Outdoor Learning in the Tooting Community Garden
We’re learning with Gatton School
We are really delighted to be hosting an exciting new programme of visits by children and staff from Gatton School in Tooting to our Community Garden near Tooting Common.
This project has developed quickly since the first meetings in February: there is a lot of goodwill on all sides, and everyone is keen for it to work and to see how it develops.
Before the Spring holidays, we completed the first four weeks of visits.
|Measuring around the big tree|
What’s the purpose?
The School is keen to provide weekly experiences of outdoor learning to children – time outside, in nature, where many different projects can be planned and tried out – all influenced by the weather and the season.
|Inspecting a woodlouse|
There will be space in the programme for reflecting, observing, listening and appreciating time in the garden.
|Digging the new plot|
Experience outdoors can link to many aspects of the School’s curriculum and community, and be enhanced by activities in School: displays, maps, assemblies, writing, art, growing seedlings to transplant back to the garden. Maybe there will be a forest of sunflowers?
Some of the activities will explore growing food and flowers, or looking at the garden’s special landscape and developing some new features – such as making a circle of tree-stump seats for storytelling, tucked away in a quiet corner. The play furniture will be sanded and painted.
Who is taking part?
Each week, a quarter of the Reception age children come for an hour, and a quarter of Year Six comes for a separate hour. Others from the same year groups come in the following weeks, and then after four weeks the first groups come again, to do new things and see what has changed.
|What is it? A disk of ice from the water butt|
|Three weeks later: getting ready to plant potatoes|
The next months
We’re planning to keep this weekly rotation of children going through to July. The project can have a display at the BATCA fun day held at Gatton School on June 8thand we will report monthly here on this blog. Next year we all hope we can start again in September with new school year groups.
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