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Kent Life Primary School Garden of the Year: Pickhurst Infant School

PUBLISHED: 01:16 26 September 2011 | UPDATED: 20:02 20 February 2013

Kent Life Primary School Garden of the Year: Pickhurst Infant School

Kent Life Primary School Garden of the Year: Pickhurst Infant School

Pickhurst Infant School shone out to win the schools' competition with its comprehensive range of child-led gardening and wildlife activities ...

Pickhurst Infant School, Pickhurst Lane, West Wickham, BR4 0HL 020 8462 3196

Kent Life Primary School Garden of the Year: Pickhurst Infant School

Pickhurst Infant School shone out to win the schools competition with its comprehensive range of child-led gardening and wildlife activities ...



Pickhurst Infant School in West Wickham is leading the way in Kent by not only providing wonderful opportunities for its students, but also taking time to help other schools establish programmes through their advice courses on their experience including how to set up a garden club and keeping chickens.

Gardening club leader Kathryn Spencer and school business manager Allison Mills have created a superb programme here.

A gardening club runs twice a week at lunchtimes with each year group taking their turn in small groups of six to eight

on a rota basis. There are also two groups for special needs and these children have particularly benefited from gardening, helping them to grow in confidence.


Pickhurst Infant School in West Wickham is leading the way in Kent by not only providing wonderful opportunities for its students, but also taking time to help other schools establish programmes through their advice courses on their experience including how to set up a garden club and keeping chickens.

Gardening club leader Kathryn Spencer and school business manager Allison Mills have created a superb programme here.

A gardening club runs twice a week at lunchtimes with each year group taking their turn in small groups of six to eighton a rota basis. There are also two groups for special needs and these children have particularly benefited from gardening, helping them to grow in confidence.

There are many different gardening areas, including a recycled garden, raised beds for the youngest groups, an allotment, a wildlife area, polytunnels, a greenhouse, herb beds, an outdoor reading area, chickens and a forest school site next to a meadow.

The latter is a concept adapted from Scandinavian nature nurseries set up to give children access to the outdoors with the philosophy of child-led learning. Ecological considerations are important, too, with planting to attract wildlife, a wormery, water butts and composting bins.

The aim is to improve confidence,self-esteem and independence as well as a respect for their outdoor environment. We climb trees, build shelters, have a campfire and learn about nature, explains Kathryn.

There are internal competitions, such as design a funky flower pot, and to be asself funding as possible, the eggs, fruitand vegetables are all sold, as are basketsand containers planted by the children.


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