St. Anthony's Primary School
The Tiger Who Came to St Anthony’s
This year, St Anthony’s Primary School has built a strong reading for pleasure culture with our staff, children and families. We were recently the first school in Renfrewshire to be accredited with Scottish Book Trust’s Reading School Gold Level, recognising our achievement in building a reading for pleasure culture.
Our staff and pupil leadership group, the Page Turners, were excited to learn that this year Keep Scotland Beautiful were running a Pocket Garden competition for the Year of Stories! Our leadership team set out to work quickly and asked all children within the school to design and submit a design to be considered for the winning Pocket Garden. We received so many entries and our Page Turners took considerable time to select entries to send to Keep Scotland Beautiful.
We were delighted to be chosen as a winning Pocket Garden Design for 2022 for our Primary 7 children’s entry of the Tiger Who Came to Tea. This is a much-loved story across our school by both children and adults. We thought this design fitted beautifully into the design brief of the Year of Stories, One Planet Picnic and Wildlife Gardening. Some of our children were also excited to learn that the WWF are working with the story too, to save tigers in the wild. So it is a story that is far reaching and inspirational in protection of wildlife!
Lots of colourful flowers
Tasty food for birds
A visiting bee
Our children chose sustainable materials that would have otherwise been thrown away: palettes, bricks, logs and slates from a local building company; old tea sets donated from families that were gathering dust; wooden boards used for transporting goods; and surplus paint from a left over painting job. We were also delighted to receive some very kind donations from our local community to include soil, plants, bird seed and decorative items. We also had some members of our local community come in to help with building and sealing the paint job.
As it is a tiger tea party, we added edible elements within our garden design for both humans and animals! We planted potatoes, herbs, strawberries and raspberry plants. Some of our children were also inspired to grow tomatoes in their class greenhouse for later use at the party picnic our school will be running in June.
Our children came up with the idea of making our garden wildlife friendly by adding a bug hotel around the structure of the palette and by including wildlife friendly plants for butterflies and bees. We were delighted to see some visitors already making use of the garden, with bees busy pollinating and slugs busy munching! We also had a huge cheer from some of our children when they discovered a ladybug in the garden. One child said, “This is the first ladybug I have seen in my life!”. A cherished moment.
Now that our garden has been created, we don’t plan on stopping there! In fact, this Pocket Garden design will become a permanent feature of our garden. Our Primary 3 children are currently in the process of creating story stake cards, which can be seen from the design to reality images, to spread around the garden. When a person enters the garden, they can follow the story trail leading them to the friendly tiger at the top! We are currently in the process of planning the implementation of a sensory garden, which was inspired by our team’s hard work in the Pocket Garden design.
It was an absolute delight to witness our staff, children, families and wider community come together to create this wonderful design, it really was a team effort and would not have possible without the incredible, inspirational design brief from Keep Scotland Beautiful and from all of our partners contributions. To see our children immersed in marrying together the beauty of a pocket garden design with biodiversity was invaluable. Plus, the sheer delight of getting their hands mucky was an absolute treat! Taking part in the Pocket Garden competition has helped the children to develop their creative, planning and teamwork skills, as well as inspiring some budding gardeners among them.
The children are rightfully proud of their garden and all the hard work that has gone into it.
A bug hotel resident
A good place to hide
Lots of colourful flowers
Creating the garden - from design to reality