Marking National Gardening Week in your classroom


National Gardening Week is nearly upon us and it’s a fantastic opportunity for teachers to put an emphasis on outdoor spaces and a number of other related topics.

Since launching eight years ago, the national event – organised by the National Horticultural Society – has grown in popularity to a point where it is now marked by thousands of people across the UK.

From 29 April to 5 May 2019, the NHS is calling on gardeners to share their love of home-grown produce, under the theme Edible Britain.

It represents an effort to encourage more people to think about what they eat and where it comes from – and there are numerous fun activities that can be related to that in the classroom.

The theme for the week in 2019 is designed to highlight that every single person can grow their own produce to eat, whether that be in a garden or even a small pot.

Ultimately, all efforts will help to raise awareness of the impact that gardens and gardening can have on people in the UK.

Embracing the outdoors

Primary teachers may want to look into the possibility of creating a sensory garden or an alternative sort of outdoor learning space, or even at just holding a lesson outside if the weather permits.

Giving children the opportunity to be hands-on can help to boost engagement, hopefully ensuring that more of the information they are given is remembered.

An alternative is to consider fun games and activities that look into how plants grow, what they require to do so, and why certain species require different growing conditions to others.

A more physical approach could involve the growing of bulbs or another plant, so that pupils can watch growth in motion, observing changes over the course of a week or two.

Secondary teachers can create classroom discussions and debates around the benefits of a healthy balanced diet to raise awareness of the different food types, especially at a time when the government is keen to tackle child obesity and poor eating habits.

Ultimately, National Gardening Week has close ties to science, providing primary and secondary school teaching staff with plenty of options when it comes to embracing the subject matter.

There’s an abundance of useful resources online too, including potential lesson plans and activities for those in both Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2.