Welcome to the Gardening page.
Caring for our school environment is an important part of life at Eagley Infants. We are an RHS Five Star Gardening School and, as well as making the most of our garden areas in their lessons, our children play an active role in looking after and improving our school grounds. We sometimes invite adults from home to come along and join in the fun too at our Get Your Grown Ups Gardening days - dates are published on the newsletter near the time.
Thank you to everyone who bought items from our plant sale at the end of May. We raised £307 which will be used to fund our gardening activities and the further development of our school grounds. We are extremely grateful to Mr Lanahan who built and donated the wooden planters for our sale. Although most of these were snapped up very quickly there were a couple left which we will be planting up and putting on the playground.
First Produce of the Year
After a warning NEVER to eat anything they find growing unless an adult says it's safe to do so, some of our Year 2 children have been enjoying tasting some of the plants growing in our school grounds. The rhubarb in the outdoor classroom has been picked and stewed and we have enjoyed our first crop of radish from the polytunnel. It is fair to say reactions were mixed!
Wildflowers or Weeds?
Some of our Year 1 children have been busy spotting wildflowers in our outdoor classroom. They were challenged with deciding whether they should be left there because they are wildflowers or dug up because they are weeds. What do you think?
RHS Training Day
We were once again delighted to welcome our good friend Anne Gunning from the RHS who used our school grounds to deliver an RHS training course to staff from schools across the North West. The course was called "Apply Primary Maths and English Skills Outdoors" and, as well as teaching horticultural skills, Anne gave everyone lots of ideas for ways to use their school's outdoor space to deliver maths and English lessons in a fun and creative way. As part of the course Mrs Clarkson gave a tour around our own grounds and talked about the different ways we use the area to enhance the children's learning. The feedback from the attendees was excellent and Anne said we have "a really inspirational garden which was pristine".
Thanks to the help from our grown ups at the Get Your Grown Ups Gardening Day, our Year 1 children didn't have to do too much hard work to prepare our wildflower areas for sowing. After completing the digging and raking the ground, they had fun scattering a mixture of wildflower seeds and watering them in! The seeds they sowed back in the Autumn are doing well in the polytunnel and will be added to the grassy area in our outdoor classroom.
Get Your Grown Ups Gardening
A huge thank you to the families that turned up on Sunday 2nd April to help out at our Get Your Grown Ups Gardening Day. Everybody worked incredibly hard to tidy up and further develop our grounds into a great place for the children to learn and have fun. We now have a new storytelling area on the Foundation Stage side of school and a second minibeast habitat in our Key Stage 1 outdoor classroom area. The beds and borders have been weeded, seeds have been sown and the raised beds dug over ready for planting! Many thanks also to FaFoE who provided welcome refreshments and lots of fun activities for after the hard work was done.
Our Year 1 children have taken responsibility for planting the seeds that we will grow into flowers for our plant sale later on in the year. They have labelled everything carefully, watered the seeds and put them in a warm place They will be checking regularly to see when they germinate.
With a bit of help from Mr Grimshaw, one of our Governors, some of our Year 2 children have been busy planting potatoes in bags near their classroom. They are going to check them regularly and add more compost to the bags as the potatoes begin to grow.
Our Nursery children have also been busy planting potatoes in the vegetable plot. They have watered them carefully and are keeping an eye out for the first signs of growth. We are wondering whose potatoes will grow the best?
Thank you once again to Viridor who have donated another 15 bags of Revive compost to help with our growing activities in the coming school year. Revive compost can be purchased from Raikes Lane Industrial Estate and a leaflet showing details and prices is available in the leaflet display next to the school office.
We have named the largest tree in our KS1 Outdoor Classroom 'The Magic Faraway Tree' as our Year 1&2 children enjoy sitting under it and listening to stories of the same name at the end of their outdoor science lessons with Mrs Clarkson. Now that the leaves have changed colour and fallen we all agree that it looks magical!
Bulb and Seed Planting
Our Year 1 children have been busy planting bulbs and sowing seeds ready for a lovely display in the Spring. They have sown wildflower and broad bean seeds in pots which will be over-wintered in our polytunnel and planted out after Easter. They have also planted the last of the tulip bulbs from bulbs4kids in the planters near their classrooms.
We are very grateful to bulbs4kids (www.bulbs4kids.com) who have donated 500 flower bulbs to help brighten up our school grounds. They also sent us trowels to help with the planting and workbooks to explain all we need to know about growing flowers from bulbs! Children from all year groups have helped to plant these and are looking forward to seeing them bloom in the Spring. Nursery children have planted tulips in the bed next to their garage, Reception have planted daffodils and grape hyacinths in the buckets that decorate the fence near the vegetable plot and children from Year 1 & 2 have planted a mix of bulbs in the planters on the playground and next to the potting shed, the border of the wildflower area and in the bed next to the polytunnel.
Thanks go to the adults who gave up their time to help with this and to the Rostron family who very kindly arranged for the new planters on the playground to be built and donated to school.
We have been busy in our school grounds planting some of the plants we brought back from our Shrek garden. The ferns have been used in our stumpery and along the sensory path and we have planted up chives in a sink, kindly given to us by Mr Grimshaw, which will be placed alongside 'Shrek's toilet' in our outdoor classroom!
Well Done Everyone!
After all the hard work involved in creating our Shrek garden at Tatton Flower Show we were delighted to find out that as well as being given a "highly commended" award, we also won the award for Best Primary School Garden. The comments from the juges were that the creative materials in our garden were excellent and that the space was very well used. They also thought that the whole garden was very imaginative. The plaque is now proudly displayed in our school entrance. Many congratulations to everyone involved.
Tatton Build Days
On 13th and 14th July Mrs Clarkson and her team of helpers went to Tatton Park to build our Shrek garden. Mrs Clarkson and Mrs Richardson had already been to Tatton for a couple of days to prepare the plot but it was up to the children to do ALL the planting and put the finishing touches to it. During the first day the camera crew from Northwest Tonight came over and interviewed our children and Blaize and Louie appeared on that night's programme! We were incredibly proud of how hard the children worked and behaved on both days: they were a credit to the school.
Getting Ready For Tatton
We are very busy getting everything ready for our Shrek Garden at the Tatton Flower Show. All classes have been involved in potting on our plants and watering and nurturing them. We have also begun making the props and painting the backdrop for our plot. It's really hard work! The photographs below give a taste of what we've been doing.
RHS Early Years Garden Explorer Course - April 2016
We were once again honoured that the RHS chose our school as a venue for their Early Years Garden Explorer training course. Early Years practitioners and teachers from across the North West joined Anne Gunning from the RHS for a day of activities to give them practical and creative ideas for ways to include gardening and outdoor activities in the curriculum. As part of the course they were given a guided tour of our school grounds by Mrs Clarkson and it is fair to say they were very impressed and took away lots of ideas for their own schools!
We are very excited to be part of the RHS Campaign for School Gardening Rocket Science Experiment. On 19th April we very carefully planted two packets of rocket seeds, following strict instructions sent by the RHS. The contents of one of these packets has spent time on the International Space Station, but we don't know which one! Over the next few weeks we will carefully monitor and record the germination and growth rates of both sets of seeds to see if there is any difference. At the end of the experiment we will predict which seeds have been in space. Our results will be added to a national database and then we will watch a message from Major Tim Peake to see if our prediction was correct. If you wish to see how our experiment is getting on, our progress will be recorded on the Year 1 Class Pages.
Get Your Grown Ups Gardening April 2016
What a lovely day we had at our Get Your Grown Ups Gardening. The sun shone and the children did a super job of persuading their adults to turn up and help out with all manner of gardening jobs around our school grounds. After a busy couple of hours the Foundation Stage area has been transformed, the pond area near the playground is now tidy and clear of silt, the rest of the compost that has been sitting halfway up the banking for weeks has been moved near the polytunnel, there have been paths laid, homes for wildlife created, weeding done, seeds sown and so much more! There was a real social/community feel to what was going on and it was lovely to see people from different year groups mixing with families that they only ever see 'in passing' at the school gate.
Thanks to everybody that came along and worked tirelessly and special thanks to the members of FaFoE who organised refreshments and activities to give everyone a much needed break from all the hard work. We are also grateful to Rochelle Young who took the photographs below to show how much fun we all had.
We are extremely grateful to Viridor for their donation of Revive compost. We have moved half of it into our polytunnel to fill the raised beds and the rest is being used for the huge amount of seed sowing and potting that needs to be done for our Tatton Flower Show garden. Revive compost can be purchased from Raikes Lane Industrial Estate, a leaflet showing details and prices is available from the leaflet display next to the school office.
Tatton Park Visit
Well done to our Year 2 design team who have worked hard over the past couple of weeks to produce the final design for our Shrek garden and create a model to show what it will look like. Some of the team accompanied Mrs Lawton and Mrs Clarkson to Tatton Park to present the design to representatives from the RHS and the other schools taking part. The children did us proud and were able to talk about how our design has come together and the plants we plan to grow to display in our garden in July. As well as being able to see other schools' garden ideas, there were lots of activities to take part in including sign making, potting on plants, making origami seed packets and having a tour of the Tatton glasshouses. A lovely afternoon was had by all!
Many thanks to Medway for building our new polytunnel. Mrs Clarkson and the children are especially looking forward to working in it over the next few months as they nurture the plants for our Shrek themed garden at the Tatton Flower Show.
Thank you so much to Mrs Ritherdon, Mrs Holben and the Year 2 children for helping to wrap and sell the daffodils that have been growing in pots near their exit and to all those families who bought them from our stall. We raised a total of £80 for our gardening funds.
To gather inspiration for our forthcoming gardening activities some of the Year 2 children took photos of things they especially liked in our school grounds. They concentrated on looking at things from different angles and taking pictures really close up to the subject. We were so impressed with their efforts we thought we would share them with you. See the slideshow below for a selection of the best photographs.
Bulbs, Bulbs, Bulbs!
Over the last few weeks we have been busy planting bulbs. We began by planting hyacinths in pots for FaFoE to sell at the Christmas Fair. The children are going to help to wrap them up just prior to the event.
With the help of a small group of parents and grandparents we also planted bulbs along a new border on the edge of the wildflower plot in the outdoor classroom. We used some of our gardening vouchers to buy a range of bulbs that will flower from February to June, before our wildflowers are in bloom. In this way we hope to encourage bees, butterflies and other pollinators to visit our school garden throughout the year. Whilst we had some extra help we also took the opportunity to do some clearing and tidying in the outdoor classroom. A huge thank you to those who gave up their time to help.
Class D helped finish off our bulb planting by filling pots with daffodil bulbs that we are keeping to sell in the Spring to raise funds for our gardening activities. They also helped to plant onions and garlic into trays which we will overwinter in the shed and to pot up some herb cuttings that we took from the herb bed at the front of school.
Look At Our Stumpery!
We have been busy creating a new feature in the outdoor classroom. Thanks to Mr Costello who gave up his afternoon to dig in some large tree stumps and create a structure which some Year 2 children helped to fill with topsoil. Another group of children have helped to plant it up with ferns, grasses, heucheras, cyclamen and bulbs (bought with some of our gardening vouchers) and we hope it will develop into a 'woodland environment' to add to our small world area.
We're a Prize Winning Cultivation School!
We were thrilled to hear the news that we have been awarded 3rd prize in the school category of the Sunday People newspaper's Cultivation Street Competition. Since March Mrs Clarkson has been sending updates to the Cultivation Street team about our gardening activities throughout school and in particular the development of our outdoor classroom. The judges were really impressed by the range of activities that the children participated in and the use of gardening to enhance our curriculum. We are now thinking of the best way to use our prize of £500 of gardening vouchers to further improve our outdoor environment.
Special thanks must go to the children who have worked really hard digging, building and planting and to the grown-ups who have volunteered their time to help with the jobs that have been too big for the children to handle. Thank you also to Nigel Taggart who took the photographs below to show just how fantastic our outdoor classroom now looks.
See what The Bolton News wrote about our award by following the link below
Outdoor Classroom Tunnel
The soil has now been banked up around the large pipe which was donated by P P O'Connor Ltd and placed at the back of the willow igloo in the KS1 outdoor classroom. We have sown grass seed over it which will hopefully start to grow in the next week or so to make it look like part of the banking. It has not taken long for the children to discover this new place and they have been queuing up to crawl through it... Mrs Clarkson has had a go too, just to check that it's safe!!
Sharing Our Gardening Skills
During the last week in June some of the Year 2 children accompanied by Mrs Clarkson, Mrs Lawton and Mrs Ritherdon, one of our Governors, visited places in our local community to share their gardening skills.
We visited our neighbours in Quintrell Brow to donate some pots of herbs that we had grown from seed and had a look at their beautiful garden area.
Later in the week we planted some of our surplus vegetable plants in the Incredible Edible Community Garden at the top of Hough Lane along with some "Eagley strawberries". We then went to St Andrew's Playgroup and helped the children there to plant lettuce, peas, tomatoes and marigolds. We were really proud of how well the children worked and behaved whilst they were out of school and it was wonderful to see them helping children even younger than themselves.
Under Mrs Clarkson's supervision, the Year One children have worked really hard on a new creation in our KS1 outdoor classroom which we have called "Industrial Island". We have filled all sorts of tyres and pipes, kindly donated by P P O'Connor Ltd, with compost and plants to make a truly unique school garden feature. We are hoping to expand on this area in the next few weeks by adding a tunnel into our willow structure and creating a smaller island from the left over materials.
Year 2 RHS Earth Matters Afternoon
Once again we were pleased to welcome Anne Gunning from the RHS for our final partnership day. This time Anne worked with our Year 2 children to explain why soil is important and also showed them how to make compost. Anne used an apple to represent the world and cut away parts of it that could not be cultivated such as the oceans and places that were too hot, cold or polluted. We were shocked that there was only a tiny piece left that represented the proportion of the earth that could be used to grow food for all the people on our planet. The children then had an opportunity to sort organic and non-organic materials before making their own 'rot pot' of compostable materials.
Follow this link to the Bolton News who wrote an article on our activities.
We have had great fun planting up all sorts of unusual containers to expand our recycled corner in the KS1 outdoor classroom. The children couldn't believe we were putting plants in mugs, teapots, buckets and handbags but we think the end result really brightens up the area!
Thank you to everyone who supported our plant sale. The total amount raised was £120! We intend to use some of this to purchase plants for the KS1 outdoor classroom and will keep a little aside to buy compost, seeds etc for future gardening projects.
Abbey Tree Services
We are extremely grateful to Gareth at Abbey Tree and Stump Services (01254 402 154, http://abbeytreeandstumpservices.co.uk/tree-surgery/2731911) for donating a huge pile of woodchip for the enchanted wood in our outdoor classroom.
Thanks also go to Mr Costello who helped Mrs Clarkson to move it all to the top of the banking!
Get Your Grown Ups Gardening
A big thank you to the parents, grandparents and other adults who turned up on Friday to help at our Spring GYGUG afternoon. The sun came out for us and we managed to do a huge amount of work including sowing grass seed in the area under the trees in the KS1 outdoor classroom, weeding the entire length of the sensory path and between our new lavender bushes, tidying the raised beds, refurbishing the bug hotels, moving a pile of stones from the bottom to the top of the banking, emptying the old wormery, clearing the pond and sowing hundreds of seeds. The potting shed is now so full that Mrs Clarkson can't get in!
Your help and commitment to making our outdoor areas a great place to learn and have fun is really appreciated.
Have a look at the photos below to see how much fun we had!
Reception RHS Day - 26th March 2015
We were pleased to welcome back Anne Gunning from the RHS who spent an afternoon working with our Reception children. They investigated what different types of soil felt like, practised their digging skills, planted onions in our vegetable plot and went on a hunt around school to spot different things that are used in the garden. The children had a wonderful time and are looking forward to using their gardening skills next term to grow more produce in our school garden.
See what the Bolton News said about our RHS afternoon by following the link below.
The Nursery children have been helping Mrs Clarkson to plant potatoes in the vegetable plot. They were amazed that lots of potatoes would grow from just one seed potato. They very carefully dug holes to plant them in and made sure they had a good watering.
We have finally managed to start our seed sowing. Mrs Clarkson enlisted the help of some Year 2 children to help a group of Year 1 children sow trays of flower seeds. We are hoping they will germinate quickly and will grow in time for our plant sale at the beginning of June.
RHS Early Years Garden Explorer Course
On 18th March we welcomed Anne Gunning from the RHS who used our school grounds to deliver a training course to school staff and childminders from across the north west. Mrs Clarkson helped out by showing those on the course around our school grounds and sharing her experiences of setting up and running a school garden. The feedback from those attending was very positive and the day was subsequently written up in The Bolton News.
Thank you to those parents who have helped to put the finishing touches to our outdoor learning spaces.
Mr Grimshaw and Mr Evans have moved a raised bed, filled it with topsoil, split and replanted our rhubarb and even provided some spent hops to act as a mulch. We are hoping for a bumper crop in a few months time!
Mrs Ritherdon has helped to put up the wellies and signs on the fence next to the Foundation Stage allotment. They make a lovely display which really brightens up the area.
Mr Costello has assembled our signpost in the outdoor classroom and concreted it into the ground. The Year 1 children have already been following the signs to the different areas we have created.
We have used some old bicycle wheels to create a new area in our outdoor classroom which we have named 'Recycled Corner'. Mrs Clarkson thinks that if she looks after it carefully she might be able to grow a new bike but the children aren't so sure!
Planting in our Outdoor Classroom
The Year 1 children have put their maths skills to good use when helping to plant two new borders in the outdoor classroom. They measured the length of each border and Mrs Clarkson then helped them work out how far apart the lavender and box plants needed to go. The children then carefully measured the distance between each plant to make sure they were evenly spaced.
Outdoor Classroom Art Week
We have had a really busy week creating signs and resources to enhance our outdoor area. Thank you so much to everyone who sent in materials to help make this week such a success.
At the beginning of the week we were joined by staff and Year 5 children from the Junior School who helped some of our Year 1 and 2 children to weave willow balls, paint stones and design butterflies. Our thanks go to Mrs Wilson from the Juniors who not only arranged this but also spent an afternoon helping the Year 1 children create a Gruffalo's Child using chicken wire and fallen leaves. He is now hiding in the Gruffalo's Den waiting for the children to discover him.
The Juniors' Sculpture Club also helped to make this brilliant spider's web. We are still trying to decide the best place for it to go.
We have made some art to brighten up the shady area under the big tree including butterflies, a giant sun and flowers made from plastic bottles.
We used our knowledge of symmetry to make the butterflies out of bottle tops.
Looking After the Birds
Thank you to Mr & Mrs Brown who kindly donated some bird feeders and feed for our grounds. The children had a brilliant time deciding where to put them in our outdoor classroom and discussing why it is important to look after wildlife during the winter months.
Outdoor Classroom Improvements
Over the Christmas holidays work has begun on improving our outdoor classroom. Local landscapers R&S Lee have been busy digging out and laying paths across the fenced off area at the top of the banking to make access to our chickens, ducks and equipment much easier and safer. It all looks a bit muddy at the moment as they needed some hefty machinery to do the job, but the grass will soon begin to come back and in the meantime we are busy planning how to make it a fabulous place to learn and have fun!
St. Stephen's School Eco Garden Open Day
On 6th November Mrs Clarkson and Mrs Richardson attended the official opening of the new eco-garden at St. Stephen's School. They took along Ben and Ailsa and, despite the rain, spent a lovely afternoon looking around the new garden, chatting to staff and pupils at the school and sharing ideas. They also took photographs of things they especially liked in the garden which they hope to use to inspire ideas for developing our own school grounds.
Get Your Grown Ups Gardening
A huge thank you to the adults who joined in with our latest GYGUG event on Friday 10th October. After a week of rain, the sun finally came out and and we were able to enjoy lots of gardening activities around our school grounds.
In the Foundation Stage area we cleared the allotment beds and sowed green manure, planted up the runners from our strawberries and refurbished the bug hotels.
Over on the banking, seeds were collected from our poppies and the poppy patch was extended to provide an even better display next year. Near the duck enclosure a new bed was dug out and some winter wheat seeds were sown. We are hoping this will grow successfully then we can harvest it, turn it into flour and bake bread next year - fingers crossed! We also created a new border along the fence behind the seating area and put in plants and bulbs to provide some spring and autumn colour.
We took advantage of the extra help to plant up our old wellies with bulbs, pot up herb cuttings and plant garlic and onions ready for next spring. The shed is now bursting at the seams with the results of all the hard work.
At the end of the afternoon we enjoyed a well earned tea break before tidying up and admiring the results of all our efforts. Thank you once again to all those who joined in, our school grounds would not be such a fantastic place to learn and have fun if it weren't for your support.
Year 1 RHS Sensory Sensations Day
This year we are proud to be an RHS Partner School and on Wednesday 24th September our Year 1 children enjoyed a visit from Anne Gunning, RHS Regional Advisor as part of their topic work. Anne set up activities which allowed the children to explore the outdoor area and objects from our garden using all their senses. They smelled, touched and tasted herbs, described the properties of different materials from around our grounds, sowed wild flower seeds and went on a hunt to find objects in the environment that were round, shiny, smooth, soft, sticky etc.
The children, staff and parent helpers had a great afternoon and we thank Anne for all her hard work in putting it together.
Mrs Clarkson receives a special commendation from the RHS
In July Mrs Clarkson travelled to RHS Garden Wisley to receive a special commendation from the RHS for her work in developing our school grounds and encouraging a love of gardening among our children. She received a certificate and engraved trowel from Frances Tophill of ITV's Love Your Garden (which is now displayed in our entrance hall) and enjoyed a tour of the gardens at Wisley followed by afternoon tea.
Along with this Mrs Clarkson also received £250 of gardening vouchers to spend on further improving our school grounds and a day on an RHS training course.