The overall aim of the project is to involve schools in being active participants in creating a physical garden space in their school that can be used to educate children in the benefits of growing their own food.
Any school, regardless of its size, can be a Garden School. A Garden School is one that involves children in using the garden to enhance their learning and health and well-being. It also promotes a positive attitude towards the environment.
The essential criterion for a Garden School is that, regardless of size or layout, it is consciously used to address one or a number of different issues. These issues can range from simple curriculum links on growing, through to active harvesting and preparing of vegetables linked to healthy eating. Importantly, they can also raise awareness and understanding of environmental issues like climate change and sustainability. They can also develop links for community engagement and partnership.
These criteria are set out in our framework and a school can use it to decide where they are on the journey to becoming a Garden School. The framework is a self-assessment tool, but schools can also apply for recognition as a Garden School by completing it and posting some of their successes on our website, stating what stage their Garden School is at.
There are many different types of gardens and many ways in which gardens can be used in learning and teaching. We set out some guidance on the opportunities gardens offer for learning and teaching, community engagement and health and wellbeing. Schools can use this framework to decide what type of Garden School they are and use the on-line forms to share ideas or for inspiration to grow their garden, develop opportunities and involve more children, parents and community groups.
Gardens provide the context for a great deal of subject and interdisciplinary based learning such as science, language, health and well-being and expressive arts. Our Garden School educational materials provide guidance addressing these curriculum areas; providing ideas throughout the whole year.