I am a primary school teacher at Madang Avenue Public School in Western Sydney. My school is in a low socio-economic area where the student population of almost 350 consists of 37 % non-English speaking backgrounds of which the Pacific communities dominate and 18% from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander background. We are keen to share a love of healthy organic gardening with the students at Madang and our local community.
As Jamie Oliver quotes, “Getting your hands dirty can help you understand the story of your food from the ground up”.
We want to get our students start getting their hands dirty and getting first hand gardening experiences, and rewarded with growing their own food.
The raised gardening beds (which is what we really need) are a simple child friendly setup and a great starting point for demonstrating to young students, while also keeping our friendly school hare and rabbits from eating our produce :>. It gives the students the opportunity to grow different types of vegetables and herbs throughout the year in a contained environment. I would also like to grow edible indigenous foods. What’s more, we have a newly completed demonstration kitchen, which the students can use to prepare recipes and use the produce they have grown.
The raised gardening beds will also help fulfil educational outcomes across the curriculum such as water management, soil health, sustainability, healthy eating, measuring plant growth rates in maths, experimenting and problem solving in science and exploring language use for a range of purposes in literacy.
If we start these little minds thinking about the possibilities and ease of growing vegetables and herbs at school, we may be a few steps closer for our enthusiastic students to create a vegetable patches at home…….who knows, the next Jamie Oliver may come from Madang Ave PS!
Funded by Sydney (March 2019)