TV Gardener Chris Collins inspires at the First Food Growing Schools: London conference


16 March 2016

The very first Food Growing Schools: London (FGSL) conference took place at Argyle School in Camden this week.

It was one of two schools conferences FGSL are organising this spring to bring schools from across London together with the aim of inspiring and supporting them to become food growing schools.

The FGSL North London Conference explored a variety of interactive and informative advice and hands-on activities led by London’s school food growing experts. After an inspirational welcome from Chris Collins, famous TV gardener and ambassador for lead partner Garden Organic, the schools conference took place with workshops led by a number of the FGSL partner organisations, including Capital Growth and the RHS Campaign for School Gardening, School Food Matters and Trees for Cities.

The event was also supported by Chase Organic Gardening catalogue, who provided seeds for delegates, and Abel & Cole, who donated fruit baskets for the conference.

The day included a keynote speech from Chris Collins and a “Gardener’s Question Time” where the audience had the opportunity to get valuable advice from the highly skilled panel. Top tips included how to engage teenagers and how to grow using horse manure in your soil, adapting small spaces and following the seasons in the year.

Chris Collins said: “I am delighted to be the keynote speaker for the Food Growing Schools: London Conferences. I really value the opportunity to share my food growing experience with teachers and younger generations. As a long standing ambassador for Garden Organic, I am always keen to support this kind of initiative and get more schools growing.”

A limited number of places are still available for the next FGSL Schools Conference which will be on Monday 11 April in Southwark. For each conference FGSL is offering 50 free places to the schools worth £150 per delegate.

Any London school, teachers and volunteers can access free support, tips and materials by signing up to Food Growing Schools: London.


 

FGSL Schools Conference 2016

09 March 2016

North London Conference – Tuesday 15th March 2016, Argyle Primary, Camden

Tuesday 15th March in Camden (Argyle School) 50 schools will join the Food Growing Schools: London partnership for a day of school gardening workshops, packed full of growing ideas, advice and hands-on activities led by London’s school food growing experts.

London schools are welcome to book a place at the next FGSL Schools Conferences which will be held on Monday 11th April in Southwark (John Ruskin).

Two venues, one conference for a day of school gardening workshops delivering  a variety of interactive and informative advice and hands-on activities led by London’s school food growing experts.

Chris Collins, famous TV gardener and passionate Garden Organic ambassador, will be the keynote speaker at the two Schools conferences organised this spring by Food Growing Schools: London, a project which brings together the very best of London’s food growing expertise, information and support, with the ambition to inspire and equip every school in London to grow their own food.

Chris will be also part of the “Gardeners Question Time” activity held during the conferences which will be packed full of growing ideas for all the participants.

Free “Gardens and Mental Health” workshop for primary schools funded by The Wellcome Trust

29 February 2016

It is the last chance for primary schools to have a free ‘Gardens and Mental Health’ workshop this year – bookings for the Summer term. The Wellcome Trust are funding a day workshop for KS1 and 2, on how gardens and nature can help mental health, using art, design, mindfulness. An outdoor space isn’t necessary.

Contact Rebecca Smith on 0330 660 0132 or rebecca@rebeccasmithgardens.co.uk to book.


 

Trees for Cities – 2016/17 Dream Fund Edible Playground programme

25 February 2016

Trees for Cities are seeking one final London school for their 2016/17 Dream Fund Edible Playground programme supported by players of the People’s Postcode Lottery.

This programme match funds (to 50%) the cost of creating an Edible Playground at school, an academic year of gardening support training, three chef visits from Chefs Adopt a School and Food for Life Award support from School Food Matters.

If your school is embarking on vegetable growing please contact isla@treesforcities.org to discuss this opportunity.


 

Outdoor Learning Conference 2016

29 February 2016

Fancy a brilliant day of workshops on topics around outdoor learning, food education and school gardening? Join the 3rd annual Outdoor Learning and ‘Plot to Plate’ Conference – Monday March 7th, 9-3pm.

Special guests this year include The Eden Project from Cornwall, Jamie Oliver’s Kitchen Garden Project, The Royal Horticultural Society and The Garden Classroom. The price is only £50, including lunch and pizza from our wood fired oven. The school band will serenade attendees during the break.

Workshop topics include developing a creative curriculum outdoors, grow-to-sell and numeracy, early years gardening, plot design, cross-curricular links, forest schools in the city, quality cookery in the classroom and wildlife gardening.

Other speakers include Tom Moggach: author of The Urban Kitchen Gardener; Matthew Loveday: wildlife expert; Cassie Liversidge; Jules Rogers; Julie Riehl (Capital Growth) and Sally Stratton.

To reserve your place, please email: admin@rhylprim.camden.sch.uk or telephone: 020 7485 4899.


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Mayor helps tackle child obesity with £42,000 for schools to grow food

19 February 2016

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson MP, today confirmed that 21 schools will share a £42,000 funding pot, allowing them to grow their own food as part of his ongoing drive to tackle obesity in the capital and get young Londoners eating more healthily.

21 schools in Lambeth and Croydon will receive grants ranging between £300 and £3,000 from the School Garden Grants scheme to create or improve edible gardens, which will be used to educate children about the food they eat and help them to lead healthier lives.

Lambeth and Croydon were both selected by the Mayor to be Food Flagship Boroughs last year, working to tackle child obesity through better diets and food education. In a UK first, the boroughs are making changes to the way food is served in schools, hospitals, and – working with major supermarkets and other retailers – on the high street. The aim is to show that joined up thinking can improve health and academic attainment of pupils and also of adults in the local communities they serve.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson MP, said: “I am delighted to be working with Whole Kids Foundation as we introduce this innovative scheme to Croydon and Lambeth – two boroughs that are doing great work to improve diets and attitudes to food.”

“School Garden Grants are a great way to harness the enthusiasm of teachers, children and parents toward eating more fruit, vegetables and quality, affordable food. Eating well helps not only to avoid health problems now and in the future, but has been shown to be a key ingredient to classroom success.”

Projects in Lambeth include:

  • Sudbourne School will receive £2,600 to introduce chickens to their existing school garden. Pupils and parents will be supported by Father Nature, a social enterprise promoting children’s learning through nature and helping young fathers gain gardening skills, build confidence and find employment. Together, they will prepare the site and the eggs will be used in cooking classes and any surplus sold to the school community.
  • Julian’s Primary School will receive £1,170 to create a small shop next to the garden where children can sell produce and products they have grown and made. Children will pick and prepare seasonal produce, make preserves, create a school recipe book, collect and package seeds and grow plants in pots to sell.

Projects in Croydon include:

  • St Giles will receive £3,000 to help build purpose built, wheelchair accessible beds, an outdoor shelter for the pupils, and specialist tools. St Giles is a special school for pupils with physical disabilities, complex medical needs and complex speech and language needs.  This will be the first ever ‘Edible Playground’ in a special school, with a significant amount of additional funding raised by Trees for Cities
  • Shirley High School will receive £799 and is the only secondary school in Croydon that will receive a School Garden Grant. .The garden will be primarily tended by Food Technology students along with disengaged students. The grant will pay for raised beds, basic tools and equipment along with a small storage shed.

The Mayor has teamed up with Whole Kids Foundation to deliver the School Garden Grants scheme. Whole Kids Foundation – the charitable arm of Whole Foods Market – has run the scheme in the US and Canada for five years, with impressive results. Their work there has funded 3,014 school gardens, trained 8,438 teachers and served 3,796,922 students. By encouraging children to plant, nurture, harvest, cook and eat food they have grown themselves, the pilot scheme in London will help them to foster a love of good food and increase understanding of how diet impacts on health.

Benjamin Woodgate from Whole Kids Foundation said: “The more kids know and feel connected to their food, the more curious they become about how things grow or taste, and the more willing they are to try new foods. This is why we believe in edible garden learning spaces.”

For more information on School Garden Grants please visit https://www.london.gov.uk/what-we-do/business-and-economy/food/food-flagships/flagship-school-garden-grants


 

TV gardener Chris Collins confirmed as the keynote speaker for Food Growing Schools: London upcoming Schools Conference 2016

18 February 2016

Chris Collins, famous TV gardener and passionate Garden Organic ambassador, will be the keynote speaker at the two Schools conferences organised this spring by Food Growing Schools: London, a project which brings together since 2014 the very best of London’s food growing expertise, information and support, with the ambition to inspire and equip every school in London to grow their own food.

Chris Collins, TV gardener, quote: “I am very excited to be the keynote speaker for the Food Growing Schools London Conferences. I value greatly the opportunity of sharing my food growing experience with teachers, and younger generations. As a long standing ambassador for Garden Organic, I am always keen to support this kind of initiatives that gets more schools growing.”

Chris will be also part of the “Gardeners Question Time” activity held during the conferences which will be packed full of growing ideas for all the participants. London schools are welcome to book a place at one of the FGSL Schools Conferences which will be held on Tuesday 15th March in Camden (Argyle School) and Monday 11th April in Southwark (John Ruskin). Two venues, one conference for a day of school gardening workshops delivering  a variety of interactive and informative advice and hands-on activities led by London’s school food growing experts.

Jemima Wade, Headteacher of Argyle School, said: “Hosting the FGSL Schools Conference 2016 will be a great pleasure for us, as we foster and support food growing in our school. We are therefore pleased to share our space with other London schools during the March conference day”.

The event aims to bring together schools from across London to be inspired by the breadth of support available to them in order to grow food.  It will include a welcome address from Chris Collins and lead partner Garden Organic who will be joined by a number of partners including School Food Matters, Trees for Cities, Capital Growth and the RHS Campaign for School Gardening.

Suzy Gregory, Headteacher of John Ruskin School, said “We are very excited to host the FGSL Schools Conference 2016 at our school. Food growing plays a central part in our school, pupils take part in everyday growing that develops a love of food and an understanding of the journey from seed to plate. We are delighted to have the opportunity to share our progress with other London schools during the upcoming event in April”.

Topics will cover meeting new Ofsted and curriculum guidelines using food growing; planning and constructing a growing space, food growing and enterprise. There will also be the opportunity for tours of the on-site school gardens which host the conference, a Marketplace showcasing London school food growing organisations, and a tasty networking lunch.

For each conference Food Growing Schools: London is offering 50 free places to the schools worth £150 per delegate. For more information and to book visit: https://www.foodgrowingschools.org/events/#Schools%20Conference%202016

Looking now for food growing support materials, tips, resources? All London schools and volunteers can sign up for free on https://www.foodgrowingschools.org/


 

Free 2016 Grow Wild seed kits

1 February 2016

 

Capital Growth is taking part in the UK’s biggest ever wild flower campaign by sharing free Grow Wild seed kits.

Register today using Grow Wild’s one-minute form.

Simply let us know how many people there are in your group/s, and the right number of seed kits will be send out to you in late March 2016 – just in time for sowing.

Closing date: Midnight 14 February 2016

Support for Food for Life Awards

 

The Food for Life Awards scheme, managed by the Soil Association, is now offering schools a brand new awards support package for a great value subscription.

Fresh ideas and imaginative food education for you!

It includes:

– Extensive printed resource pack

– On-site visit from a FFL school food expert

– Online seminars

– Your own web portal with interactive support.

Further info: FFL Awards


 

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