As many children in Class AS would say…..Today was EPIC! We started very promptly at 9:10am and our first job was to plant 52 rosemary bushes on the steps close to the beehives so that when the plants mature and flower the bees can feed on them. The children worked well in twos and threes to measure the distance between each plant, dig holes with trowels, put the plants into the holes (making sure that they were completely upright) and then replaced the soil. The plants were then watered to ensure that they would survive long enough to establish themselves.
While the final rosemary bushes were being planted, a group of ten children went to work with Mr Stanley and Mr Haycock to build part of the recycled plastic bottle greenhouse. Some of the children stacked the plastic bottles into groups while other used a spirit level to make sure the main posts for the greenhouse were perfectly aligned and upright before Mr Haycock set them in concrete.
After morning breaktime the class split into three. Group A worked with the rangers from Queen Elizabeth Country Park to build several reptile shelters and a bug hotel. The rangers had been clearing the school pond and had found a real variety of wildlife including newts and dragonfly larvae. The second group worked with Mr Stanley to cut back mature rosemary bushes, to take cuttings and replant them in pots so that we will have more bushes in the future. The third group worked with Dr Paul to support Class NL by shoveling soil into wheelbarrows and transporting it to the school garden.
By lunchtime everyone was very hungry and there was a picnic with many of the parents joining the children.
In the afternoon the class split into two groups again. One group went with Mr Burford and helped him take cuttings of willow. These were then transported to Mr Stanley’s group who were behind the fence close to the beehives. The willow was replanted and hopefully it will grow to provide a protective screen as well as another plentiful source of food for the bees. Groups of children also helped the rangers to dig holes and plant some large dry rotting logs of wood. This will attract different insects from some of the other minibeast hotels dotted around the school field.
In the last hour the class worked with Louise Arthur. The children peeled willow ready to be made into charcoal and Mr Stanley took a group to cut large strands of willow into smaller pieces ready for peeling.
At the end of the afternoon the whole class posed for photos and took a tour of the school grounds looking at all the amazing work that had been carried out during the day.
The entire class would like to thank all the adults who gave up their time to help us today. It is much appreciated.
Finally, we hope that our friends in Kafuro have been inspired by our work today as much as Mr Stanley was inspired by your school grounds when he last visited Kafuro.