Our aim is to support the curriculum areas by providing an area for the collection and analysis of various species, pond dipping, surveying organisms through the year as well as looking at the effect of the urban environment on the community that develops. All of these topics are linked to areas of biology and geography and there are cross-overs with chemistry and physics as well. The garden will also provide a space for pupils with an interest in horticulture as well as linking with eco-club initiatives. We would like to eventually include some beehives and would like to see the development of junior beekeepers with the aid of the local beekeeping societies.
The wider community will be able to enjoy the garden as we plan to incorporate a five-week module of study of the area into the Primary Ambitions programme, which would allow some of our Lower Sixth students an opportunity to lead on an area of interest for them. We would also be able to develop learning packs for primary partners who may lack an outdoor space and this will provide them the opportunity for self-directed learning without impacting on the school’s day to day activities.