As a school we are lucky enough to have got an allotment. It is about 20 minutes drive from school and we are also lucky enough to have a minibus so that we can get to it! I went out to visit it for the first time today. The allotment itself, it is fair to say, needs some attention! It is in a beautiful area where there are also animals such as mini pigs, a communal kitchen, a large poly-tunnel, picnic tables, toilets and even a small playground.
The fact that attention is needed is good. I have a group of interesting children who show us some challenging behaviours. We have decided to take them out each week to have an afternoon working on the allotment – digging, weeding, planting, growing, measuring, independent and group work – there are lots of learning opportunities that we can plan in for them.
We are going to go out to the allotment regardless of the weather – so I was quite happy to see the poly tunnel. I have a TA who is Nurture Group trained coming with me, so we are hoping that between us we can apply some of the Nurture Group principles but in an outdoor environment. I am also hoping that this will be an opportunity to involve the parents so the letter asking for permission to take the children also implicitly invites them too – will they come? Who knows, we can but try.
I’m looking forward to finding out my wellies and giving the group a go – will it help their behaviour? I can’t say but I’m hoping that an opportunity to learn through doing something physical and practical will excite them too.
Watch this space!