Early in May we held a delightful celebration of three years’ shared experience of the outdoor learning project between Gatton Primary School and Tooting Community Garden
You can look at that blog report by clicking here

The sun shone on us all and lit the mosaic made at the school with every pupil involved. 
Among the natural images the tiles spell out the three phrases that are the title of this post.

What is outdoor learning? ‘OL’ covers many activities (not only gardening) and settings. OL offers opportunities for surprising and diverse impact on participantsnot fixed or one-sizefitsall.

Have a look at this earlier TTT post on outdoor learning with younger children from Gatton School.
Also, click on OUTDOOR LEARNING in the Quick LInks at the top of this web page for stories from 3 years of the project.

We want to share Gatton School pupils’ own words about their experience of the project. Young people from Year Six (10 & 11 years old) made confident and touching short speeches at the celebration, and you can read the texts here

 All the statements are fascinating, and I’ll quote just parts of what 4 different pupils said:

  • “For over three years now our school has worked as a team to create these projects which you see before you. Team work is necessary in our lives and Gatton School has used this advantage to work as a team and benefit the environment”
  • “We can cultivate land together and learn more social skills when we are engrossed in doing gardening together as either a family or as a community”
  • Taking part in such activities even improves our Design & Technology skills and encourages children to do something that benefits them as well as having fun doing so. D&T inspires children’s creativity and pushes them to think about important ways to support Mother Nature” 
  •  “Nature plays an important part in every religion and it is everyone’s responsibility to take care of it. We strongly believe that this community garden has brought us together and closer than ever before”

I asked Rifat Batool, Head of Gatton School, to share some of her vision for establishing and continuing the project. She said:

“Outdoor and engaging learning is a strong aspect of our work at Gatton School. The various projects carried out in the community garden over the past 3 years have allowed pupils to see first-hand how much we can do together as part of a strong partnership committed to learning. 

We continually challenge our thinking and way of learning to drive for more innovative ideas to enhance learning even further. This allows pupils to see that so much is possible when using creativity, imagination and sense of purpose. 

This partnership and celebration represents the coming together of people from different backgrounds and interests  and is an amazing representation of teamwork, collaboration and mutual respect”.

TTT feels honoured to be part of three years of positive experiment, and grateful for the commitment shown by the children, Gatton School staff, Mushkil Aasaan the owners of the garden site and our own team, rain or shine.

Thank you all, and we’re looking forward to the next three years!
– Charles