Making the most of Autumn with some outdoor learning
Nature influences so many aspects of our daily lives, yet we quite often neglect it and sadly walk straight past. Our disregard for plants in particular has even got a name – plant blindness.
Developing an enhanced awareness of natural events which bring people together and create communities is something that we want to encourage at St Mary’s - helping to change lives and boost wellbeing.
Out in the Autumn air
Our Year 9 visits to the Botanical Gardens on Friday lunchtimes this term have really opened our eyes to the changing colours and have been a welcome break after the busy week. We will be following the seasons with our walks throughout the year.
Those of us with a love of gardening have continued to share our fresh produce at the Community Produce Stall in the school reception. With students, staff and parents bringing and taking plants, fruit and veg, we have helped to reduce waste, share the garden gluts, and support each other with advice and home-grown gardening tips. Who doesn't like an apple crumble or pear and chocolate pudding as the nights draw in?
Gardening Club’s exciting plans
The Gardening Club every Thursday, with our wonderful gardeners, Sarah and Phil, has been busy propagating and planting to increase the number of plants in and around our school.
We have plans for a sensory garden, with the design being worked on with both the eco- and well-being committees. Together they will be creating a calming space for everyone in our community to embrace all of our senses. A new herb bed just outside the food technology room will also mean some essential ingredients will always be on hand.
Even though there are autumn berries and fruits on the trees, the birdfeeders in the garden are being visited a lot!
Eco- inventiveness in the outdoor classroom
Our Eco committee have been busy this term decorating glass jars for candles which made a wonderful display outside. The comittee is also involved in bringing ideas together for the sensory garden.
The thriving Outdoor Learning Hub
This new outdoor space, nestled in the Chapel Garden, is being used for multiple different pastoral and academic aspects of school life. Our students are loving the calmness it brings from being away from technology. Resources are being introduced to support teaching staff in planning lessons in the Hub.
Year 9 Fundraising for Biophillic classrooms
To help bring nature into the classroom, each Year 9 form will be given a kick-starter of £20 towards fundraising after half term for new plants in their form rooms. Last year’s fundraising involved selling sweets, popcorn, candy floss, coffee and hot chocolate, as well as homemade candles, bath salts and jewellery. A representative from each form will then be nominated to visit the garden centre to choose plants which will stay with the form as they move on into their Year 10 form rooms.