It’s back to school with a gardening award for Telford school

Delighted pupils at Telford’s Grange Park Primary School are celebrating a winning return to full classroom life – and being awarded a prestigious national gardening accolade.

Caroline Hounsell with her helpers, from left: Ryan Langford, eight, Arneet Kaur, eight, Alex Thomas, nine, and Evie Aston, nine
Caroline Hounsell with her helpers, from left: Ryan Langford, eight, Arneet Kaur, eight, Alex Thomas, nine, and Evie Aston, nine

The school’s efforts to create a vegetable patch used for lessons has resulted in it being rewarded with the Royal Horticultural Society’s school gardening award.

The allotment was the brainchild of Grange Park teaching assistants Caroline Hounsell and Samantha Asterley, who decided to start up a new after-school gardening club two years ago to get the children involved in digging for and planting food.

“Since then the allotment has grown and flourished. Children of all ages benefit and enjoy visiting and working in the allotment. It has taken enthusiasm and dedication to achieve this award, which we are extremely proud of.

“The award is based on a criteria of five levels and it’s taken us two years to achieve them all,” Mrs Hounsell said.

Groups of nursery pupils and Year Four pupils, aged eight and nine, have been enjoying outdoor lessons including vocabulary during lockdown, and last week planted potatoes.They get a chance to dig, plant seeds and are looking forward to soon being able to reap foods such as cabbage, chard and leeks which they planted in the autumn.

Last summer the school, in Stirchley, won the Virtual Shrewsbury Flower Show schools’ category after submitting photographs of their efforts.

“These last 12 months have not been too bad for the garden. We’ve been here on a rota basis looking after the key workers’ children which has provided me with opportunities in between those duties to work in the garden.”

The society plaques will be proudly displayed at the Grange Avenue school.

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