Posted 8 December 2020 by Catholic Education in 'Environment Matters' Blog
At the end of Term 3 in 2020 the whole community of St Thomas Aquinas School Bowral spontaneously and simultaneously responded to the feel of warm air, the buzzing of bees and the budding of bright green leaves by preparing garden beds and raising seedlings in readiness for a massive planting around the school.
Each grade has a large raised garden bed in which to plant flowers and vegetables.
From Greenhouse to Garden
This year, as part of their Living Things unit in Science, students raised seeds in greenhouses that they designed from recycled containers. They then planted the seeds into their class garden beds.
Beautifying the Entrance to the School
Another action was to spruce up the entrance to the school with some loving attention to the front gardens.
Restoration of the Parterre Garden Designed by Robyn Ball (previous WEN Contact)
Year 6 has restored a wonderful parterre garden (a garden occupied by an ornamental arrangement of flower beds). A range of fruit trees including citrus and pear as well as a beautifully pruned Bay tree is now being planted, watered and nurtured in an attempt to revive and regenerate this precious space.
This is how it all started: In this overgrown garden students waded through the weeds to uncover garden beds with great potential as well as a fish pond made from an old bathtub that was full of tadpoles.
Once the beds had been cleared the students fertilised with manure from local farms and then started the planting.
Students have also been decorating rocks and making stepping stones to decorate the garden.
The practise of “Regenerative agriculture”, to make sure that soil is not exposed and subject to erosion is an important part of this process. For this reason, all the beds are mulched with straw and fine grass is allowed to grow freely around the new plants.
Jack and the Beanstalk
Kindy has also been busy raising beans to watch how plants grow, connecting their learning in the classroom with outdoor spaces and gardens.