We showcase two national schemes that explore the value and benefits of encouraging the young (and the not so young) to get their hands dirty; AND we've selected a some recent reports and resources to share with you. Dig in!
National Children's Gardening Week - Sun 23 May 2021
National Children’s Gardening Week celebrates the fun that gardens hold for kids. Children, parents, grandparents, schools or garden businesses can find ideas for fun garden projects and activities on this campaign's website.
The campaign is the brainchild of Neil Grant. His aim was to inspire children to start growing and help them understand where fruit and vegetables come from – to encourage them to eat them and try a wider variety.
There’s a huge amount of evidence for the benefits gardening has in schools. It improves pupils’ concentration, creativity, knowledge and understanding of the world, and above all it’s fun!
In 2018, National Children's Gardening Week ran a survey on school gardening among primary school head and deputy head teachers. Have a look at the benefits they see from school gardening in the report.
Together we help children grow - the state of primary school gardening in the UK
Primary schools typically have just 33p per pupil to spend on school gardening; teachers report a need for more funding, volunteers, and materials to draw upon that link school gardening to the curriculum.
National Children’s Gardening Week aims to provide activities and resources for families and schools around children’s gardening. We’re proud to be able to highlight the excellent work our schools are doing to support children through school gardening,
Nine in ten UK primary schools are doing some school gardening, albeit in the curriculum for only 37%. Three quarters offer school gardening as an extra-curricular activity. The typical UK primary school has two or three year groups taking part, whilst 43% offer their programmes to 3 or more year groups. Although children across all age ranges take part, it’s mainly 5 to 8-year-olds that tend to be involved.
Six in ten head and deputy headteachers say that school gardening helps to improve pupils’ physical health, mental wellbeing and behaviour. Meanwhile, three quarters agree that it helps to improve social skills.
National Growing for Wellbeing Week - 1st June 2021
Set up by gardening therapy organisation, Life at No.27, the week is a celebration of the magic that growing your own produce can do for your wellbeing, both physically and mentally.
Approximately 1 in 8 children have a diagnosed mental health illness by the age of 14, and 1 in 4 adults in the UK will experience mental ill health each year. That doesn’t include the effects of the Covid pandemic. There is strong evidence highlighting the health benefits of gardening and growing your own (GYO) in particular, including improved confidence, resilience, communication, concentration and ultimately self-belief.
Gardening helps to improve mental health and enables better physical health, by providing an opportunity to connect with nature, learn new skills, escape our thoughts, safely relieve frustrations, acquire new skills, gain control, make mistakes, play and enjoy the great outdoors.
After all, It’s not what you grow, it’s how YOU grow.
During the Wellbeing Week, Life at No.27 will be offering their popular resource pack for free again. In 2020, the activity pack with national curriculum links was downloaded for free by schools, families, colleges and care homes. There will also be events, online talks and workshops and competitions to take part in.