Primary pupils ‘growing their own’ in school

Schools in Ballymena, Carrick and Larne are benefitting from delicious fruit and veg from the school menu to their plate – thanks to the ever-popular ‘Schools Growing Club’ initiative.

Kirkinriola Primary in Ballymena, Oakfield Primary, Carrickfergus, and Linn Primary in Larne took part in the Schools Growing Club Programme which consists of 6 sessions where Council helped the school to create or improve their growing area, build structures such as raised beds, a composter and sweat pea structures and finally plan, sow, tend and harvest a range of fruit and vegetables.

Children also learned about re-using and recycling when we made planters and bird feeders using recycled milk bottles. The schools also received a useful Schools Growing Club Starter Kit including tools, compost and seeds.Now that all the Growing Club sessions are finished, the schools will continue to put their new knowledge into practice and work on growing, tending and harvesting in their school gardens.

Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Ald Noel Williams, said: “This has been a great opportunity for schools to promote healthier eating and drinking as well as a deeper understanding of sustainable food issues. Pupils and teachers are inspired to work together in their outside space, learn gardening skills for life and learn to take care of their local wildlife and environment.”

Pupils from Linn Primary School taking part in the ever popular Schools Growing Club initiative.

Vicky Logan, teacher at Oakfield PS, said: “The gardening project has aroused the pupil’s awareness and curiosity and provided them with an interest in their local environment. It has been an important tool in encouraging awareness and an active participation in resolving environmental problems. The gardening project has provided an interactive environment that has changed pupil’s perceptions and vegetable intake”.