Feedback from schools

St Thomas CE (VC) Primary School, Huddersfield

‘We have worked with Grow to School for a number of years with the intention of enriching our curriculum through incorporating outdoor opportunities. More than 380 of our children have experienced outdoor learning that relates directly to their classroom objectives. Our surveys show that our children now see outdoor learning as a critical and positive experience, and as a result of this we now see outdoor learning as a practical and essential part of our school culture.’
David Rushby, Headteacher

We worked closely with Grow to School to plan sessions and ensure curriculum links were made giving the children very tailored sessions linking to English, maths and topic lessons. I have really seen this as an extra benefit to the children’s learning. The Grow team were always well prepared and researched the topics thoroughly so the sessions linked to the daily lessons in class. Every week the children are enthused and excited by the Grow sessions.
Rachel Littlewood, Teacher

Thank you for all the sessions this year, I feel privileged to have been part of it, the children, especially those who struggle in the classroom environment, have benefited hugely from this year's sessions.
Gerard Power, Teacher

St Aidan’s First School, Skelmanthorpe
The staff at St Aidan’s have loved having the Grow team in our school. We feel as though there presence has had a dramatic impact on how the school looks, as well as an impact on the children's learning. We have been very impressed with the way they work and the quality of lessons delivered. Kathy and Zana have been amazing with supporting school in any way they can and we can't thank them both enough for their hard work this year. We look forward to working with them next year.
Laura Willimot, Deputy Head Teacher

Purlwell Infants and Nursery School, Batley

At Purlwell Infant and Nursery school we recognise that the outdoor environment has massive potential for providing learning opportunities. Working with Grow to School our children have had the opportunity to develop our outdoor area in a way which provides sustainable learning across the curriculum. Children have had the opportunity to experience growing their own produce, which has developed skills across the curriculum and enjoyable enterprise opportunities.
Working with Grow, outdoor learning has been integrated to indoor topics and has provided relevant and enjoyable learning experiences in ways which are difficult to achieve indoors.
Sue Gallivan, Deputy Headteacher

Spring Grove Junior, Infant and Nursery School, Huddersfield
We chose Grow to School because of their cross curricular approach offering us gardening expertise and a creative angle on teaching science, maths, humanities, art, geography and history through outdoor learning.

Grow have helped to transform the school grounds, making it more appealing for children to socialise and work. They have also helped create a working environment where garden plots are maintained and used to grow flowers, fruit and vegetables for children to harvest, cook and eat.

Grow’s legacy is an enhanced curriculum across school, children are excited and engaged with their outdoor learning space, staff have more confidence and knowledge to manage and use the outdoors
Philippa Cummins, Outdoor learning lead & Teacher

Purlwell Infants and Nursery School, Batley
A child in my class who struggles to engage is given the chance to learn in a way that interests him and that is fully accessible despite his needs.
Miss Gordon, Teacher

Feedback from children

On learning about growing their own food:
It's fun we like playing the games." "She makes it fun and fair you swap over activities.

I like finding and looking after worms and other insects in the soil and respecting nature.

We grew the biggest parsnip in the world and learnt how to harvest all the vegetables

I learnt that you have to pull weeds up by the root or they will grow again.

I didn’t know apples grew in England

We did the vegetable happy families game. It’s my favourite. I didn’t know that potatoes are related to a tomatoes

I learnt how to use tools and about blood bubbles

On outdoor learning:

My favourite bit of Grow was EVERYTHING – it was so fun and I did things I’ve never done before.

Making Viking runes and trading the vegetables for our Viking stew was so fun. I didn’t know that when Vikings died they put them in a flaming boat – we even made boats and put them in the pond!

I learnt how plants grow and how seeds spread around the place.

I learnt how to explore

I like working with Grow you show me how and make me feel I can do things

My best bit of Grow was storytelling and making an advert. It made my story better in literacy

We made the solar system out of mud. Different people made them in different ways.

On cooking and eating:

I love making and tasting fruit punch – it was amazing

We made pizza no school has ever done this – it was fun. I’ve never made one before

We learnt which tools you use for cooking – I like grating carrots.

Our vegetable soup was so yummy. I made it at home too

Feedback on Growbag project

Scholes Junior and Infant School, Holmfirth
"Working with Grow to School to develop our school allotment through the Growbag project was a huge help to me. They gave me the confidence to use my experience and pass it on to the children”
Jenny Knowles, ETA

Birkby Junior School, Huddersfield
The Growbag package represent great value for money, Grow staff really know there stuff and are very professional with their approach. Our staff & children have really enjoyed the project. And the resources have been really valuable across the school and for our gardening club.
Romeena Mir, Learning Mentor

Holme Junior and Infant School, Holmfirth
Thank you for including us in the Growbag Project and making this possible. It supports our Food for Life work and has enhanced our cooking and nutrition curriculum, making it extremely real and relevant across 3 key stages.
Jill Brooke, Assistant Headteacher

Slaithwaite C of E Junior & Infant School
The Growbag is an excellent way of helping children and adults to develop their skills when using allotments. The five year plan is excellent and easy to follow. This enables children to take lead roles and support other children to develop their skills. “It has engaged children who sometimes find it difficult to engage in class"
Paula Cherrington, leading teacher

Feedback from communities

St Thomas Primary School After School Club
My children love the Grow after school club and I also enjoy participating. I’m not much of a gardener unless I have someone to show me, so this is the perfect way to get my girls into the garden, to show them how things grow, taste the lovely vegetables we grow and learn the things that are good for them. They also get to work with children from other year groups.
Parent St Thomas Primary School.

Purlwell Infant and Nursery School, Batley
He brought a packet of coriander seeds home that you gave him and he was so excited. He has really enjoyed the Grow sessions - the grow ladies he calls you. He’s worked with you in year 1 and in year 2. When we go and visit his Auntie who grows veg in her garden he can tell me what things are growing. He’s really interested in it and knows about it, he loves it.
Parent, Purlwell School, Batley.

Marsden Junior School Community Project

I am a retired teacher and grandparent volunteer.  I have been most impressed by the activities my grandson and others do through the Grow club.  The various activities have enhanced their appreciation of growing their own seasonal food which they have also prepared and consumed.  As an ex-teacher, I have observed how the children have developed leadership and cooperative skills with teamwork at the club.  The sessions cover a wide range of curriculum areas.  I particularly enjoy seeing the way in which maths (my specialism) is incorporated in the activities.  All of the children are involved in a variety of tasks each session that are differentiated according to their needs and interests.  The enthusiasm of the children and staff can be demonstrated by the fact that they love participating whatever the weather.  The Grow club is an invaluable addition to the school curriculum.
Grandparent, Marsden Junior School

St Aidan’s First School, Skelmanthorpe
I want my children to grow up with a strong connection and love of the outdoors. Grow's sessions in school and their gardening club offer my kids the opportunity to connect and learn from their outdoor environment in a creative way and I commend those schools that offer such a variety of learning opportunities. When I can join in with them in the school gardening club that makes my kids really very happy!
Parent, St Aidan’s First School

Feedback from partners

Lisa Jagger - Enrichment Activity Facilitator – North Huddersfield Learning Community & Freelance Consultant – Straight Forward Funding

Grow to School have worked extensively with several of the schools within the North Huddersfield Learning Community. Schools think highly not only of the staff, but the quality of delivery, the fantastic resources, and quite simply, the attention to detail.

Many schools are keen to develop their outdoor space, but sometimes lack the confidence to use it to its full potential. What makes Grow different is that they provide the school with support; they don’t simply come in and work with the children for a few weeks. They help the school to develop systems, and an infrastructure, enabling the school to develop skilled, knowledgeable and confident staff, who are enthusiastic about turning the outdoors into a valuable learning resource.

I would recommend Grow to any school that has the ambition to develop their outdoor space.
Lisa Jagger

Tunnel end interactive trail

The project involved envisaging, designing and creating an interactive nature trail alongside the River Colne and Tunnel End reservoir. The remit was to engage and work with local schools, special schools plus, community members and walkers of all ages from the local community.

“The nature trail and accompanying leaflet are perfect; attractive, interactive and informative to both adults and children.  The workshops were well thought out and very successful and Grow to School wholeheartedly helped to promote as well as run them.  We wanted non patronising work that informed the nature trail, that was fun and also educational and creative and relating to the specific area.  A tall order when the participants were to range from nursery/infants to top junior plus special schools and adults.  Grow to School were perfect for the job.  Enthusiastic, skilled, flexible, knowledgeable and totally inspiring they were a pleasure to work with”.
Diane Green, Marsden Walkers are Welcome.

Fair & Funky
“We asked Grow to School to deliver a workshop at the Fair and Funky ‘GO GREEN’ Conference for schools.  They ran a brilliant interactive session on the Eco-Schools themes of biodiversity and recycling. Over 60 children discovered how the planet recycles everything........children got their hands dirty, planted seeds, and created works of art. It gave students real practical experience of how we are all connected.”

fairandfunky empower people to take their own little steps to change the world. Through school workshops and conferences we encourage students to think about the world they live in and consider their role within it.

The Hamm-Damm Foundation (formerly Manor Gardens Group), Staincliffe, Batley
Ever since Manor Gardens Group started it's site development and growing activities from the end of 2013, we were fortunate to have the active support of Ama Chaney (Grow). Manor Gardens development project has moved forward successfully as we have enhanced the facilities on site and expanded our activities which includes partnerships with schools, Batley Foodbank, other partnerships are planed such as Church-Group, Mosque-Group, Women-Group, Older-People's Group and Disabled-people's Group. For each of these groups one growing-plot is reserved.

In the year 2015 and 2016 we had several visits from schoolchildren, thanks to Ama and Zana who arranged them which we, along with the children, thoroughly enjoyed. Such visits are a pleasure for our volunteers who are thankful for the support and encouragement they receive.

We consider the interaction between the Grow and The Hamm-Damm Foundation as a fruitful partnership and hope this would continue in 2017 and coming years.
Feroze Syed, Chairperson, Hamm-Damm Foundation