YEAR 2 students dig a kitchen garden classroom that has drawn their Friday lessons outdoors this term.
Working in small groups, the Peter Moyes Anglican Community School students create and care for the garden by growing seeds, watering and weeding, planting seeds and creating compost.
The garden project focuses on the principle of food education through the school’s membership of the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation.
Teacher Sue Todd said this type of inquiry-based learning provided a hands-on understanding of subjects like literacy, numeracy and science, as well as practical skills related to team work and cognitive thinking.
“It is wonderful to see the children getting so excited about getting outside and into the garden,” she said.
“It is fun and educational at the same time.
“For example, they have to create their own equipment to catch bugs and then study their role in the garden, test the soil for nutrients and PH levels, grow seedlings and then calculate how many can be planted in each garden bed,” said Mrs Todd.
Mrs Todd said the education continued back in the classroom with lessons about eating healthily, the food chain, sustainability, recycling and composting, and how to be water wise.
Later in the term students will use the fresh produce they have grown to make healthy meals.
“The plan is for the students to grow fresh produce and then use it to prepare delicious food,” Mrs Todd said.
“We want them to appreciate seasonal produce and equip them with the knowledge to make healthy food choices throughout their lives.”
Principal Julian Dowse said the support from the parent community had been “overwhelming”.
“Parents have been involved in building the garden beds, preparing the soil for planting and collecting materials to help with growing the seeds,” he said.
“The garden is an opportunity for parents to get involved in a direct way with the school and to be positive role models for the children regarding food and the environment.”
The garden beds and shed are now in place with plans to add a chicken coop, greenhouse, sitting area and an orchard.
The garden will be open to the public from 10am to noon on Saturday, June 11, during the school’s early learning open day.
The school also wants donations of second hand-items from the community, including outdoor wooden furniture, half wine barrels, worm farms and water tanks.
To help, call 9304 5500.