We are proud to be a Royal Horticultural Society LEVEL 5 SCHOOL!
Bradley Barton Primary School
Newton Abbot, Devon
At Bradley Barton all 220 pupils from Year 1 to Year 6 take part in a two-hour lesson every week called The Outdoor Classroom. Classes are divided into mixed-age, mixed-ability groups and most classes cover two year groups. Pupils spend two academic years in each class and skills are passed on by the older pupils mentoring the younger ones who in turn act as mentors the following year.
The Outdoor Classroom embraces gardening, wildlife studies, research projects and workshop activities, all connected to the garden. Workshop activities include cookery, design, making displays and labels, letter writing, junk modelling and photography. Research is supported by a specialist library and IT and written activities are differentiated to cater for all academic abilities. Food-related projects have included Year 1 and 2 designing and making healthy sandwiches, including making their own bread and using salad ingredients from the garden, while Year 6 have made crunchy pear fool with fruit from the school orchard.
Responsibility for different tasks is shared out, for example KS2 pupils look after the recycling of rubbish and composting as well as grounds maintenance such as sweeping, litter picking and raking leaves while the Early Birds breakfast club looks after the chickens hatched and reared at the school. Years 5 and 6 plan crop rotation and soil nutrition schedules, while year 3 and 4 have designed and built new features to encourage wildlife.
Good ideas from Bradley Barton
? Enter local Schools in Bloom competitions to give pupils something to aim for, and outside recognition for their efforts
? Explore local sources of funding and help. Devon County Garden Trust gave £100 to buy tools, and local seedsman Edwin Tucker gives discounts and valuable expert advice
? Use parent power: one father and his digger transformed an old play area into a vegetable garden in a single weekend.