Sustainable Merton has partnered with Links Primary School in Mitcham to teach classes for Year Three and to run a Gardening Club after school. The lessons teach the children the importance of sustainability and of maintaining green spaces and allow the students to get outside and learn about plants and gardening.
In one lesson, the children drew plant life-cycles to help them to understand the process of a seed growing into a plant. In being taught the scientific side of gardening, the students learnt terms like ‘photosynthesis’ and about where the fruits and vegetables they eat come from and how they are grown.
In another lesson the students made a wormery and were taught how it would benefit their school gardens. They enjoyed putting it together and learning about the different types of fruit and vegetables they could put into it as food for the worms. The children were full of questions in this lesson and were excited to see how the wormery had changed by the next session. This also taught the children about the importance of composting and what can and cannot go into their school compost bin.
The children also get to enjoy the practical side of gardening by digging, weeding and planting the plots around their schools and taking home their own planted seeds in pots to look after. The children are encouraged to water and care for these, teaching them the importance of being responsible for something and allowing them to see their work pay off as their plants grow. The children have become very respectful of the school gardens and have made some creative ‘please respect out gardens’ signs to encourage others to show the same consideration.
Sustainable Merton’s work at Links School means that the children learn something new every week, get stuck in with all the practical activities and are always eager to come to the next class or club. This project has taught the students about the importance of sustainability and of caring for our gardens and green spaces and has successfully created some enthusiastic young gardeners who enjoy learning outside.