An area of the school grounds that has had to be closed off during the pandemic is being brought back to life with the help and hard work of students and staff. Efforts to restore the Hardial Hayer Legacy Garden have seen the young people digging over raised planters to prepare them for planting.
During the pandemic the garden had become overgrown and weed-covered. Teaching staff began the process of getting the area ready thanks to a strimmer cutting back the grass. As part of their Citizenship and Values lessons, the students filled bags of garden waste, leaving the area looking much improved.
For the next step, students have planted sunflowers, which they have taken home to grow. They have the choice to plant them in their own gardens or to bring them back into school to brighten the school grounds.
We are grateful to Morrisons supermarket who have kindly donated compost and various plants to support the project. Students learned how to get these planted up and ready to grow. Over coming weeks it is hoped that more students, and members of staff can get involved in bringing the garden back to life. The space will be valuable as a learning resource for so many different subjects, including Biology, Geography, Art and Skills for Life.
The garden restoration came at an appropriate time as we celebrated Mental Health Awareness Week. This year’s theme was ‘Connecting with Nature’, and as research has often shown, gardening is an activity that has a positive effect on mental health and wellbeing.
As a wonderful way to end Mental Health Awareness week, we received a letter from the charity Bounce Forward, celebrating the school being awarded the Healthy Minds kitemark.
The letter explains, “The Kitemark has been awarded to schools who successfully implement and maintain good quality teaching and learning to help develop healthy minds. This is a unique achievement, which recognises your outstanding effort and commitment to developing the wellbeing of your students.”