Children and staff at St John’s Church of England Academy, Worksop, have been reaping the fruits of their labours at their magical Tiny Tots allotment!
Linda Foy is Foundation Stage 1 Practitioner at St John’s and she said, “Our growing journey has been a celebration of all generations coming together and transforming an area of abandoned wasteland into a beautiful Outdoor Classroom.
“I put out a plea for help in our weekly newsletter and four amazing grandparents came forward to help.”
Those ‘Gardening Grandparents’ are Kath and Stuart Thorpe and Louise and Ian Brereton, and their support has been invaluable says Linda. “They have generously given their time in all weathers. They have donated plants, recycled posts into pencils, planks into signs, painted the penny farthing, made stepping-stones, built a mud kitchen, and created ‘Bugingham Palace’ too! The list is endless. Their patience with the children has been magical, sharing knowledge and honesty and answering any questions children have.”
Linda says that the space has become a haven for wildlife, -and for children!
Produce grown in the allotment including potatoes onions, beetroot, peas, beans, courgettes, tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, and a pumpkin, is taken to the school kitchen where the catering team prepare the produce for children and families to taste.
Linda said kitchen staff, Sandra and Maxine, along with the school’s catering team have helped children to prepare the food for tasting.
Gez Rizzo is Principal at St John’s C of E Academy and he said, “We are so proud of the garden and allotment and want to thank everyone involved in making it such a wonderful space for our children. Special thanks must go to our ‘Gardening Grandparents’ who have been so supportive and hardworking on behalf of the school and its children. The results are there for all to see and this is now a fantastic outdoor space for children to learn, and to enjoy. I can also report that the produce is top notch and children are delighted to be able to take home the food they have lovingly grown.”
Chris Moodie is CEO of the Southwell and Nottingham Multi-Academy Trust (SNMAT) of which St John’s is a member. He said “The garden is an inspiring place for young people to learn and develop an understanding of the outdoors, gain key life skills, and enjoy being together. The hard work, vision and commitment of the staff has resulted in an exceptional opportunity for the children.”