Flourishing school garden win's virtual flower show prize

Sowing beetroot, carrots, cabbage and pumpkins have given thrilled pupils and staff at Telford's Grange Park Primary School much to celebrate.

 Caden Westwood, eight, Caroline Hounsell, and Jack Davies 10, of Grange Park Primary School, in Telford, celebrate the Virtual Shrewsbury Flower Show school award
Caden Westwood, eight, Caroline Hounsell, and Jack Davies 10, of Grange Park Primary School, in Telford, celebrate the Virtual Shrewsbury Flower Show school award

Their effort resulted in the school being declared the winner of this year’s Virtual Shrewsbury Flower Show schools' award.

The roots of the school's success started two years again with the launch of its Green afterschool club at the site, in Grange Avenue, Stirchley.

Grange's outdoor learning assistant Caroline Hounsell says: "During lockdown, myself and the children have been maintaining our school allotment.

"It was suggested that we enter the Virtual Shrewsbury Flower Show schools' category. And to our great surprise, we won.

"As the allotment is an ongoing project we are hoping local companies will want to sponsor areas of the allotment and grounds as our budget is low. There is still a great lot of work to do to keep the allotment up and running.

"We were amazed and overjoyed to have won the flower show's school' competition."

Mrs Hounsell runs the club with the help of colleague Samantha Asterley.

As most of the children were not at school during the spring and summer terms the team made up and sent out sunflower kits to encourage pupils unable to attend to try gardening at home resulting in them taking part in the school's own sunflower competition.

When more pupils returned to school in June and got involved with sowing, and experiencing the pleasure of reaping a harvest they learned how and where vegetables grow.

Many of the pupils say they enjoy spending time in the garden.

Harry Lee, eight, says: "I like planting plants up there. It's more fun than class work. I liked when we harvested the potatoes and got to take  them home and when we made them into roasted potato slices with bacon and cheese.

"We ate the leaves off the beetroot plant."

Jack Davies, 10, says: "I liked eating strawberries off the plants.We made chocolate cake from beetroots."

Ethan Breeze, also 10, says: "I liked seeing the wonky, funny shaped carrots and counting how many potatoes we got from one plant."

While Caden Westwood, eight, adds the he liked watering the plants.

The show, which usually draws tens of thousands of visitors to the Quarry, in Shrewsbury, was shown online it was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Exhibitors and the public sent in photos and videos to appear on the website instead.

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