Over the last six years St Gregory’s school garden has been transformed from two areas of unused wasteland into a thriving Eco Garden, which is now used for various educational purposes not only for St Gregory’s pupils, but also for pupils from local primary schools and a children’s nursery school. The Eco Garden has also been the inspiration behind a Eco Schools projects, helping them to become an Eco Schools Green Flag School twice.
In addition, the Garden has been the inspiration behind various community projects, such as working with a primary school to plant 1000 daffodils in a local park, transforming a run-down 20foot wall in the local park by designing and painting a vibrant mural, weeding and maintaining a flower bed at the entrance to the local park and working with the local Traders Association to encourage traders to sponsor and install flower baskets along the local High Street.
Since the transformation of the Eco Garden, the school has also developed a memorial garden, vegetable and fruit patch, refurbished the pond and got a beautiful mural painted onto, what was, an ugly looking wall. The garden is used throughout the year for science lessons, a weekly gardening club, reflection in the remembrance garden and as a host for visits from other schools and nurseries.
Gail said: “Our garden has really pulled the community together, now the garden is shared and enjoyed by so many. It’s hard work at times but it’s worth it when you see the children get so enthused and excited about nature and growing. We aim to spend the prize money on new raised beds and create a new floral area.”
Quote from Headteacher, Mr Andrew Prindiville: “The pupils and staff at St Gregory’s Catholic Science College are thrilled to be a winner in Cultivation Street’s School Garden category. St Gregory’s Garden not only supports our pupils’ learning across many aspects of the school curriculum; it has become a source of learning and inspiration for other local schools and has been influential in helping us to build partnerships with local community groups. This fantastic achievement reflects the hard work of our dedicated staff and pupils and the wonderful support we have received from our local community.”
David said: “This school has made their big ideas a reality, it must be a marvellous place to learn gardening as a child, the teachers and supporters have created something special for both the children and the community. The reuse of wasteland and carrying work out in the community has a ripple affect. The use of art in the garden with the memorial piece combined with growing gives interest to a wider range of children.”