Portway Junior School has been converting the open space round the school, and part of it is now a garden which grows vegetables.
"About two years ago, the school was runner up in a competition sponsored by the Department of Education, and the makers of Wallace and Grommit. "Growing Schools" encouraged schools to make imaginative use of the space outside schools, and Wendy Davis - one of the teachers - decided to take the project forward. Barclays Bank generously offered hundreds of manhours to convert the space into a garden; the local allotment holders have helped with the designs and the building, and will provide gardeners to lead lessons to all classes on a weekly basis, thus providing staff with expert practical help in food growing and gardening. They will also help with stocking the beds; parents, staff and governors have been working on the project; and it was a pleasure to declare the garden open."
The new Head Tim Deery thanked his predecessor James Levett for starting the project, and gave a bouquet of flowers to Wendy Davies and to Karen Hamilton, who mobilised the help from Barclays. The vegetables that are grown will be cooked on the site and form part of the school meals. "This means that the foodmiles will be virtually zero. Wendy Davis deserves a medal for driving this project through to completion."
The garden was designed by the children, which took two years to complete, and will provide the school with a resource for the children to learn how to grow their own food.
The garden was created as a result of a competition run by the Department for Education through the Growing School initiative in conjunction with Ardman animations and Wallis and Gromit. The
competition encouraged the children to design their own garden and then build it for use in the school.
With the help of the Barclays Community scheme over £6000 worth of funding was provided for materials for the garden.
It was the volunteer time to build the garden which was even more amazing. Over 1000 hours of time was provided by Barclays volunteers, friends, parents and the local allotment association
who were able to transfer the concept design to a real living breathing garden.
Sir George said, ‘It was a pleasure for me to open the garden. Wendy Davis, a teacher at the school is a real inspiration to the school and the project. Projects like these bring far more to theschool than just the garden. They are integral to the community and it is wonderful to see the local allotment association helping with advice on the stocking of the beds.’
The Garden was Portway school’s involvement with the Year of Food and Farming. Head teacher Tim Deery said ‘It is really important for children to learn how food is grown and our garden will give the children first hand experience of this. Our garden will ensure our children have this opportunity for many years to come.’