WHISTON WORRYGOOSE JUNIOR AND INFANT SCHOOL
Part of White Woods Academy Trust
Approved by Governors: September 2018
Review Date: September 2020
Statement of intent
Whiston Worrygoose Junior and Infant School believes that learning about gardening, how to grow fruit and vegetables, as well as the plant growing cycle, will help pupils understand the natural world and the connection between plants and the environment, including how this affects them.
Whiston Worrygoose Junior and Infant School will teach pupils basic gardening skills through practical garden sessions. This policy has been created in order to outline the key responsibilities and procedures for staff and pupils regarding gardening in the school.
- This policy has due regard to legislation, including, but not limited to, the following:
Aims and objectives
- The aims and objectives of gardening practice at the school are to:
- Promote gardening at Whiston Worrygoose Junior and Infant School, and to provide guidelines for the use of the school garden.
- Promote healthy eating to all pupils at the school.
- Every pupil has the right to garden whilst at school, and to learn basic gardening skills, in order to develop a greater understanding of the natural environment.
- Whiston Worrygoose Junior and Infant School will implement a whole school approach to gardening, by involving all pupils in the development and maintenance of the school grounds.
- The school will seek to increase pupils’ knowledge about plants, and teach them how to grow and care for them.
- The school will help develop pupils’ self-discipline, decision-making and team skills through the use of gardening.
Responsibility and good practice
- David Taylor will have the overall responsibility for the school garden.
- Other members of the gardening team are Charlotte Angell and the Site Manager
- David Taylor will ensure that a record of gardening activities is completed at the end of every session, and that rotas and pupil responsibilities are coordinated.
- Risk assessment
- The Site Manager will carry out a site specific risk assessment of the whole site every term.
- The Site Manager will ensure that the areas being used for gardening sessions are checked prior to every session, and risks are managed appropriately.
- Each session will be supported by at least one member of staff. This may include a suitable vetted volunteer.
- Each session will be carefully evaluated, in order to assess the successes and failures, and the steps needed to improve each lesson.
- Pupils’ learning is continually assessed and activities adapted to suit the individual.
- Tool use
- The member of staff supervising each gardening session will ensure that all tools are:
- In good working order.
- Appropriately sized.
- Stored safely and returned to the garden shed after use.
- Suitable to be used by all pupils.
- Sharp and dangerous tools will be stored away out of reach of pupils in the garden shed, when not in use.
- Pupils will be taught how to use the tools safely during initial gardening sessions, and they will be closely supervised.
- Pupils will only use tools if they have been instructed to do so.
- When secateurs are used, a glove will be worn on the non-cutting hand.
- Keys to the storage cupboard will be kept with the School Business Manager.
- Staff will ensure that all pupils are clothed appropriately to suit the weather conditions.
- If weather conditions are severe then the garden session will be postponed.
- Pupils will change outdoor footwear before entering the school building.
- Pupils will wear gloves during all gardening sessions.
- Pupils will thoroughly wash hands when returning to the classroom, or before eating.
- Whiston Worrygoose Junior and Infant School will garden organically whenever possible.
- Whiston Worrygoose Junior and Infant School will use peat free compost whenever possible.
- The school will not have any toxic plants within the school premises.
- Pupils will not eat anything from the school garden, without it being washed and without checking with a member of staff first.
- Heavy objects
- Pupils will not lift heavy objects, bags of compost, or overfilled wheelbarrows
Gardening in key stage 1
- In key stage 1, pupils will be taught how to:
- Use small garden tools safely, such as hand forks, hand shovels, and small spades.
- Use a wheelbarrow.
- Water plants, using watering cans and a garden hose.
- Prepare soil for planting by clearing and digging.
- Plant seeds, bulbs and young plants.
- Understand what gardening jobs are required for the appropriate season.
- Use the school garden to grow fruit, vegetables and herbs to be used in cooking lessons.
Gardening in key stage 2
- In key stage 2, pupils will be taught how to:
- How to use larger garden tools safely, such as rakes, hoes, forks and spades.
- How to prune using secateurs.
- How to use a seasonal vegetable growing guide to decide what vegetables to grow and harvest.
- How to use the school gardens to grow fruit, vegetables and herbs to be used in cooking lessons.
- The curriculum links between gardening and other curriculum topics such as science.
- Appropriate clothing will be worn for the weather condition (hot, cold, wet, windy).
- When the weather is hot, the staff member on duty will ensure all pupils drink fluids regularly, and work activities will be planned in shady areas where possible.
- Schools will advise pupils and parent helpers to apply their sun cream and wear hats as stated in the school’s Sun Safety Policy.
- In the event of wet weather, the staff member on duty will close paths if they are too slippery, and revise activities to minimise risk of slipping.
- During windy conditions, the staff member on duty will avoid using loose compost and digging/raking soil.
- If the garden becomes flooded/waterlogged due to wet weather, crops will not be harvested from this area for consumption and will be relocated to an unflooded area.
- No crops will be grown for at least two years after the flood, as this could compromise the quality of the crops.
- All gardening equipment will be stored away correctly when not in use.
- Equipment will never be left out in the rain, or when not in use.
Health and safety
- At all times, the pupils’ health and safety will be implemented in accordance with the school’s Health and Safety Policy.
- Pupils will be taught how to carry equipment safely.
- Whiston Worrygoose Junior and Infant School will use an appropriate adult to pupil ratio of 1:10 or 1:6 in KS1 and Y3
- All staff will be actively involved in supporting pupils’ interests and learning.
- All pupils will be aware of the designated gardening areas.
- Pupils will never be left unsupervised.
- A qualified first aider will be readily available each time the garden is in use, and procedures will be in place in case of an emergency.
- All accidents will be recorded in accordance with the school’s Accident Reporting Procedure Policy, and the parents/carers informed.
- All risk assessments will be carried out prior to the use of the garden.
- Pupils will not lift heavy objects or bags.
- Pupils will not eat anything without checking with the staff member on duty first.
- All pupils at Whiston Worrygoose Junior and Infant School, regardless of their age, size, ability, mobility, gender, religions, beliefs, and culture, will have equal access to the garden, and the full range of learning experiences offered there.
- Pupils with special educational needs and disabilities may require additional support to access these outside areas; however, this will not affect their right to participate in gardening activities.
Monitoring and review
- This policy is reviewed every two years by headteacher, ensuring that all procedures are up-to-date.
- Any changes made to this policy will be communicated to all members of staff.