The project helps to engage students in their education journey, with their environment and with their community.
On May 23, students in Years 1 and 2 and the Year 6-7 student leadership team at Pickering Brook Primary School were visited by the Greening Project to see how they are progressing with using Nursery in a Box, where students grow native plant seedlings from seed in a semi-professional environment on a miniature scale.
The Nursery in a Box makes it easy for individual teachers to create an outdoor classroom experience for their students.
The experience of growing a plant from seed can be used to teach children a range of skills in a number of subjects across the curriculum.
When children are engaged in learning, they are more likely to perform better academically.
The next step for the children, after growing 40-100 seedlings, is to decide whether to plant their seedlings at home in their own back yards, in their school grounds for other students to watch grow, or in their community for others to enjoy.
Wherever they plant their seedlings, planting their garden is expected to create a sense of connection to place.
This is reinforced as they watch their garden grow.
These factors have been shown to support children in becoming resilient and confident adults.
‘Our mission is to create opportunities to connect children with nature and community as we believe that these are vital factors in creating children who will be the confident, creative and compassionate citizens of the future,’ Greening Project founder and director Emily Alford said.
So far the children have grown a butterfly garden, everlastings and kangaroo paws since the project started and learned about watering and making a nursery in a box from small seeds.
They have mastered re-potting and plan to plant a garden at the Pickering Brook Heritage Museum as a donation to beautify their local community.
Mrs Alford said the children took ownership of their plants, each labelled with their name on popsicle sticks and it was a real investment in the gardening process.
‘They watch their garden grow and are closer to nature for the process,’ she said.
‘It contributes to a sense of place and belonging.’