Crosthwaite's Curriculum incorporates specific outdoor Learning lessons for every class, every week. They have a small school farm, garden and wild area, a polytunnel and a number of raised beds. The children are involved in growing a variety of fruits and vegetables, looking after the animals (hens, sheep and alpacas) and ensuring the garden continues to develop and thrive.
Key Stage 2 had masses of produce from their second growing season in the garden and the children were very keen to use this to raise money to go towards outdoor learning equipment. They had previously made jams and preserves to sell to parents but the children wanted to ‘do more than that’ and after much brain storming and discussion decided on a Harvest Lunch for the school and community.
The children were immensely motivated and loved designing and planning the menu, finding recipes, harvesting produce in preparation and working in teams to prepare aspects of the menu in the weeks prior to the event. They decided to involve the whole school and planned which parts would be suitable for the younger children to be involved in. They relentlessly nattered their parents, neighbours and family members to attend and we sold many more tickets than we expected.
On the morning of the event the children set up the hall and made table decorations with flowers from the garden. The lunch went without a hitch and the children were amazing! They welcomed their families and community members and chatted proudly about the work involved in organising and preparing for the lunch. They had some lovely feedback from attendees - so much so that they will now make it an annual community event. In addition, they raised a fantastic £600 for outdoor learning resources.
Following the success of the event, the children wanted to do more to involve the community with school. The Christmas Fair was on the horizon and we discussed the children planning, organising and manning their own stalls with a focus on reusable, recycled and natural items and products. The children were asked to write a business plan and were given £10 per business to buy any resources they needed. Many of them choosing to make natural Christmas decorations or items for the garden such as bird boxes. T
his sparked the idea of having a dedicated idea for woodwork and the children then asked if we could donate the monies raised from the Harvest Lunch and the Christmas Fair to install a woodwork shed in the outdoor area so that they could continue with woodwork projects throughout the year. They are now hoping to use it for repairing any tools or toys in school and to continue using otherwise waste wood for various projects such as making bird boxes, hedgehog homes, signs and ornaments.