Gatton School, located near Tooting Broadway, have been coming to the Community Garden every week since March as part of their Outdoor Learning programme. At the moment we have Year One and Year Six staff and children taking part, alongside TTT volunteers.
Between now and the end of term in December, we are running two projects: the Big Build, and Bug Hotels (we seem to be in a construction frame of mind, good for these winter weeks).
|The plan takes shape|
The Big Build is a set of weekly steps that will construct a rain-water harvesting roof (and that will also provide shelter for activities in 2014…so it is win-win!). TTT’s resident civil engineer, Richard, has developed the steps. As in all projects success depends on having a good plan (and knowing when you need to modify it) and people who want it to succeed (TTT volunteers and the children). Oh…and some decent weather. The school is linking the project with learning objectives for the children, and there’ll be a great sense of practical achievement all round when it’s all done.
And like all projects the pre-work is important. First we have to clear the site..here is a report on yesterday’s first step:
|Compost looking for a heap|
The second project is Bug Hotels. This project will use recycled materials to provide shelter for the beneficial insects and other creatures that live in the Garden. In fact with dozens of children involved, the Community Garden’s mini-beasts are going to be very well housed. Again, this project can link with activities in school, and useful preparation can be done at school if we are rained off.
|Palatial overwintering site|
|Small and simple accommodation|
We know that above all these projects are about offering two valuable experiences: enjoying time oudoors, and learning new things in a creative way, together. Even if project plans get stretched, it’s great to have the opportunity- plus cooperation between the school and TTT -so we can all experiment. We’ll let you know how we progress!