Pupils planting in eth school allotment. Credit: Grimes Dyke Primary School
Grimes Dyke Primary School, based in Seacroft Leeds, nurtures a community where everyone has the self-belief to aspire, enjoy and achieve without limits. Locally, the school is among a growing number of organisations involved in the #getgrowingLeeds initiative which encourages people to grow food and invites participants to share online what vegetables they are growing this year.
The school has funding from the Nature Friendly Schools initiative available for schools with a high proportion of children with free school meals. All of the children in school benefit but a small focus group have been selected to take part in weekly gardening sessions as well as their class outdoor curriculum. Raised beds were installed in April and the teachers have worked with the students to plant potatoes, rhubarb, gooseberries, raspberries, strawberries, red currants, chillies, beans, sweet peas, salad leaves and broccoli.
Louise Hill, Headteacher at Grimes Dyke Primary School says: ‘We understand that the outdoors is hugely beneficial to children's wellbeing, health and education so try and take as many lessons outside as possible. We are already seeing a positive impact in school. In terms of the allotment, we started that at Easter and try and make sure all children are involved in the many different tasks. We're working closely with our catering team to expand the use of the vegetables in the school kitchen and to plant specific fruit, vegetables and herbs that can be used by our cook Liz. This is only the beginning but we're very proud of how far we've come already.'
Sustain are encouraging more areas to launch Veg Cities campaigns and get local businesses and organisations making veg pledges. Veg Cities is a campaign of Sustainable Food Places and is run in partnership with Peas Please.