Pupils will be greeted with new allotment on return to school

Ellesmere Primary children are really going to dig the school's new allotment when they return next week.

Some of the key worker children getting the allotment ready
Some of the key worker children getting the allotment ready

While the majority of pupils have been learning at home during lockdown, there has been plenty of hard work ongoing to make the school's extensive outdoor area even more attractive and productive.

Now they will be able to grow their own vegetables in a series of raised beds, which will complement Ellesmere's already-impressive outdoor classrooms, forest school and wildlife-packed pond.

Children will learn where their food comes from, plant life cycles, the importance of pollinators, food chains, sustainability, recycling, caring for the environment, teamwork and much more.

Headteacher Stuart Roberts said: “I've wanted to get an allotment up and running since becoming head here, as we have so much space outside and I know the benefits that growing vegetables can bring to children – particularly those who flourish most in practical settings.

“I'm a complete beginner, but I saw at my previous school how much children can get from it, and how much they can learn.

“We wanted to create enough space for every class to have their own area, so I asked our caretaker, Peter Brayne, to build substantial raised beds after taking advice from a couple of local allotmenteers.

Allotment Club

"Sleepers were supplied by Tudor Griffiths at a discounted rate, and Dandy's Topsoil provided soil and compost at mates' rates.

“Then we roped in a couple of willing parents with a mini-digger and tipper truck, so it has been a real team effort and I'm absolutely delighted with the results."

The plan is for each class to nurture seedlings indoors before planting them outside. Then, after tending to their crops and harvesting the crop, children will learn how to cook their own lunches with the produce.

Mr Roberts added: "We’re setting up an Allotment Club so the children who are really passionate about the project can take real ownership of it.

“We are also hoping we will be able to count on the support of some green-fingered parents and grandparents once things get back to normal!"

Ellesmere Primary School joined North West Academies Trust in September 2016 and has made great progress as an ambitious programme of transformation continues.

Classrooms have been significantly upgraded with fresh fittings and state-of-the-art kitchen areas, while new flooring and heating systems have been installed and the car park has been made safer.

The school was highly praised in last year’s ‘Good’ Ofsted inspection and pupil numbers are on the rise.

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