Oakgrove Primary School
Our children responded to tiny letters they found in our school grounds. They told the story of some fairies displaced by local building works. Their storyline enabled the children to create a design for a new home for the fairies incorporating elements important to the fairy characters Radish, Rowan and Rose. While the garden was in progress the children found more letters telling more garden stories. Now completed, a storyteller will be joining us in the garden to draw elements of the story together as a celebration of the children’s work.
Tree stump house
Lots of colour for the fairies
The storyline approach was chosen as it allowed children to participate in the story itself. The context of building works encroaching on the natural world is evident all around us in our city centre location, as are the efforts within the community of protecting green space.
The children wanted the garden to have a miniature pond for birds and small animals to drink and bathe. An area of the garden is dedicated to pollinators with brightly coloured flowers and herbs. Edible plants include lettuce, beans, courgette, carrots, leeks, corn, chives, thyme, lavender, nasturtium and peas. A parent donated some plants and helped us fix our wind turbine to our tree stump.
We introduced a wind turbine as the children were very keen to provide a renewable energy source and the weather was far too dismal to make solar power seem feasible. We purchased this and worked with P6 children in its construction.
We tried to reuse and recycle. We reused plastic bottles as planters and miniature greenhouses, some old containers to use as planters and a teapot which had lost its lid to act as a climbing frame and slide in the playground area. We harvested moss from a path at the back of the school and used it for making a grassy area. Our fences were made from found sticks and bricks that were lying around.
While clearing the area of an old rotten tree stump we found a small tree was growing up through the wood. We saved it and incorporated it into the design. When it grew leaves we realised that it was a Rowan (which is the name of one of the fairies). Fairy magic?
Although competition ready it feels like the life of the garden has only just begun. The children are really keen to play with it; introduce their own figures and toys and participate in the stories not yet told.
Overall we tried to create the sense of a small garden for small people in a sheltered an quiet spot.
We have learned the garden is for all. We share it with all the visitors who frequent; from the magpie who was trying to pull up our plants to the cat who tried to use it as a litter tray. We all have to find a way to live together.
So many flowers
A Rowan tree from the fairies
Follow the path through the garden