Primary pupils delight in harvesting school's summer crops in first week back

Green-fingered pupils have rushed back to their school gardens this September to reap what they sowed before breaking up for the summer.

Pippa-Jo Murffit, six, with the tomatoes in the greenhouse
Pippa-Jo Murffit, six, with the tomatoes in the greenhouse

Students at St Mary's Primary School, in Mucklestone, near Market Drayton, were eager to see how well their fruit and veg had grown over the summer break.

It comes after pupils and staff worked hard to prepare the ground and with the help of members of staff, planted fresh produce, including tomatoes in the green house.

Tom Braithwaite, 10; Pippa-Jo Murffit, six; Penelope Nixon, eight; and Jack Vodrey, 10, with their fruit and veg

The school grounds used to be home to an orchard and kitchen garden, so staff and pupils are surrounded by fruit trees and space to grow fruit, vegetables and flowers.

The idea came from a parent who was keen to develop the school's kitchen garden and pupils wanted to weed and tidy around the area in preparation for something new.

Clare Hill, headteacher at St Mary's Primary School said: "One of the first things pupils wanted to see when they returned to school was the garden and all of the wonderful things that had grown.

Tom Braithwaite, 10, with sweetcorn

"They were excited to pick and harvest them. This has been part of our science curriculum. Some children have parents who are keen gardeners and were very excited to have a school garden.

"We think it is great for children to learn how to grow plants and look after them. It has been good for wellbeing to spend time outside in the garden and watch it grow.

Penelope Nixon, eight, and Jack Vodrey, 10

"The staff at St Mary's consider this an important life skill that will bring them much enjoyment. We were thrilled with our harvest of beans, courgettes, cucumbers, tomatoes and raspberries.

"The sweetcorn isn't ready yet but we can't wait to harvest that."

Pupils have grown so much fresh produce that staff are now considering holding a fruit and veg sale this month outside the school, to raise money for the Parent Teachers Friends Association.

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