Trees for Schools – available now!

Trees for Cities have teamed up with the Woodland Trust to offer hundreds of London primary schools free tree packs. We think trees and hedgerows can go hand-in-hand with your food-growing school gardens, so find out more about Trees for Schools here while supplies last!

http://www.treesforcities.org/projects/schools

Edible Playgrounds offer to 8 London Schools

Photo credit: Edible Playgrounds

Food Growing Schools: London partner Trees for Cities is excited to announce that they have received generous funding for Edible Playgrounds in London this year.

Trees for Cities and Bulb, the renewable UK gas and electricity supplier, are looking for eight London schools interested in an Edible Playground in 2017.

The Edible Playgrounds project includes the design and build of an edible playground – a vibrant functional teaching garden – alongside full educational support for one year to identify curriculum links, train teachers and give them confidence to teach outside. See more about the programme on their website.

Trees for Cities would like to speak to any interested schools before the end of Summer Term (21 July 2017). They are particularly interested in schools that have a high level of need amongst pupils (for example, schools in deprived areas), with senior leadership support and available space in their playground. Schools will also need some budget – Bulb will fund at least 60% of each project, with the school contributing the rest.

Get in touch with Trees for Cities to find out more by email or complete an expression of interest form.

Food Growing in Schools: Research Round-up

The benefits of food growing reach far beyond improving gardening skills and teaching children where food comes from and the FGSL partnership has gathered lots of evidence to show this.

Research round upTrees for Cities (TFC) have worked with 50 schools to create Edible Playgrounds. These spaces are a fun way to teach children new skills, enrich food education and get food growing into the curriculum.

TFC identify some of the key challenges that food growing helps to tackle:

  1. Children have a disconnect with nature and understanding where food comes from:

33% of pupils in UK primary schools believe cheese comes from plants.

25% believed that fish fingers come from chicken or pigs.*

  1. Mental and physical health problems are widespread:

Latest figures from Public Health England show that a third of 10-11 year olds and over a fifth of 4-5 year olds are overweight or obese.

1 in 10 children have a diagnosable mental health disorder.

So how are pupils benefitting from food growing?

Improved skills, knowledge and behaviour

Over 90% of head teachers said their Edible Playground had increased students’ gardening skills, knowledge of the environment and food origins and uptake of fruit and vegetables.

Lots of schools have been using the playground to run therapy sessions for SEN children or those with anger management issues.

70% of schools surveyed said the playgrounds have supported work with SEN students or those with challenging behavioural issues.

“It has a very calming effect on some pupils with significantly challenging behavioural difficulties”  Rockmount Primary School.

RHS research has also found that gardening can help children to develop ‘a more resilient, confident and responsible approach to life’.

Food growing used as a teaching tool

All of the Head Teachers surveyed use their edible playground for maths and science lessons, as well as for English and art (92%), design and technology (76%), geography (30%), languages (23%), RE and ICT (15%) and history (7%).

1 in 4 schools now link food growing to the curriculum**

These positive findings echo the results of the independent FGSL evaluation 2016, that also shows how food growing in schools increases links between schools and local businesses, organisations and volunteers and brings significant value to schools that are part of the programme.

Read the full FGSL report and more about the TFC research results.

*surveyed by the British Nutrition Foundation in 2013.  **FGSL Figures based on evaluation surveys with lead school teachers in September 2013 (n=504) and July 2016 (n=241).

Tree-mendous tree survey

Trees for Cities_plantingOur friends and FGSL partners, Trees for Cities want to find out what would help schools plant trees at school or even somewhere near school like a local park. And they need your help!

London schools. Can you help?

Please take 5 minutes to complete their short survey and tell them what the challenges are and how they can help.  They are particularly interested to hear from schools who may never have ordered or planted free trees that are offered to schools annually.

A big thank you

To say thank you for giving your input, they are offering you the chance to win a “Tree-mendous” School Assembly!  All schools completing the survey will be entered into a prize draw to win an assembly from Trees for Cities on the importance and wonder of trees.

‘Trees for Schools’ is funded by Defra and delivered in partnership with the Woodland Trust and Trees for Cities to help schools across London plant trees in or near their school.

Can you help? Complete the big tree survey here.

If you any questions about the ‘Trees for Schools’ programme or this survey please contact jenny@treesforcities.org

Expressions of interest – 2017 Edible Playgrounds

Edible Playground. Trees for CitiesOur wonderful partners Trees for Cities have a fantastic project helping schools to set up Edible Playgrounds. Edible Playgrounds transform areas in school grounds into vibrant outdoor spaces that excite and teach children about growing and eating healthy food. By instilling healthy eating habits at an early age, Edible Playgrounds can help to tackle obesity, food poverty and lack of access to nature head on and provide a platform for fun and engaging lessons that support the school curriculum.

Haringey school gets a boost to support healthy eating

Trees for Cities have been helping schools in London to set up Edible Playgrounds. Among them is Stamford Hill Primary School, located in Tottenham, North London, thanks to players of People’s Postcode Lottery. Trees for Cities are helping to transform areas of the school playground into an edible playground, which will be designed specifically for the school, including raised beds for growing salads, root vegetables, soft fruits and herbs, fruit trees and a composting area.  Pupils will enjoy planting and harvesting workshops throughout the year, and teachers will receive support to teach outdoors through gardening. You can read more about it here.

Call for expressions of interest for Edible Playgrounds 2017/18

Trees for Cities are now taking expressions of interest for their 2017/18 Edible Playground programme.  If you are hoping to establish a whole school approach to food growing linked to the curriculum please register with them here.  Your early expression of interest will enable Trees for Cities to keep their funders informed and assist their fundraising efforts to secure match contributions for school growing programmes.

 City Bridge Trust match funded Edible Playgrounds

In addition, City Bridge Trust are part match-funding one Edible Playground design with Trees for Cities for a school that wishes to create an Edible Playground in 2017/18.  An Edible Playground is designed for whole school outdoor learning, linking food growing to the curriculum across all year groups.  If your school has over 30% pupil premium students, is planning to develop a fully functioning fruit and vegetable garden and would like to take up this opportunity for design, please contact isla@treesforcities.org for information

www.edibleplaygrounds.org

Haringey school gets a boost to support Healthy Eating

Stamford Hill Primary School, Haringey. (From left to right)  Bledina y6, David y6, Malikay6, Harvin y6, Renzo y6, Alise y6 and Haoyi y5 Photo: Trees for Cities
Stamford Hill Primary School, Haringey. (From left to right) Bledina, David, Malika, Harvin, Renzo, Alise and Haoyi, year 5 and 6. Photo: Trees for Cities

Stamford Hill Primary School, which is located in Tottenham, North London, will be transforming areas of their playground into an Edible Playground, thanks to players of People’s Postcode Lottery.

Trees for Cities will transform areas of the school playground into an edible playground, which will be designed specifically for the school, including raised beds for growing salads, root vegetables, soft fruits and herbs, fruit trees and a composting area.   Pupils will enjoy planting and harvesting workshops throughout the year, and teachers will receive support to teach outdoors through gardening.

The school has recently been awarded the Gold Healthy Schools status and as part of their ongoing work on Healthy Eating is about to embark on this new teaching and learning journey over the next few years.

Kathy O Sullivan, Head Teacher at Stamford Hill Primary said: “As part of our ongoing work on Healthy Eating, we have installed a cooking kitchen and employed our own cook.  A cooking room is also being installed so we can develop the cooking curriculum across the school.  We are keen to extend our work on healthy schools and growing our own food felt like the next logical step”.

The programme is a partnership between Trees for Cities, School Food Matters and Chefs Adopt a School to create 10 flagship Edible Playgrounds in London, Manchester, Leeds, Reading and Liverpool.  As part of the project, the pupils will also enjoy hands-on cooking lessons from Chefs Adopt a School and access to food education programmes outside the school gate via charity School Food Matter’s Membership for Schools.

David Elliott, Chief Executive at Trees for Cities said: “We are delighted to announce our seventh Dream Fund Edible Playground at Stamford Hill Primary School in Haringey, thanks to players of People’s Postcode Lottery.  Our Edible Playground programme addresses several key areas of concern around children’s health. They teach pupils where food comes from, that healthy food can be the easy choice, in and out of school and encourage physical activity“

Tesco bags of help have shortlisted this school for 8-12k of additional funding  and this project will also go forward to a public vote in Tesco stores with their customers deciding the outcome. The public will be able to vote for their favourite project in their local Tesco stores from 26th September 2016 to 9th October 2016.

Trees for Cities has been working in schools to plant fruit and nut trees since 2000. With this track record and experience, TfC’ technical expertise in the delivery of Edible Playgrounds and operations is well established and highly regarded. The first Edible Playground was created in 2003. There are currently over 30 Edible Playgrounds in the UK with a further 40 to be rolled out over the next three years.

If you or your business want to help raise the remainder of the funds needed for this project please visit http://www.edibleplaygrounds.org/ where you can make a donation or get in touch with the team on 020 7820 4413.

Ends

For more information please contact: Samantha Lagan – 020 7820 4426/07825541130
samantha@treesforcities.org
Images available upon request

Notes to Editors

Trees for Cities is an independent charity making our cities greener both in the UK and internationally.  They also plant ‘Edible Playgrounds‘ in primary schools in deprived urban areas of the UK to help children learn about growing and eating healthy food.  All of this is done with the help of thousands of volunteers.

The trees they plant transform spaces where people live, work and play, particularly in areas where the social and environmental impact on local people is greatest: in London this might mean planting trees to clean the air, focusing on areas affected by NO2 Pollution, whilst internationally they plant fruiting trees for food and sustainable livelihoods.
Since 1993, Trees for Cities has engaged over 70,000 people to plant over 600,000 urban trees in parks, streets, schools and housing estates worldwide, revitalising these areas and improving the lives of the people that live in them.

Edible Playgrounds is a programme led by Trees for Cities who have been working in schools to plant fruit and nut trees for over 10 years.  “Edible Playgrounds” transform areas in school grounds into vibrant outdoor spaces that excite and teach children about growing and eating healthy food.

By instilling healthy eating habits at an early age, they help tackle obesity, food poverty and lack of access to nature head on, and provide a platform for fun and engaging lessons that support the school curriculum.  An Edible Playground typically includes raised beds, a greenhouse, wormery, fruit trees and an irrigation system.

www.treesforcities.org

School Food Matters is a registered charity based in London that campaigns for fresh sustainable food in schools and for children to understand where their food comes from.  To achieve this SFM listens to schools, parents and children. Together they urge local authorities to improve school meals and to support food education through cooking, growing and links with local farms.  http://www.schoolfoodmatters.org/

Chefs Adopt a School founded in 1990 by the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts, Adopt a School, which includes Chefs Adopt a School and Hospitality in Schools, is a national charity which teaches children – in a holistic way – about food, cookery food provenance, food growing, healthy eating, nutrition, hygiene, table etiquette and the importance of eating together.  Professional Chefs deliver sessions in the classroom which range in content from the four tastes and the five senses, to advanced practical cookery. The charity reaches over 20,000 children every year and we work with primary schools, secondary schools, SEN schools, hospital schools, pupil referral units, sports centres and food festivals.  We believe that every child should be taught about the importance of food and the significance it has in our lives.  http://www.chefsadoptaschool.org.uk/

People’s Postcode Lottery
• People’s Postcode Lottery is a charity lottery. Players play with their postcodes to win cash prizes, while raising money for charities and good causes across Great Britain and globally
• A minimum of 30% goes directly to charities and players have raised £135.8 Million for good causes across the country
• £10 for 10 draws paid monthly in advance with prizes every day. For further prize information visit: www.postcodelottery.co.uk/prizes
• Maximum amount a single ticket can win is 10% of the draw revenue to a maximum of £400,000
• Players can sign up by Direct Debit, credit card or PayPal online at www.postcodelottery.co.uk, or by calling 0808 10-9-8-7-6-5
• Postcode Lottery Limited is regulated by the Gambling Commission under certificate nr 000-000829-N-102511-011 and 000-000829-R-102513-010. Registered office: Titchfield House, 69/85 Tabernacle Street, London, EC2A 4RR
• People’s Postcode Lottery manages multiple society lotteries promoted by different charities. For details on which society lottery is running each week, visit www.postcodelottery.co.uk/society
• This prize was part of the draw promoted by Royal Voluntary Service or WWF

Edible Playgrounds launches ‘Grow On, Film It’ short film competition

4 January 2016


Edible Playgrounds (EP), a project by Trees for Cities, is inviting London food growing schools, to participate in its new ‘Grow On, Film It!’ short film competition.

EP will ask school pupils to create short films about planting, sowing, growing, gardening, and harvesting healthy food at school. Horticulturalist and Trees for Cities patron Chris Collins will be judging the competition with £600 worth of gardening and growing equipment up for grabs and the winning entry featured on the EP and Food Growing Schools: London websites.  Entries close: Friday, 17 June 2016

‘Grow on, Film It!’ will run in conjunction with Food Growing Schools: London’s #Growathon –  which aims to inspire 10,000 London students to get growing and join the biggest school food growing challenge of the year.

Kate Sheldon, Acting Chief Executive said “We’re delighted to be launching ‘Grow On, Film It!’ as part of Food Growing Schools: London’s #Growathon. More and more schools are valuing the importance of teaching children about growing and eating healthy foods. ‘Grow On, Film It!’ will give schools and students the ability to showcase that.”

Edible Playgrounds transform outdoor areas in school grounds into fully functional food growing spaces, giving children the opportunity to grow, harvest and eat good food. EP get children living in urban areas excited about growing food and understanding where food comes from.

The charity has already created over 25 Edible Playgrounds in London and in cities across the UK.

For more information visit: www.edibleplaygrounds.org

Growing an Edible Playground community

Growing an Edible Playground community

Edible Playgrounds, a Trees for Cities Programme that transforms areas in school grounds into vibrant food growing spaces, are springing up around the country and addressing several key areas of concern around children’s health.  They teach pupils where food comes from, that healthy food can be the easy choice, in and out of school and also encourage physical activity.

Trees for Cities are working  in partnership with schools across the UK to create an outdoor allotment with raised beds, orchard, compost, wormery, greenhouse and an outside classroom.  Early in the year they work with teachers and pupils to prepare the soil and sow seeds to grow plenty of tasty produce ready for harvesting throughout the spring and summer terms.  The apple orchards and raspberries provide a fruitful autumn harvest and students continue to grow crops throughout the winter.

“The outdoor classroom provided by our edible playground has become a popular learning hot spot and supports the whole primary curriculum”, Helen Carvell and Tracey Langridge, Head Teachers at Rockmount Primary School in Croydon.

Trees for Cities not only builds the garden from scratch, they also work with the whole school community for an academic year – children, teachers, parents, governors and caterers to build the capacity of the school to teach through gardening and to embed learning into the school curriculum.

Celebrating the opening of Edible Playgrounds across the UK

Over the last couple of months, Trees for Cities has been busy organising launch events at schools, celebrating the opening of five new Edible Playgrounds that are already showcases for all the fantastic work the pupils have been doing to grow their own nutritious food.

A great harvest of beans! Palmer Academy, Reading - Edible Playground LaunchX Factor finalist opens Reading’s first Edible Playground

X Factor 2009 finalist, Danyl Johnson, was joined by Rob Wilson MP, the Mayor of Reading and Michelin Star chef, Dominic Chapman to officially open the first edible playground in Reading at the Palmer Academy.  The garden was thriving and all guests were impressed by the phenomenal crop of lettuce, peas, beans, carrots, radishes and strawberries that the children had been growing.

 

From Plant to Plate - Student Chefs with their freshly made canapesCroydon schools develop Edible Playgrounds

The Edible Playground team have been busy working with three schools in Croydon – one of London’s two food flagship boroughs, to develop their edible playgrounds.  Last month they launched three Edible Playgrounds in one week at Rockmount Primary, Fairchildes Primary/Meridian High and St Giles School.  The edible playgrounds were bursting with life and children used produce from the garden to make canapés for each launch, with the help of Chefs Adopt a School.

 

Barney from Blue Peter at the launch of the Edible Playground at Baguely Hall Primary, ManchesterA surprise visit from Blue Peter
The pupils at Baguley Hall primary school in Manchester had all written letters to Blue Peter telling them what they had been learning about and growing in their edible playground. Blue Peter presenter, Barney Harwood was so impressed he decided to come to the school in person to deliver a well earned green “Blue Peter” badge to each pupil. All the children have been enjoying the experience and opportunities that their edible playground has given them, especially tasting the fresh fruit and vegetables!  Trees for Cities have created over 30 Edible Playgrounds across the UK and with support from players of the People’s Postcode Lottery, have been able to extend their work to Reading, Manchester and Liverpool.  They have also formed valuable partnerships with Chefs Adopt a School, where chefs cook with pupils using Edible Playground produce and School Food Matters, who are supporting schools to achieve their first Food for Life Award.

To find out how your school could get an Edible Playground visit our website www.edibleplaygrounds.org or email us on info@treesforcities.org.

 

Save

Grow On, Film It! competition: 2016 winners announced!

In celebration of Food Growing Schools: London’s #Growathon – the biggest school food growing challenge of the year – Trees for Cities ran a short film competition about planting, sowing, growing, gardening, harvesting and eating good food at school! They had a number of amazing entries and after careful consideration the panel of judges (which included Horticulturalist and Trees for Cities patron Chris Collins; Stephanie Wood, Founder of School Food Matters; Colette Bond, Head of Education, Garden Organic and Kate Groves, Project Manager, Food Growing Schools: London) have picked the winners.

This year’s winner of the Grow On Film It! competition is Copenhagen Primary School in Islington.  Copenhagen have won £500 worth of gardening equipment and their school’s film will be shown at the coming Schools Marketplace event at the City Hall on Thursday 14 July.

The runner up prize was awarded to Meridian High School in Croydon who get £100 worth of gardening and growing equipment. A special mention went to Midfield Primary School in Bromley for their great contribution called “Snail on a Trail”.

Every school submitting a short film will receive a seasonal growing pack

Watch the winning entries

Save

Save

A sixth Dream Fund Edible Playground announced in Liverpool

St Teresa of Lisieux Catholic Primary School, which is situated in the Norris Green area of Liverpool, is about to embark on a new teaching and learning journey over the next few years, thanks to players of People’s Postcode Lottery.

The programme is a partnership between Trees for Cities, School Food Matters and Chefs Adopt a School to create 10 flagship Edible Playgrounds in London, Manchester, Leeds, Reading and Liverpool.

Trees for Cities will transform areas of the school playground into an edible playground, which will give pupils at St Teresa’s the opportunity to grow fruit and vegetables and learn why healthy eating is important.  As well as enriching the pupils learning experience, it will also enable the teachers to teach across their broad and creative curriculum in a fun and engaging outdoor space.

“Outdoor learning, linked to project based learning, is a major passion of mine and we are delighted to be working with Trees for Cities to transform areas of our school grounds into an edible playground”, said Acting Head Teacher, Andrew Tremarco.

“We have also created a Cookery Classroom and our school cook delivers cooking lessons to students 2-3 times a week. We welcome Chefs Adopt a School, as part of the Dream Fund programme, to raise the profile of cooking in school even further and are excited to be working towards a Food for Life Award with third charity partner School Food Matters”.

The edible playground will be designed specifically for the school, including raised beds for growing salads, root vegetables, brassicas, soft fruits and herbs, fruit trees, a green house and a composting area. Pupils will enjoy planting and harvesting workshops throughout the year, and teachers will receive support to teach outdoors through gardening.

Clara Govier, Head of Charities at People’s Postcode Lottery said: “We are delighted that the £249,180 in funding from players of People’s Postcode Lottery is allowing Edible Playground across the country, the success of the project is proven and I can’t wait to see the impact in Liverpool.”

David Elliott, Chief Executive at Trees for Cities said “We are delighted to announce our sixth Dream Fund Edible Playground at St Teresa of Lisieux Catholic Primary School in Liverpool. Edible Playgrounds show children how rewarding it is to spend time outdoors and get them excited about where their food comes from. Currently we have developed over 30 edible playgrounds supporting over 10,000 pupils across the UK.”.

The edible playground will be completed by September after which there will be a launch event to celebrate their fantastic new garden.

If you or your business want to help raise the remainder of the funds needed for this project please visit http://www.edibleplaygrounds.org/ where you can make a donation or get in touch with the team on 020 7820 4413.