Duchess helps celebrate 10 years of school gardening

The Duchess of Cambridge visited green fingered youngsters at Robin Hood Primary School in Kingston Vale recently to celebrate 10 years of the Royal Horticultural Society’s (RHS) Campaign for School Gardening.

During the visit, the Duchess received a briefing on the RHS nationwide campaign that now actively involves over 34,000 schools and groups across the UK in growing and gardening.

Her Royal Highness got straight to work with some of the children at the school, helping to plant spring-flowering bulbs and build bug hotels for the garden insects in the shadow of the school’s existing ‘Buggingham Palace’.

With support from the RHS, the school has developed a progressive outdoor learning curriculum where pupils have access to a range of outdoor classrooms in a woodland setting. These give children the opportunity to explore the natural environment and take part in challenging yet achievable activities that bring learning to life.

Headteacher at Robin Hood Primary & Nursery School, Pete Boulton, explained that gardening and outdoor learning has become an essential part of the curriculum: “The development of a creative and engaging outdoor learning environment has enhanced our thematic classroom based learning and committed staff and enthusiastic children have benefitted from the invaluable skills of collaboration and teamwork.
Our outdoor learning approach and gardening opportunities support children’s development, enabling them to develop their confidence and resilience in a sociable and stimulating environment.  We’re delighted that The Duchess has given our garden and its keen gardeners her royal seal of approval and we now look forward to welcoming the inhabitants of our newly built bug house and spring bulb colour,” he said.

Director of Education, Ruth Evans, stressed how tremendously honoured they were that the Duchess of Cambridge had taken the time to see first-hand the huge and positive impact that gardening can have on children’s educational attainment, health and wellbeing.

School and youth groups can sign-up to receive free resources and support from the RHS Campaign for School Gardening. Useful tools include seeds, plant labels, stickers and posters as well as ideas for practical activities and lesson plans to help make the most of a school garden.

Information on the RHS Campaign for School Gardening can be found at: www.rhs.org.uk/schoolgardening

Picture credit: all pictures ©RHS