We believe that Cultivating Change can support the work that is already happening in schools across the UK. We can support Forest School sessions by offering seeds; we can provide the range of seeds for plants that could be included in a sensory a garden to support students with particular learning needs, and we can help schools to develop links with their local community through gardening projects.
In addition to the therapeutic and community benefits that horticulture can offer, there is also an important educational role that Cultivating Change can play. Growing seeds, observing plants and understanding what helps them stay healthy, is part of the National Curriculum for Science at both Key Stage 1 and 2. By becoming part of Cultivating Change, students can grow a range of different seeds, observing first-hand how they grow and develop. But as well as this, they can experience the joy of planting and caring for their own seeds, with all of the positive benefits that can bring.
There are further links with the National Curriculum beyond Science. For example, as many of the seeds CN Seeds supply are for edible plants such as salad leaves, herbs and vegetables, there are opportunities for schools to explore healthy eating, in line with the Cooking and Nutrition aspect of the Design and Technology curriculum. This includes giving students an understanding of where food comes from as well as an understanding of seasonality. Furthermore, gardening compliments the Physical Education strand of the National Curriculum, as it encourages healthy, active living, providing students with a positive opportunity to be physically active outside of the realms of sport and games.
At the recent COP26 conference, Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi spoke about putting climate change at the heart of education. These ideas have been outlined in a white paper, due to be finalised in April 2022. The paper refers to ‘developing [children and young people’s] connection with nature’  something which we at Cultivating Change believe is vitally important.
Many of the ideas proposed in this white paper could be supported by the work we do at Cultivating Change. For example, the paper proposes the creation of a new, virtual ‘National Education Nature Park’, focusing on improving biodiversity in school grounds across the UK. Cultivating Change can help by providing schools with the seeds and knowledge needed to improve the green spaces available on your school site.
Also proposed is the development of a ‘model science curriculum’ which will ‘teach children about nature and their impact on the world around them.’  By becoming part of Cultivating Change, students will learn about the natural world, in particular how plants grow and develop, and through growing their own plants, will engage with the outdoor spaces around them.
Cultivating Change is already working with some individual schools. We also have experience of working with a Local Authority as in the summer of 2021, we provided 10,000 packs of seeds for Essex Activate, who ran an activity programme for HAF2021 (Holiday Activities and Food programme), providing vulnerable children with fun, holiday activities. In addition to the seeds, we provided delivery resources to support families involved in the project, allowing them to grow their seeds with confidence.
What can Cultivating Change offer schools now?
an online community of support
a closed Facebook group, allowing you to communicate with other schools in a safe, online space
What do we ask in return?
You become part of the Cultivating Change community
You share your experiences of planting, growing and harvesting. There is no strict schedule for how this works and it can be (and is!) different for everyone.
CULTIVATING CHANGE IS GROWING
In 2022, we will be offering our first collapsed curriculum day in a school in Cambridge. We would love to offer more of these, looking at how horticulture can have an impact across the curriculum, including on PSHE and wellbeing.
As our Cultivating Change school community grows, we would love to get schools talking to one another, sharing what has worked and how young people have benefited from their experiences.
We believe that being in nature and gardening is so important and can bring great benefit to numerous aspects of school life. We believe that all children should have access to nature and Cultivating Change can help make this happen.
Please get in touch with us at email@example.com if you have any questions or if you would like to get involved. Alternatively, please explore our website to read more about what we do and fill in the application form!
Remember, the scale of your involvement is very much up to you. From growing a small selection of herbs on a windowsill, to using horticulture as therapy to support student wellbeing – Cultivating Change can support you through seed donation and community conversation, ideas and collaboration.