Oakfield High School Planters and Composting Bays – March and June 2017

We met Hannah Wallwork from Oakfield High School at the 2016 Wigan Eco Conference. Hannah wanted to improve her allotment site on the school grounds and contacted us for a site visit. Ian recommended starting with a raised planter as this would mean growing space, which in turn encourages flora and fauna to the grounds of the school. Ian wanted to build the planter with the students as this facilitates tool use and skills and knowledge development as well as giving students confidence in themselves. We provided risk assessments for the activity and Ian ensured the planter was ready to be put together on the day by the students. The Land based group were working with us on the day and they absolutely loved using real tools and learning about how to measure and get everything level. Ian made sure they learnt some basic engineering principles and that everyone had a go. It was a fantastic day for everyone and the students were keen to meet us again. In June we returned to the school to install new composting bays for the allotment site. Again, we got the students to build their own bay and it was a great success. Hannah had found a bumble bee nest when she was preparing the site so we all made sure to leave it alone and let the bees get on with their lives. The school now have two new allotment constructions to ensure they can collect and make their own compost and grow more vegetables to eat. Finally, we returned to the school on their last week of term and played ‘Feed the World’ with most of the classes over two days. The kids had to collect what they needed to make a seed grow and feed the world. After they had overcome the challenges set by Ian, they each sowed a beetroot seed in a biodegradable pot. Hannah, David and the school were really pleased with the outcome of our engagement with the school and we look forward to working with them again in the future.