On Thursday, the Pre-Prep Gardening Club were presented with an RHS School Gardening Award, Level One in recognition for all the hard work they have done creating and maintaining the Pre-Prep gardens.
With the help of three teachers, Mrs Manning, Mrs Wade and Mrs MacMillan and Andrew, one of the Prep boys, the team took over from the work the Nursery began in 2011. The boys wanted to create a sensory garden using recycled materials so they sourced tyres from Tyres Direct in Chalfont St Peter and filled them with soil and plants. Paths were dug and Miss Mercer kindly donated her science budget which went towards creating two willow sculptures. Mrs Doran created a second garden with the help of the boys and Lukas’s mum, Mrs Georgiou which incorporated a beautiful lavender pathway.
In addition to creating the sensory garden, each class has a raised bed to take care of and these are usually sown with fruit and vegetables (all organic!), which the school tortoises, Victor and Margaret enjoy sampling. There is a compost bin where all the fruit and vegetable scraps go to be turned into compost for the garden and a wormery, which the boys love watching! Finally, a circle of logs has been created which is used as a storytelling circle by boys and teachers.
As Christmas approaches, the boys will be:
planting daffodil and bluebell bulbs
topping up the earth in the tyre planters using compost from the bin
taking care of the wormery
cutting back the plants and refilling the compost bin.
As the weather gets colder and wetter the boys will work inside:
creating bug hotels for insects to hibernate in
planting hyacinth bulbs in recycled tins/ objects
making bird feeders and scarecrows.
Mrs Manning is the teacher in charge of Gardening Club:
‘Gardening Club is one of the most popular lunchtime clubs at Thorpe and it’s a great way of teaching the boys the importance of respecting their immediate environment, why they should and ways in which they can recycle and the names of different types of plants and animals. Some children also find playtime stressful so this gives them the opportunity to work cooperatively with smaller groups of children. Having achieved our Level One, the boys are really excited about working towards their Level Two, part of which will involve taking photos of the beautiful fruit, vegetables and flowers we grow in the spring and summer.’