Staff and pupils from Saint Paul’s Catholic High School in Wythenshawe have been raising funds to support the creation of a Gifted Garden and Outdoor Classroom at the school.
A group of enthusiastic pupils gave up their Sunday to “bag pack” at a local supermarket to raise money to support the construction of the garden.
Mrs Karen Grix, who helped alongside the pupils, said: “I was very impressed by the desire of these pupils to raise money for the garden we are constructing at school. They freely gave up their spare time and were fantastic ambassadors for Saint Paul’s. Several members of the public commented on their positive attitudes and polite manners.”
The school believes that gardening offers many benefits to the pupils, teachers and local community. There are hands-on, experiential learning opportunities in a wide array of disciplines, including science, nutrition, maths and the arts. Whilst working in the garden the pupils will be developing skills such as the communication of knowledge or emotions which will help them be more successful in school. Research also shows that helping in the school garden has a positive impact on student achievement and behaviour.
Mrs Cathie Halbert, who is leading the project, said; “The school garden can offer a symbolic locus of school pride and spirit. Gardening helps children to identify with their school and to feel proud of their own individual contribution. I am hoping that gardeners from the community will come in to demonstrate local, traditional gardening techniques and the traditional uses of particular plants.”
“The garden will bring many health and nutrition benefits for the pupils; they will be having outdoor exercise whilst learning a useful lifelong skill. Growing fruit and vegetables should impact upon the pupils’ food habits and attitudes encouraging more healthy food choices,” explained Mrs Fiona Minshall, Head Teacher at Saint Paul’s. “It is also hoped that the garden will Instill appreciation and respect for nature that lasts into adulthood.”