Our 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 email@example.com for information
From strawberry jam to tomato ketchup, and the great British apple to winter salad bags – young entrepreneurs from 10 London schools shared their food growing skills with the public at City Hall on Thursday 13 October 2016. They represent the increasing number of London students experiencing the huge benefits of food growing since the launch of Food Growing Schools: London (FGSL) in 2013.
On Thursday 13 October 2016 during a unique FGSL Celebration Event, students showcased their school-grown produce at the sixth FGSL Schools Marketplace, run in partnership with Capital Growth, and took to the stage in the prestigious London’s Living Room.
The event was opened by Joanne McCartney AM, Deputy Mayor for London, and Deputy Mayor for Education and Childcare, for the Greater London Authority. It included the launch of the FGSL Interim Report(October 2016), showing the wide ranging benefits of food growing. There was also FGSL’s very own Junior Gardener’s Question Time, chaired by former Blue Peter Gardener Chris Collins – with food growing questions answered by children from schools across London.
When he attended the last Schools Marketplace at City Hall, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “ I’m really pleased to host the Schools Marketplace in City Hall. I want to help Londoners to have access to better food, and lead healthier lifestyles, so it’s great to see these young people growing their own grub and developing entrepreneurial skills.”
Students from schools in Croydon, Ealing, Greenwich, Haringey, Kensington and Chelsea, Lambeth, Lewisham, Richmond and Southwark took part, and won prizes as part of the *Schools Marketplace Competition.
*Schools Marketplace participants and competition prize winners:
Athelney Primary School, Lewisham
Charlton Park Academy, Greenwich
Dormers Wells High School, Ealing
Elmwood Primary School, Croydon
*Holy Trinity C of E Primary School, Lewisham: Winners – ‘Best Dressed Stall’
*Kelvin Grove Primary School, Lewisham: Winners – ‘People’s Choice’
Mark Dale-Emberton, Principle at Charlton Park Academy, Greenwich said: “Working with Food Growing Schools: London has helped us re-evaluate and reenergise the staff and students. We have looked afresh at our curriculum and how we can use the food that we grow to improve our meals, health and general wellbeing.”
Since their launch in 2013, Food Growing Schools: London have seen an amazing 25 out of 33 London boroughs step up to promote food growing in schools. The Benefits of Food Growing are impressive and far reaching – showing a positive impact on children’s physical and mental health, environment and education, and the local community and economy. Nearly 80% of schools engaged with FGSL have reported improved behaviour or attainment in students as a result of food growing, and one in four schools now use food growing as a teaching tool linked to curriculum activities. The FGSL report, containing the outcomes of an independent project evaluation by University of the West England, celebrates the successes of this innovative London-wide partnership, led by Garden Organic. The project is supported by the Mayor of London and the Big Lottery Fund.
James Campbell, Chief Executive, Garden Organic said: “I am deeply proud of what we have achieved so far — *87% of London schools are now growing food and considerably more pupils, parents, community members and businesses are involved.”
Speakers at the celebration event included Chris Collins (former Blue Peter Gardener, Broadcaster and Head of Horticulture at Garden Organic), James Campbell (CEO Garden Organic), Judy Orme (Professor of Public Health and Sustainability) and Mat Jones (Associate Professor of Public Health, University of West England).
Chris Collins,Broadcaster and Head of Horticulture at Garden Organic said: “I’m lucky to be out and about meeting students all the time, and it’s been amazing to see the difference Food Growing Schools: London is having in our London schools. The food growing support, resources and expertise the partnership provides is fantastic. Every school should take advantage and get involved!”
Whether you are already growing food in your school, you wish to get started, or you represent an organisation who can help, Food Growing Schools: London is open to all to Get Involved.
Spokespeople – Chris Collins (Broadcaster and Head of Horticulture at Garden Organic) and James Campbell (CEO Garden Organic)
Food Growing Schools: London is an ambitious Lottery funded project, supported by the Mayor of London that aims to get every London school growing their own food. Garden Organic as the lead organisation is working together with partners, Capital Growth, the Soil Association’s Food For Life project, the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), School Food Matters and Trees for Cities. The Schools Marketplace, organised with FGSL partner Capital Growth, took place as part of Grow Your Own Business 2016. #GYOBusiness
FGSL Interim Project Report (October 2016)*
An independent project evaluation by University of the West England (Bristol), summarising the progress of the programme in its third year, assessing the impacts of FGSL for participants and wider stakeholders, focusing on schools and those supporting school food growing. To download the full report visit: Our Achievements
*Figures based on evaluation surveys with lead school teachers in September 2013 (n=504) and July 2016 (n=241). The independent FGSL project evaluation was carried out by research teams from the University of the West England and Cardiff University.
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.
For more information please contact: Samantha Lagan – 020 7820 4426/07825541130 firstname.lastname@example.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.
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
A celebration of summer, sunshine and food growing in your school playground. Plant a seed, and watch your school garden grow. Then share a delicious home-grown lunch with your friends, school and community – on your very own Picnic Day! Learn how to grow, cook and prepare home-made dips, sandwiches, salads, and desserts – packed full of nature’s goodness. A picnic feast for the whole community.
Why Grow Your Own Picnic?
Grow Your Own Picnic gives your school the opportunity to engage all pupils, teachers and the local community through your school garden, by growing, cooking and sharing your produce, and using it to deliver elements of your school curriculum.
Competitions and Offers 2015
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, with competition sponsor Michael Hedges, Managing Director of Chase Organics and The Organic Gardening Catalogue, awarding first prize for the Grow Your Own School Garden Competition to Richard Challoner School, Kingston. Photo Jane Baker/Garden Organic
Grow Your Own School Garden Competition 2015
For schools who are not yet growing
The Food Growing Schools: London partnership launched a fantastic new London schools gardening competition for London schools to enter who aren’t yet growing food. Schools had to create a garden team, plan a school garden from scratch and create and equipment wishlist.
Congratulations – to the following three winning London schools:
1st Prize – Richard Challoner School (Kingston) 2nd Prize – Our Lady of Grace Catholic Infant School (Brent) 3rd Prize – Richmond Park Academy (Richmond)
Capital Growth also ran a photography competition to celebrate what London schools are growing, as part of Grow Your Own Picnic 2015.
Congratulations – to the following three winning London schools:
Trafalgar Infant School. Category: Picture of your garden/produce taken by a child under 18 (below, portrait)
Brunswick Park School. Category: Pupils planting, harvesting, cooking or eating your picnic (below, left) Christchurch Primary School. Category: School volunteers helping pupils in the garden (below, right)
Schools Marketplace, City Hall
Schools receive surprise Mayor of London visit at the School’s Marketplace, City Hall
Christ Church Church of England School (Wandsworth) eagerly selling their school produce at the Schools Marketplace at City Hall. Photo: Jane Baker/Garden Organic.
The Schools’s Marketplace at City Hall, on Thursday 9th July, was a huge success, with 10 London schools battling their way through the London tube strike to arrive laden with produce to sell to the public. During the School’s Marketplace the school’s had a surprise visit from the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson who visited every one of their stalls and went home with armfuls of school-grown produce. As you can imagine, the students (and teachers!), were very excited to welcome this special guest.
Grow Your Own School Garden Competition – Announcing the Winners!
At the School’s Marketplace The Mayor of London also took part in giving out the prizes at our ‘Grow your Own School Garden Competition’ Award Ceremony, with our generous competition sponsors. A huge thank you to The Organic Gardening Catalogue, Haxnicks and VegTrug for donating the competition prizes. Congratulations to the following three schools who received their awards to huge applause, and look forward to setting up their own school gardens. Read more.
Schools Marketplace, Thurs 9 July 2015 – participating school stallholders:
Congratulations to all these enterprising schools. You were amazing!
Bensham Manor, Croydon
Bethnal Green Academy, Tower Hamlets
Charlton Park Academy, Greenwich
Christ Church CE Primary, Wandsworth
Glebe School, Bromley
Park View Secondary, Haringey
Rhyl Primary, Camden
Selwyn Primary, Newham
The UCL Academy, Camden
Trafalgar Infant School, Richmond
To find out more about the day visit our News page and Flickr photo gallery.
Rosie Boycott (Mayor of London Food Advisor) and Thomasina Miers (former Masterchef winner) at Phoenix High School Farm for Grow Your Own Picnic 2014. Photo: Eleonore De Bonneval/Garden Organic
Past Picnic Events – 2014
Grow Your Own Picnic last took place in Summer 2014, to coincide with the launch of Food Growing Schools: London. Read the summary below or download the full story (PDF).
Grow Your Own Picnic 2014 and the launch of Food Growing Schools: London
Sun, salad and school growing success! Food Growing Schools: London launched with a flurry of tasty picnic events at schools across London, on Friday 20th June 2014, taking place on the first Grow Your Own Picnic day.The official Food Growing Schools: London launch event, at the inspiring Phoenix High School Farm and Learning Zone, was buzzing with enthusiasm from local authorities, educational institutions, and public health leaders from across London boroughs. Tucking into a tasty picnic lunch cooked by Ben Tish, Founder and Head Chef of Saltyard Restaurant Group, they listened to an impressive line-up of talks from the Mayor of London’s Food Advisor, Rosie Boycott, Master Chef winner Thomasina Miers, Bill Scott, Professor of Education at the University of Bath and lead partner Garden Organic. Rosie Boycott said; ‘The Mayor and I want to see every school in London growing food. We’ve made huge progress with many pupils in the capital now reaping the rewards of outdoor learning. This new initiative will help us go further, reaching more schools and helping existing growers expand.’