Making Change in How We Live, Where We Live, in Light of Climate Change

Sunday, 21 April 2013

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.

School staff accompany the children so they can be fully supported in small groups. Members of our voluntary Community Garden group are there as well to help with planned (and maybe some surprise) activities.

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 8th and we will report monthly here on this blog. Next year we all hope we can start again in September with new school year groups.

And: the Community Garden also continues to be open regularly for anyone who wants to come along and join in our activities each Sunday from 11:00 to 1:00, at 5 North Drive.
Please email transitiontowntooting@gmail.com for info: all welcome!

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