Info For Schools

Any school with space in their playground should think about having an edible playground. In a year’s time when everything is growing up with strawberries and apples and veggies, it’s going to be fantastic and the children would have been responsible for that. You can see how happy they are already!

Michael Palin, Actor and Patron of Carlton Primary School in Camden, London at the opening of the school’s Edible Playground May 2015.

What's in it for my school?

  • Part of your school’s playground will become a vibrant outdoor classroom, where your pupils can learn how to plant and look after fresh fruit and vegetables – and then eat them!
  • The benefits of an Edible Playground go beyond improving understanding and appreciation of food – they help promote and establish a pattern for healthy eating which will stay with your pupils throughout their lives
  • Edible Playgrounds support the new  national curriculum in Design and Technology and offer great scope for teaching other subjects across the rest of the curriculum including maths, english, science and more.
  • Ofsted research shows that outdoor learning makes a big contribution to raising standards and improving pupils’ personal, social and emotional development
  • Edible Playgrounds build on health initiatives already in place like Healthy Schools, to enable schools to grow healthy food to eat. The School Food Plan states that: ‘Using produce from the school garden is a great way to encourage children to try new vegetables and fruit
  • Improving children’s diet will help to create a school of engaged, enthusiastic pupils who are keen to learn. The London Assembly reported in 2013 that lack of nutrition in a child’s diet can affect their ability to concentrate and process information, with the potential to hinder performance and attainment
  • The Edible Playground is an unique asset to your school, demonstrating your commitment to teaching local children is more holistic, going beyond the traditional subjects and instilling healthy habits for life. Parents appreciate this approach and it’s something else for them to consider when choosing schools for their children.
  • Children love using the Edible Playgrounds as they enjoy being outdoors and learning about plants and healthy eating. And of course, happy children are more receptive children.

How much space does it take?

Each Edible Playground is built to suit you and the space available so there is no minimum or maximum size. As a rule of thumb, an Edible Playground typically includes raised beds, a greenhouse, composter and irrigation system but we can work with you to find out what would best suit your school, staff and pupils.

How much time and staffing resource is involved?

We run training sessions for a member of your school’s teaching staff. Practical subjects include planning, sowing, planting, harvesting and maintaining the Edible Playground which will give you the confidence and skills to ensure it’s an effective teaching resource all year round.

As well as training you in how to grow fruit and vegetables, we will help you to teach other subjects through the Edible Playground. It is about doing what you already do, but delivering it in a different way through the Edible Playground.

Consider appointing a “Growing Champion”. Our most successful projects are those where a member of the Leadership team has overall responsibility for embedding use of the Edible Playground across the school.

How will Trees for Cities help us?

  • We are the only organisation to offer hands on, feet on the ground delivery of food growing spaces in schools.
  • We will conduct a full survey of the site and design the Edible Playground after extensive consulation with staff, pupils, governors and parents
  • Your designated Edible Playground Coordinator will support the Senior Management team and teaching staff over the following growing year to ensure the school can use and maintain the Edible Playground as an effective outdoor classroom.
  • We will provide a tailored growing plan, training sessions for a member of the teaching staff and support to integrate use of the Edible Playground in teaching plans.
  • We can offer you support with fundraising, communications and marketing to help you raise funds for the build and maintenance to ensure long term success of the Edible Playground
  • You will have access to an on-line resource hub with materials from the training course, advice, tips and suggestions. The hub will also guide you to the best of the growing resoures that are already available on the web. We have searched through the maze of materials out there and picked out those we feel will best support our school. We make it easy for you!

How much does it cost?

The cost depends on the size and type of Edible Playground you’re looking for. On average the cost is from £30,000 – £40,000, which covers design, consultation, construction, educational support and project management. We can help you work out the best solution for your available space and budget.

Is funding available?

Your school will need to find the money for the initial development phase to cover the costs of consultation and design. Trees for Cities can also point you in the right direction for possible funding sources for the second phase of the project, (the build and educational support) and in most cases, we can provide some match funding.

Players of People’s Postcode Lottery are supporting 10 schools over two years (2015/16 and 2016/17) in London and selected UK cities (including Liverpool, Reading, and Manchester), by match funding 50% of your school’s investment in an Edible Playground. If your school has more than 35% free school meal entitlement (pupil premium) and holds a Food for Life Catering Mark please contact info@edibleplaygrounds.org about this opportunity.

Where can I see an Edible Playground in action?

This short video shows the Edible Playground we created at Rotherfield Primary School. It gives a good illustration of what’s involved and how much the children get out of it.

Download our flyer to show your colleagues

download

What’s the next step?

The opportunity for your school, staff and pupils to grow together is just a phone call away! We’re happy to help in any way we can. Please email us or call 020 7820 4416 for more details or to arrange a meeting with the Edible Playgrounds team.

Edible Playgrounds

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Cubitt Town Junior School, Tower Hamlets, London

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