Case Study: Abbeys Primary School, Milton Keynes
The whole school at Abbeys Primary in Milton Keynes got involved in celebrating the harvest in 2014. The pupils had been busy growing in their garden and looking after their produce, which includes vegetables, herbs and fruit over the year. There is a dedicated Gardening Committee who give up their lunch breaks to tend to the gardens. They also have a special Golden Time activity on a Friday afternoon where younger children in the school have a go as well and they also get to taste the produce.
In addition to these normal activities the school had an extra special day this year, which was entirely dedicated to celebrating the harvest across the whole school so that all the children could learn more about growing and cooking. To ensure the Curriculum was not ignored, Literacy and Maths that day had a ‘harvest’ related theme, each class planted sunflower seeds and made a scarecrow from hay provided by the local farmer. Each year group was then tasked with a particular challenge:
- -Foundation class made gingerbread
- -Year 1 / 2 made corn plaits and decorated them
- -Year 3 / 4 baked homemade bread
- -Year 5 / 6 made healthy harvest soups
Everything was a competition, with an individual winner in each class and the winning class also won a prize. Members of the wider growing and food growing community were invited to get involved as judges and to donate prizes. Steve Purton, Community Champion from Dobbies Garden Centre, judged the scarecrows and plaits. Yogesh Patidar, Head Baker at Kingston Tesco judged the bread competition and Community Champion Jennifer Williams, also from Kingston Tesco, judged the soups! The main prize was a trip to Dobbies Garden Centre for a morning.
A special assembly was held for the prize giving at the end of the day where all the certificates, medals and prizes were awarded.
“Gardening is so much fun and [the day] has got lots of children involved in gardening now! We even show the Year 1 and 2 children how to plant and grow their own vegetables.” Skye Jones, Year 5 and member of the Gardening Committee.
Yogesh Patidar, Head Baker at Tesco Kingston, said of her job as bread judge, “All the bread was fantastic, I think you could give some tips to my bakers, excellent flavours. You made my judging very difficult.”
“We will definitely be doing this day again next year.” Sophie Good, Head Teacher.