In 2001 FCFCG was commissioned by the Department for Education and Skills, now called the Department for Education, to research the links that exist between schools, farming and gardening. A partnership of organisations has continued and expanded this work to produce the most comprehensive resource on farming and gardening/horticulture education for teachers and other educators. You can visit the Growing Schools website at www.growingschools.org.uk for a range of resources. Sign up to receive the Growing Schools e-newletter packed full of news, events and resources: Sign up now.
Aims of Growing Schools
- Encourage schools to increase the level of pupil participation in learning which uses farms/growing as a resource, and preferably by direct hands on experience.
- Offer teachers easier access to information, teaching resources and professional development opportunities.
- Identify good practice examples that illustrate: how commonly perceived difficulties can be overcome; how farms/growing can be used effectively as a teaching tool across the curriculum at each Key Stage; the benefits of farms/growing in terms of achievement/other outcomes; effective support structures.
- Encourage teachers to explore a wider range of teaching and learning approaches so that they and their pupils have a more challenging and exciting experience.
Get a free perpetual year planner and get growing! Growing Schools has produced a colourful and informative calendar-style year planner for the classroom which can be used in any year. It's available for free and schools can order a copy now from: www.growingschools.org.uk/calendar
The year planner is enlivened with inspirational photos and packed with tips and advice to encourage outdoor learning through growing food in schools. Features include:
- month-by-month reminders for what to do in the garden
- suggested ways to use the growing experience for teaching and learning
- seasonal recipes using produce from the garden
- wildlife to look out for during the year
- a detailed plot planner recommending when to sow, plant, prune, protect and harvest more than 40 fruit and vegetables
Further details on the availability of farms across the UK that are open to school groups are now available from the home page of the Growing Schools website.