School celebrates at garden awards

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20 November 2018

Images of student from St James the Apostle School, Hoppers Crossing North gardening.St James the Apostle School, Hoppers Crossing North, won the 2018 South Western Metropolitan Regional Award for primary & special schools with more than 280 students at the Victorian Schools Garden Awards (VSGA).

A group of Year 3 students, which included SRC representatives, Environment Monitors and the children whose presentation was chosen for the school’s entry, visited the Royal Botanic Gardens on 15 November to be presented with their award.

‘Our Year 3 Learning Community have put a lot of time and energy into making our kitchen garden so successful’, said principal, Mary Abbott. ‘The teachers have taken full advantage of the educational opportunities that this environment provides, bringing the garden into the English, Mathematics, Science and Humanities curriculum.’

Year 3 students engage with the garden on a weekly basis, with time devoted to learning about gardening and incorporating this new-found knowledge about plants, growth and maintenance into their inquiry-based units of work. Students are encouraged to get their hands dirty in order to plant, prune, trellis and harvest. The produce they harvest is then used as the basis for cooking lessons, giving students experiences to practise chopping, stirring, mixing and tasting.

The VSGA money will be used to continue to make the garden into an outdoor learning space, with the installation of seating, tables and a teaching area. Future dreams for the garden include creating a children’s garden that engages all the senses and investigating ways to encourage a wider variety of wildlife to call the garden home.

The Victorian Schools Garden Awards have been awarded every year since 1977 and recognise, reward and celebrate the gardening achievements of schools, their students and community in existing and newly established school gardens. They are run annually across both metropolitan and regional Victoria.

This article was originally published on the St James the Apostle School’s website on 16 November 2018.

Other VSGA 2018 award winners include: