Impact of School Gardening
Many pupils at Rosewood School benefit from a more vocational timetable. The pupils respond to the opportunity for a more relaxed and creative learning experience. Research shows that gardening contributes to children’s mental and physical health and well-being. It offers enjoyment and physical activity for pupils of all abilities. Gardening heightens pupils’ environmental awareness. It makes learning fun, personal and memorable. It teaches patience and stimulates pupils’ interest, providing a powerful hands on learning experience for kinaesthetic learners. Gardening can help to re-engage disenchanted pupils by appealing to different learning styles and helping to build positive relationships.
Pupils of all abilities enjoy working in an outdoor environment that gives them fresh air, exercise and sunshine enabling them to develop interpersonal and gardening skills. Gardening encourages a healthy diet by connecting children to the source of their food and fostering an appreciation of the flavours and benefits of vegetables and fruit. Outcomes from involving pupils in school gardening include:
*Greater scientific knowledge and understanding.
*Enhanced literacy and numeracy, including the use of wider vocabulary and greater oral skills.
*Increased awareness of the seasons, food production, and healthy food choices.
*Increased confidence, resilience, self-esteem and responsibility.
*Development of physical skills, including fine motor skills.
*A positive attitude to healthy food choices.
*Positive behaviour outcomes.
*Improvements in emotional well-being.
During 2018/2019 many of the pupils have developed the grassed area at the front of school digging up weeds and grass and have planted a variety of small trees and shrubs including Acer trees an olive tree some dogwood and grasses to give shape and colour throughout the year. Bark has been spread around the plants in this area to enhance it.
Many of Rosewood’s pupils have helped to plan and design the garden laying down a path from the car park to reception within their Project Lessons.
Key Stage 2 and Year 7 pupils also planted herbs and vegetables such as potatoes and peas that they were able to take home. Pupils planted containers with a mixture of flowers, plants and herbs grown from seed for pupils and their families to enjoy at home.
During 2019 pupils from Year 7 will be planning and developing a garden area at the back of school. This will include a Wildlife area that some pupils have already started to design and dig. Pupils have constructed a Bug hotel made within their Design and Technology lesson.
Gardening at Rosewood helps pupils with their behaviour, gaining confidence and boosting their self-esteem by enabling pupils to be calm and focus on their other lessons.