All posts by Graham.Hulme-Duvall

The long and winding road

New individual class gardens start to take shape next to the allotment with the creation of a wood chip path to help link them together. Soggy cardboard and chippings The cardboard and chipping path has proved to be great fun with the children over the past few weeks. It would do, as it  has involved ripping up cardboard and newspaper and covering them with water, lots of water. Over the top of  the sodden paper the children have placed a layer of wood chippings leftover from the trees that were cleared from the school grounds in February. The intention is to provide each class with an area in which they can garden to their heart’s content, and let their imagination’s run wild.

Adventure club

Our new adventure club team set up camp.

The weather smiled for fourteen new explorers on Tuesday evening after school as they embarked on the next great adventure. They set up a simple tarpaulin structure which will provide a comforting retreat from the elements for the next five weeks and a shelter and base for the coming weeks.
The building of the shelter and setting up camp was the first priority for the team, who finding themselves on the imaginary deserted island instantly set about making the place feel more homely. Over the next five weeks our band of castaways have to map their island, learn the art of stalking, hide from the wild beast and hunt for hidden treasure.
How will they cope?

Food for Bugs

Give it up for wildlife.

Children give up their Golden Time to help plant our wildlife garden. Keen to entice new creatures into the school grounds the children work hard in the hot weather planting the vital food plants for a number of our most beautiful butterflies, such as Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock, Comma and the stunning Red Admiral. Once established, our wildlife garden and associated wildlife corridor will help support, and go a little way towards re-establishing these iconic species once more into our gardens.

Adventure Club

For our first brave explorers the five week adventure finished at the end of last term.

The camp fire
It only seems like yesterday when our intrepid explorers set up camp in the rain, explored their surroundings, played camouflage games, and told stories around the camp fire of daring do and brave deeds.
Next week it will be the turn of fourteen new adventures to set foot on the deserted island.
What adventures will await our new team?
How will they deal with the trials and tribulations ahead?
We wish them luck.

To mow or not to mow?

A Speckled Wood butterfly gently warms it’s wings in the spring sun.
A splash of colour

The new wildlife corridor provides not just cover for small mammals and insects but a haven for new species within the school grounds such as the Speckled Wood Butterfly who lays it’s eggs on specific grasses now growing in the un-mowed areas.
Much work still needs to be done to help wildlife flourish so if you have any un-wanted nectar plants you don’t want we could find them a home, to help encourage further wildlife into our outdoor classroom.

Plenty afoot on the plot


The children have been hard at work over the past term digging, planting and planning for the coming growing season. The green manures we planted in October have now been dug into two of the allotment beds, these will be planted with salad crops in the next two months, so watch this space. Our first no dig plot has been great fun as you can see, this will be planted up with courgettes in the next few weeks. With the help of ‘Stewart Garden Schools’ we have entered a school garden competition in which the children have opted to grow a pizza garden containing, tomatoes, onions, garlic etc. And finally with the planting season well upon us, and the weather improving can I put out a plea for help. If you have any unwanted plants that have no home in your garden we can offer them a home somewhere in the school, with this in mind the children have set up a crèche where you can leave your unwanted plants, and we will find a new home for them.


Adventure club!

Dripping wet, but having fun, the new Adventure Club gets off to a soggy start, but not soggy enough to wipe the smiles off the children’s’ faces.  What would you do if you were suddenly stranded on a deserted island, miles from home?

A soggy Adventure Club!
A soggy Adventure Club!

What would you do with only rope, tarpaulin and some pegs? That is the dilemma that faced the first group of children taking part in the afterschool adventure club. The few things found on the deserted island were enough to build a shelter and make a base for the adventures to come…