Crookfur Primary School
As we are working towards the school’s next Green Flag our Eco-Committee was eager to promote the Pocket Garden campaign. This was also shared with families of the school through our school weekly update which generated excitement across the school. After the entries were submitted the committee voted for this design with some pupils commenting that the glorious summer weather can be unpredictable in Scotland and that when it arrives both adults and children like to celebrate and enjoy it as it makes them feel happy.
Lots of colours
Beach hut bird house
Prior to constructing the pocket garden both staff and pupils used their knowledge of growing plants to determine the best location that provided all the requirements such as shelter from the wind, on flat land and an area that had enough sunlight. We also had to ensure that all materials used were suitable for the weather conditions at this time of year, for example, using waterproof paint. The chosen location was at the front of the school entrance where it can be shared with the local community and visible to parents, guardians and visitors.
With the inspiration of Summer, we decided to plant brightly coloured flowers and use themed decorations to represent visiting a beach with the the hope of promoting happiness and excitement for the lead up to summer. When gathering the resources to create the pocket garden we were very lucky to receive some plant donations from parents and teachers which we are very appreciative for. We also used this opportunity to support our community by visiting the local garden centre to purchase some of our decorations such as a net, shells and fans. Pupils collaborated brilliantly to construct this design and bring it to life through perseverance and problem-solving. Some children painted ceramic pots to look like sunscreen bottles. We also opted to upcycle wooden pallets that were used for deliveries and were fortunately already painted red which is the colour of our school uniform. These have been positioned around our pocket garden to create viewing platforms and the pupils discovered tree stumps which can be used as seats to relax, embrace the wonderful scents of the flowers coming from the garden and appreciate the natural beauty of the surroundings. Whilst diligently surveying the outdoor area in the school grounds children also found a wooden plank which has been turned into a sign and we have reused an old planter to form the main section of the pocket garden.
Over the last couple of weeks, we have been very excited to see that our garden has attracted different wildlife, including bees, birds, worms and other types of insects. We have encouraged birds to visit the garden by incorporating a bird bath and a bird house which the pupils decorated to look like a beach hut – in keeping with our theme. Alongside our main pocket garden area we have grown strawberries, peppers and tomatoes which we are eventually hoping can be picked and incorporated into class lessons exploring different types of food.
This opportunity has taught some pupils leadership skills such as being responsible for caring for the plants and can hopefully offer future valuable learning opportunities such as exploring plant growth and habitats. Throughout this process the pupils building the pocket garden showed excellent teamwork and communication skills to accomplish their tasks.
After this competition concludes we plan to have the garden remain a permanent fixture on our school grounds and overtime adapt the theme and potentially add some new features. The Eco-Committee and all those involved will also encourage classes to use this area for different purposes for example using it as a stimulus for writing lessons, to explore wildlife and act as a nurturing and safe space for those that would like to visit it.
The garden – from design to reality