The Duchess of Cambridge visited green fingered youngsters at Robin Hood Primary School in Kingston Vale today to celebrate ten years of the Royal Horticultural Society’s (RHS) Campaign for School Gardening.
Her Royal Highness got straight to work with some of the school’s 5-11 year old pupils; helping to plant spring-flowering bulbs – including daffodils and snake's head fritillaries - and build bug hotels for garden insects in the shadow of the school’s existing ‘Buggingham Palace’.
During the visit, The Duchess received a briefing on the RHS nation-wide campaign and heard from the keen young gardeners about what they enjoy most about learning in a garden setting and from teachers about its impact. A recent survey of those taking part in the RHS campaign found that four in five have used gardening to improve young people’s health and wellbeing.1
Robin Hood Primary School is one of over 34,000 schools and youth groups now signed up to the RHS campaign which calls for all children to be given the chance to garden.
With support from the RHS, the school has developed a progressive outdoor learning curriculum where pupils have access to a range of outdoor classrooms in a woodland setting. These give children the opportunity to explore the natural environment and take part in challenging yet achievable activities that bring learning to life.
Ruth Evans, Director of Education said: “We’re tremendously honoured that the Duchess of Cambridge has taken the time to see first-hand the huge and positive impact that gardening can have on children’s educational attainment and health and wellbeing. Through our RHS Campaign for School Gardening we have a growing army of school children already helping to protect and nurture our invaluable green spaces in towns and cities and lend a helping hand to important and varied wildlife.”
Pete Boulton, Headteacher at Robin Hood Primary & Nursery School, said: “Gardening and outdoor learning has become an essential part of the curriculum. The development of a creative and engaging outdoor learning environment has enhanced our thematic classroom based learning and committed staff and enthusiastic children have benefitted from the invaluable skills of collaboration and teamwork.
“Our outdoor learning approach and gardening opportunities support children’s development, enabling them to develop their confidence and resilience in a sociable and stimulating environment. We’re delighted that The Duchess has given our garden and its keen gardeners her royal seal of approval and we now look forward to welcoming the inhabitants of our newly built bug house and spring bulb colour.”
Schools and youth groups can sign-up to receive free resources and support from the RHS Campaign for School Gardening. Useful tools include seeds, plant labels, stickers and posters, as well as ideas for practical activities and lesson plans to help make the most of a school garden.
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