We believe that Cultivating Change can support work that is already happening in many schools across the UK. In addition to the therapeutic and community benefits that gardening 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 we 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 COP26 conference, ideas were outlined in a white paper that referred to ‘developing [children and young people’s] connection with nature’ something which we at Cultivating Change believe is vitally important.
As a teacher, I believe Cultivating Change can support schools in their journey to become happier, greener spaces. I have worked as an Advanced Skills Teacher and created numerous resources to support students’ learning and bring this expertise to Cultivating Change. Consequently, the resources that we are able to provide schools with are adapted to suit the needs of teachers and students.
Our vision is to improve young peoples' disconnect with nature and at Cultivating Change we are already working with several schools to change this. In 2022, we provided our first collapsed curriculum day, presented assemblies and growing workshops. Feedback has included:
"The workshops and the assembly were brilliant” “They found it highly engaging and relevant”. “I greatly appreciate the important message you shared with our school community; it was brilliant to give them hands on experience”.
We also have experience of working with a Local Authority. 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 resources to support families involved in the project, allowing them to grow their seeds with confidence.
In summary, we would love to bring our vision and support to as many schools as we can.
What Cultivating Change offers Schools
a closed Facebook group, allowing you to communicate with other schools in a safe, online space
Advice and support for in-school growing opportunities including assemblies and workshops.
What do we ask in return?
A collaborative engagement with Cultivating Change and the growing community, sharing your experiences of planting, growing and harvesting. This can be (and is!) different for everyone!
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 collaboration.