Lewannick Primary School

Lewannick is a small village school on the edge of Bodmin Moor.  There are only 80 or so children on the roll, which covers Foundation, Key Stage 1 and 2, so that’s everyone from 4 to 11 years old.  The school has a lovely friendly atmosphere with children and staff working as a team.

The school received a small grant from Cornwall Gardens Trust which was used to purchase child-sized tools and seeds.  They also got me, for one afternoon a month, to offer encouragement and support to anyone who needed it.

My first visit was to assess the available space and find out how the staff and children wanted to use it.  The garden consists of four 2m squares divided by paths. The Head was not sure what could be done with such a limited area but was determined to have a go anyway.  In line with many other schools, Lewannick is working towards a ‘Healthy Eating’ regime therefore growing food crops was top of the wish list.

Despite the limited space, we all had a lot of fun. Over the months, the children planted and nurtured potatoes, onions, runner beans, peas, courgettes, rocket and spring onions

The school grounds are also used as community space by local residents especially the local teenagers who use them as a ‘chilling’ spot in the   evenings.  Initially both the Head and I saw this as a potential problem, with crops being vandalised but to their credit the worse the local youth did was to eat the pea crop contributing to their ‘5 a day’ no doubt!

The children and staff were very enthusiastic to use not only the garden but the whole outside area.  The school took out a subscription to ‘Learning Through Landscapes’, an organisation set up to inspire the use of school grounds as an additional teaching and learning space.

As a result of a successful first year, made possible with the help of Cornwall Gardens Trust, the school plans to extend its garden to six squares.  An apple tree has been planted and more Cornish varieties will follow later in the year.  So keep your fingers crossed for them that they enjoy another great year in their outdoor classroom.