• St Catherine's School
  • Station Road
  • Bramley
  • Guildford
  • Surrey GU5 0DF
  • Senior School: +44 (0)1483 893363
  • Preparatory School: +44 (0)1483 899665

Grow their Own

St Catherine's Pre-Prep 'Grow their Own'

As part of the Key Stage One Science curriculum, the girls in St Catherine’s Pre-Prep have taken on the exciting task of growing their own plants and vegetables.  They have worked with Mrs Rees, a parent from the school, and the teachers in the Pre-Prep department, to create their own vegetable patch.

Mrs Rees, said, ‘It has been fantastic to be able to work with the girls. They are so enthusiastic and have really enjoyed digging, planting and picking their own produce. The delight on their faces as they pulled up their first radish and rushed to show their teacher was a joy to watch. We have lots of exciting plans for the coming year and I am looking forward to starting the lunchtime gardening club.’

Their first task was to clear plants and rocks from the flower bed. Next, they planted seeds and watered them daily so that they could grow into healthy plants. On the day of harvesting, the produce was delivered to Mr Price, catering manager for Harrison Catering Services, which provides the food service at St Catherine’s School. He said, “Our approach to catering is all about using fresh, top-quality ingredients, so we were delighted to prepare the fresh vegetables that the pre-prep girls have spent so much time and effort growing. This initiative gives them a greater understanding of the journey the food they enjoy at lunchtime takes to get to their plates.”  The following lunch time, the children were delighted to taste the vegetables that they had nurtured from seeds.

Rosie, aged 6, said, ‘I liked gardening because I liked looking after and watering the plants. I loved picking the vegetables because it was fun to see what I had helped to grow.’

Mrs Field and Mrs Wade, the teachers overseeing the project, hope that the outdoor area will inspire the children in all areas of the curriculum. They explained that, ‘The flower bed isn’t simply a scientific resource; it can be used as a tool for extending the girls’ learning in all subjects. For example, sitting amongst the flowers during literacy lessons is an engaging way for the girls to think of ideas for poems and other creative writing pieces.’ They plan for the patch to be used in a range of lessons, including Numeracy, where it will provide opportunities for measuring, weighing and counting. It will also be used in Geography when the children are learning about weather. They will be able to observe, first-hand, how the changing weather affects plants in our local environment.

Mrs Field and Mrs Wade  hope the project will enable the girls to gain a deeper appreciation of their environment and understand how it can sustain life. They said, ‘We hope that by giving the girls responsibility for growing their own food, they will value the time and effort it takes for plants to develop and grow. They will then feel committed to caring for the world around them.’ 

This year, the project will be extended.  It will be cross-curricular and they will have opportunities to explore and investigate through digging, sowing and planting seeds, sketching, painting, writing, and searching for signs of local wildlife.