One way to care for the future of our planet is to encourage an interest in gardening and the environment from a young age. Through the NHC Community Allotment, our Childcare and Health & Social Care students worked together to host some allotment classes for Roebuck Primary School’s Year 1 pupils. This was our students’ first official session of working in the allotment with the children, following successful pilot sessions with Roebuck Primary School last year.
Two classes of Year 1 children came over to NHC with their teachers to take part in a range of activities, planned and prepared by our students. These activities included using visual aids to explain how plants grow, a vegetable themed storytime, a show-and-tell game to learn where food comes from, and hands-on activities involving roots and planting seeds. For all of these activities, our NHC students worked in small groups with the young children to provide a really hands-on experience.
Not only did this experience support our own NHC students to gain practical experience working with young children, but it also supports the KS1 curriculum for the school children learning about plants and how they grow. For both groups of students, this experience has helped bring learning to life.
Jenny Townley, one of the Year 1 teachers at Roebuck Primary School, is very positive about her experience, saying: “What a treat to be able to take our Year 1 children to North Hertfordshire College to support our learning of plants and their needs. They were informative and hands-on sessions that we all enjoyed and were a great immersive hook to our science topic. A huge thanks to the team for organising such creative activities.”
The NHC Community Allotment Project is integrated into our Childcare and Health & Social Care courses as a practical element that reflects the growing focus on outdoor learning, Forest Schools, and the physical and mental health benefits of gardening and being outside for adults and children. The experiences our students gain through the project supports them as they start their careers in care settings or childcare, setting them up with great experiences and some basic skills they can then pass on to those in their care.
Paul Dee, who runs the NHC Community Allotment Project, said: “These sessions gave our students the chance to share their newly learned gardening skills with a lovely group of children from Stevenage, and they did themselves proud. So many of the benefits of gardening were on display. We can’t wait to do more of these events. Going forward, we hope to work with more primary schools across Stevenage.”
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