Allotment patch created at new school

Published: 22 March 2023

Teachers and pupils at Yarmouth School
The team that worked on the new Yarmouth Primary School site volunteered their time to create an attractive vegetable plot for the children to grow their own produce.

Six raised beds were built using materials provided free of charge by Morgan Sindall Construction.

At the end of the morning the children were invited to plant out the new area with fruit trees and vegetable plants that had all been donated, along with new equipment.

Elizabeth Grainger, head teacher, said food growing can teach children about soil, nutrition, science and life cycles of the vegetables and creatures in the garden.

She said: "Allotments are the perfect way to encourage children to lead a healthier lifestyle, allowing them to grow healthy foods and also engage in extra physical activity.

"We feel it is important that we educate our children around the benefits of eating a healthy balanced diet along with developing their knowledge around sustainability.

"Our aim is that pupils develop an understanding of the journey of food from planting to cooking and then eating."

Staff from Morgan Sindall, John Peck Construction, as well as the Isle of Wight Council and Hampshire County Council, who have been involved in the new primary school, rolled up their sleeves to help create the area, which also features a greenhouse and storage buildings.

The food grown on the allotment will be used in the school's kitchen to enhance lunchtime meals, or to provide healthy snack options for pupils in class. Any surplus fruit and vegetables will be made available for families to take home and share.

Councillor Debbie Andre, Cabinet member for education, said: "This is such an inspiring project that engages children in 'hands-on' activities, from the obvious sowing and hoeing to expanding their knowledge about vegetables to recognising when things are ripe for harvest and the benefits that eating fresh, home grown fruit and vegetables bring with it.

"I would like to thank everyone who volunteered their time and energy to create this wonderful allotment plot which will be cherished by the school community." 

Clifford Kinch, area director at Morgan Sindall Construction, said: “We were eager to offer our time and materials to help with the construction of the allotment and we are delighted to see pupils enjoying it already.

"The patch will educate them with a real hands-on approach to growing their own fruit and vegetables, while hopefully inspiring them to make healthy food choices. 

"As a team, we are dedicated to delivering social value both on and off site and it’s great to leave a lasting legacy for the community beyond bricks and mortar.”

The new £5 million primary school, built on the site of the former All Saints CE Primary School in Freshwater, opened its doors in January.

The new school features seven classrooms, design and technology suites, a large indoor hall and enhanced sports provision - and now children's allotments!