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Knutsford Schools Update - 2013

Knutsford's schools, primary and secondary, all encourage environmental awareness, including nature and horticulture and are involved with the wider Knutsford community in many ways. 

Knutsford High continues to develop the horticultural interests of some of it's pupils via the gardening club, which has been making the most of their on-site greenhouse and planting on the school grounds.  In addition, they continue to maintain the Arthur Sancto raised bed at the station and have helped in planting the cleared and replanted bank at the corner of Brook Street in partnership with Aldi and Knutsford in Bloom.

Manor Park Primary School - 2013

Manor Park Primary has many raised beds and planting areas around the school grounds.  It has a shared allotment with raised beds for the school children, parents and residents.  It also has a small orchard and a woodland area. 

This year the school has concentrated on it's allotment with an allotment group meeting on Friday afternoons.  The school was invited to visit Waitrose in Knutsford this year to take part in their 'Grow and Sell' initiative, where the children plant the seeds donated by Waitrose, tend them and the resulting produce will be taken to Waitrose and sold to the public by the children, helping the children to see growing from start to finish.  They have sown; peas, beans, lettuce, strawberries, tomatoes and more.

St Vincent's RC Primary School - 2013

 St Vincent's RC Primary School pupils created the Knutsford in Bloom logo back in 2010.  We loved the cheery picture from Annie Cusselle and the strap line from Tom Quimby, so we decided to put the two  together to make our FAB logo which can be seen on all of our signs.

 St Vincent's has raised beds for; fruit, vegetables, flowers and herbs, hanging baskets a greenhouse used to get things started before planting out and many planting areas and a pond within the school grounds.  They are growing; corn, potatoes, peas, broad beans, tomatoes, sunflowers, sweetpeas and nastursiums.

 They have a gardening club meeting over the lunch time period.

 They also have a fenced off pond area planted with marginal plants, where they look for frogs and tadpoles.  Reception have their own separate gardening area, planted and tended by the children.  They are also very keen on recycling. 

Bexton Primary School - 2013

Bexton Primary School has had a massive make over in their school garden this year with a complete redesign and the installation of 14 raised beds made from recycled concrete tubes funded by Peaks and Plains Housing Trust.  Vision and installation by Jon Tilley garden designer and the mosiac decoration by three local artists.  The children will be growing; vegetables and flowers.

There is a big leaf collection to make leaf mulch each year, bulb planting and insect hotels created.  There is also a gardening club for the children.

The new garden will be linked to woodland, previously funded by Peaks and Plains Housing Trust, which has been extended with free trees donated by the Woodland Trust and the local forestry commission.  The woodland will be further extended over time.

Children from Bexton Primary also visited Arley Hall and Gardens, one of our regions 'Gardens of Distinction' and had seed sowing lessons with the gardeners in the greenhouse, toured the award winning gardens and the Hall. 

Arley Hall and gardens is open to the public and hosts many events including the Areley Hall Garden Festival in June each year and has a nursery within it's grounds.  Knutsford in Bloom has bought many perennials from the nursery over the years to plant in the town beds.

St John's Wood School - 2013

St John's Wood school students grow flowers, fruit and vegetables including; stawberries, tomatoes and onions.  They have also planted some fruit trees with the intention of using the fruit in food technology lessons.

Many of the students have also taken part in the John Muir Award, focusing on nature, undertaking various activities including wild meadow and tree planting within the school grounds.

Egerton Primary School - 2013

Egerton Primary have been busy in the garden as usual!  This year the school has recently had a make over in the school garden designed by the children and constructed by the parents.  (Photos to follow)

This is in addition to their vegetable and flower beds, the 'Spider Logs' climbing frame and trail, the 'Bird and Bat Walk', the 'Magic Wood' where children explor the woodland and hear stories told from the 'story telling throne' created by Tim Burgess our local wood carving expert, from a fallen oak from the Tatton Park estate.  All of the areas are developed with the children playing an integral part in the design.  

There is a strong emphasis on nature, sustainability and recycling at the school.

The school is also keen to maintain its strong links with is sister school in Kenya, set up by Maurice Egerton of Tatton Park in 1939. 

Knutsford Schools Update - 2012

Knutsford has five primary schools; Bexton, Egerton, Manor Park, St Vincent's RC and independent school Yorston Lodge.  Our high school has recently taken on academy status, changing its name to Knutsford Academy.  Finally, St John's Wood school is a small secondary level school for children with issues, calling for more specialist teaching.

All of our schools are actively involved in encouraging thier pupils to engage with nature, horticulture, agriculture and wider environmental issues by study and practical hands-on activity.  All of our schools' gardens are continuously developing.

Three of our five primary schools are registered with the RHS Campaign for School Gardening Scheme; Bexton, St Vincent's and Manor Park.  Knutsford in Bloom will be taking the RHS North West in Bloom judges along to St Vincent's Primary School this year to see thier practical gardening and lessons.

Below is a brief description of our schools' activities and plans for the year: 

St Vincent's RC:

·       Creators of the Knutsford in Bloom logo in 2010. When our group was first formed we invited all of our local schools to take part in our 'Knutsford in Bloom' logo competition. Two of St Vincent’s primary children won jointly, both aged nine years old. St Vincent's school received £25 in garden centre vouchers to put towards their gardening projects. Our logo is featured on all our stationary, signs and certificates.

·       Raised beds – several raised beds for vegetables and flowers in the school grounds.  Growing; corn, potatoes, peas, broad beans, tomatoes, sunflowers and nasturtiums.  Including conducting a seed potato trial with the Potato Council.  Each class has its own raised bed. 

·       Raised flower bed – to the front of the school with mixed perennial and annual bedding, planted and tended by the children.

·       Hanging baskets – planted by the children hung on school fence.

·       Greenhouse – with tomatoes, nasturtiums etc, sown raised and planted out by the children.

·       Recycling – lots of recycling going on and looking at how this affects nature.

·       After school gardening club – meeting for one hour each week.

·       Reception – have their own separate gardening area which is planted and tended by the children with vegetables and flowers.

·       Friends of St Vincent’s Pre-school Playgroup – is a separate voluntary group with static rooms on the school site.  The playgroup also encourages the little children to play with the soil, sow seed and follow its progress and also learn about nature.

·       Raised sleeper bed at Knutsford station – the Friends of St Vincent’s Pre-school Playgroup are going to develop a raised bed at the station with the help of Knutsford in Bloom, which will begin during summer 2012. 

 

Egerton Primary:

 

·       The ‘Magic Wood’ – Reception share this wonderful area with Egerton pre-school, which is designed to develop imaginative play in the early years.  It includes a dwarf orchard, a tree house, a small cottage, giant ferns and a story teller’s throne carving of the Egerton lion from a fallen oak from Tatton Park.

·       Vegetable and flower beds – Beds including both flowers and vegetables are sown and tended in the infant playground.

·       ‘Spider Logs’ – This new climbing frame and trail has been created this year.

·       Circular path installed – The school grounds are prone to saturation in certain areas.  The circular path was designed to join up all of the outside areas avoiding muddy areas for the children.

·       ‘Bird and Bat Walk’ – Work on this area of the garden is to begin shortly.

·       Recycling and nature – Feature highly in the children’s studies.

·       Plans based upon the children’s ideas.

·       Tatton Park – The school shares close links with Tatton Park whose previous owners for many years were the Egerton Family.

·       The Kenya Project – Maurice Egerton of Tatton Park set up the Kenya Project in 1939, a primary school for workers and the University of Agriculture in Kenya.  The links between the schools have been strengthened over the years.

Manor Park Primary:

 

·       Allotment – Is a part school and part community project.  Each class decides upon what they would like to grow, which is then used in science experiments.

·       Orchard – A small orchard was planted a few years ago which is maintained well and the fruit picked and used.

·       Planters in front of the school – Are planted and maintained by the children year round.

·       Gardening Club – This is up and running very successfully.

·       Recycling – features highly at the school.

·       RHS twilight sessions – Manor Park was the venue for this event last year and reached level 3 in the school’s achievement benchmarking site.

·       RHS schools competition entered in previous years at Tatton Flower Show.

·       ‘The Spinney’ – Is a large wood on the school site.  There are plans for a working party to clear out all the overgrowing ivy etc and then plant wild flowers.  Work is due to commence late summer/autumn this year.                

 

Bexton Primary:

 

·       Vegetables and flowers – The children sow, tend and pick various vegetables including; beans and potatoes.

·       Leaf mulch – The children have been making leaf mulch, by collecting the leaves from the school’s trees and putting them aside in bin bags to rot down for future use.

·       Recycling – is demonstrated in the recycling of the leaves, along with many other practices.

·       Bulb planting and insect hotels – undertaken by the children.

·       Gardening Club – for the children.

·       Future Plans – The gardening club plans to create a new gardening area with raised beds, a wildflower meadow, a mini orchard and poly tunnel.  During the summer holidays two mobile classrooms will be demolished and the new gardens will be created in this space.  The Gardening Club children planned the garden.

·       Woodland – The new garden will be linked to the woodland area, which has been extended with the help of free trees provided by the Woodland Trust and the local Forestry Commission.  Work continues to extend the woodland further.  A path has also been created.

  

Yorston Lodge:

 

Yorston Lodge has a problem to overcome, as the school does not have the facilities for gardening at the moment.  The Victorian style school building with a playground rather than green space is being discussed with the children’s parents to find a solution.  Future plans include creating raised beds in the grounds.

 

Knutsford Academy:

 

·       Arthur Sancto raised bed – Members of the school garden club plant and maintain the recently created raised bed with Knutsford in Bloom at Knutsford station. 

·       Art work – Produced by Knutsford Academy pupils is on permanent display at Knutsford station.

 

St John’s Wood School:

 

·       Raised beds – The pupils worked with their teachers to create the beds.  They plant, tend and harvest vegetables year round.

·       Herb planter – The school has a large herb planter, created and planted by the pupils.

 

Egerton Primary School - 2011

This year the school garden has been given a face lift, with planting  currently going on. The youngest children have giant raised beds in their playground which they are responsible for. The school also has the ‘Magical Wood’ shared with Egerton pre School which is designed to develop imaginative play in the early years. It includes a dwarf orchard a tree house, a small cottage, giant ferns and a story telling throne carved into the Egerton lion from a fallen oak from Tatton.

Phase 2 of the school grounds development will also begin this year, which include the Junior playgrounds and fields.  The plans are based upon the children's ideas.

Alison Hooper, the school's headteacher has kindly agreed to allow Knutsford in Bloom to visit with the RHS judges on 18 July, to see the wonderful work being done in the school, developing gardening ideas, including recycling and nature.

St Vincent de Paul Catholic Primary School - 2011

This year St Vincent's is concentrating on developing the school grounds.  Working on raised vegetable beds and the flower beds at the front of the school.  St Vincent's have also decided to carry on the theme of the royal wedding by planting their flowerbeds in red, white and blue.  

St Vincen'ts do a great deal with gardening, recycling and nature.  Please also look below at how much they do on a yearly basis.   

Tatton Show 2010 - Cheshire Schools Competitions

This year schools in Cheshire were invited by Tatton Show to enter the 'Tunes and Blooms' competition, with an emphasis on growing and caring for plants and recycling.  Three of our primary schools entered this year; Bexton Primary with 'The Rainbow Piano', Egerton Primary with 'The Plight of the Bumble Bee' and Manor Park Primary with 'Somewhere Over The Rainbow'.

To see the lovely displays, please go to the photo gallary and click on the 'schools' album.  For more detailed photos, please click on 'slide show', and 'full screne'.

RHS Campaign for School Gardening

The RHS Campaign for School Gardening aims to encourage and support schools to develop and actively use a school garden.  As part of the campaign the RHS will provide teachers with resources through their website and an extensive programme of CPD days.  Resources include; lesson plans, gardening advice, seasonal activities, free seeds from the Schools Seed Distribution Scheme once a year and heaps more.

For more information visit www.rhs.org.uk/schoolgardening

Roundabouts set to bloom (Knutsford Guardian - June 2010)

195 primary school pupils took part in creating this summer's roundabout displays in the town.  The RHS and Cheshire East Council decided on the themes of; Alice in Wonderland, cakes, smiles and rainbows.  The competition was judged by the Knutsford Guardian Editor and three Cheshire East officials.  The winners from Knutsford were Polly Kemshead of Bexton Primary School and Enya Fitton and Eleanor Johnson of St Vincent De Paul RC Primary School. 

Schools: Growing Gardens Competition ('The Garden' March 2010)

The RHS and the Puffin Book Club have launched the Growing Gardens Competition, offering the chance to win a school garden makeover.  Blue Peter Gardener Chris Collins will work with staff and pupils to re-create the winning design.  Entries must be in by 14 May 2010.

Visit www.puffinbookclub.co.uk for more information.

Well Done Knutsford High School (Knutsford Guardian - February 2010)

Knutsford High School students have won Best Kept Station in Cheshire East.  The art students have created some fantastic artwork displayed on the walls of the station, whilst the planting and design of two flower beds have been undertaken by children at the school.

Knutsford High School has also taken on the planting of the new raised bed on the Chester Line in commoration of Arthur Sancto, a keen railway enthusiast.

Knutsford High have a large greenhouse at their school grounds, which allows them to raise thier own plants, and allows the students from their gardening club to take care of the plants that will make it to the station beds.

St John's Wood High School

St John's Wood built a school garden in 2009 with the help of the students, and benefited from a really good harvest of vegetables.  Their next project is the planting of winter vegetables.  They have 4 raised beds and a large herb planter.

St John's Wood are planning to work with the fire station and contribute to the local community, by planting and maintaining the flower bed outside the fire station this year.  Good luck St John's Wood School. 

Bexton Primary School

Quite a lot goes on at Bexton Primary including; a vegetable area for Key Stage 1, tree planting on 10th November 2009 in collaboration with Breathing Spaces.  This will be the first year of the Gardening Club which will be running for years 4, 5 and 6 during the summer term - Good luck. 

The school is very proud of their new mixed native hedging planted along the front of the school to create a natural barrier; which will enhance biodiversity.  This has been made possible by the very generous donations of the parents.  Well done Bexton Primary. 

One problem faced by the school is rabbits.  Any advice is gladly received.                                                                     

St Vincent de Paul Catholic Primary School

St Vincent's have a school garden which is looked after by the gardening club, meeting for one hour each Tuesday.  The children raise and tend the plants in the garden.  The school also has a greenhouse, which allows the children to transplant plants.  There are plans for each class to have their own garden this year. 

St Vincent's is the only school in Knutsford to have joined the RHS Campaign for School Gardening.

Knutsford in Bloom Logo School Competition - The Winners!

Congratulations to Annie Cusselle and Tom Quenby of St Vincent's Primary School.  Annie's picture is a perfect representation of what we are all about and Tom's caption is so uplifting it couldn't be ignored, we had to incorporate it into the logo.  Together Annie and Tom have won the £25 garden centre voucher, which will  make a good contribution to the school gardening activities at St Vincent's Primary School.  Well done Annie and Tom!

Look out for our logo around the town.

Manor Park Primary School

Manor Park did a lot of work with vegetable growing last year and took part in the Wonderful World of Vegetables display at RHS Tatton.  They worked with Down to Earth who helped with the creation of the school allotment in the former outdoor swimming pool. 

The school have created a fabulous orchard area and are planning to set up a school gardening club this year.

Egerton Primary School

Egerton Primary has close links with Tatton Park both linked to the Egertons, former owners of the Park and benefactors to Knutsford.  The school contributed to the Wonderful World of Vegetables display at RHS Tatton last year.  Each year group has it's own garden at the school, where they tend to grow vegetables.

The Kenya Project - Maurice Egerton of Tatton Park set up the Kenya Project in 1939, a primary school for workers and the University of Agriculture in Kenya.  Sam Youd of Tatton Park made contact with the school in Kenya in 2006, and created a Back to Back garden for the RHS Tatton show in celebration of their links.  Every child at Egerton Primary took part and the garden won gold!

This year the school are going to enter the school display area at RHS Tatton with a display designed to attract Bees.