Sunderland School’s Eco Garden initiative helps pupils experience the ‘field to fork’ process


Students from the Eco Club at Sandhill View Academy have converted part of the school grounds into flower beds to grow a range of vegetables including potatoes, peas, lettuce, tomatoes and cabbage.

The students planted the seeds, which have now germinated in their indoor pots, and will soon be ready to transfer to the newly created vegetable gardens.

Club member Darcie Peters, 14, said: “I enjoyed the project and I’m really looking forward to being able to eat the food. I think when you grow something yourself, you’re less likely to waste it.

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Jayden Poolan, 14, added: “It’s important to know where your food comes from and how it was made.

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After being transferred to the flowerbeds, the crops will be harvested for students to cook in their food technology classes, take home to share with families and some of the vegetables will also be used in the school canteen. school.

Niall Aston, 13, said: ‘I had thought about where my food came from, but I know not everyone does. It’s good for your mental health to get out of the classroom and do something practical.

Members of the Sandhill View Academy Eco Club at the school’s new Eco Garden. Photo by FRANK REID

Dylan Douglas, 14, added: “I’ve planted cabbages, sweet potatoes and peppers and can’t wait to eat them.”

The Eco Club hopes the initiative will help the school win the prestigious Royal Horticultural Society School Garden Awards – five levels of recognition for schools that have used their land as a learning resource to promote culture and sustainability.

Geography teacher Aidan Hodgson, who oversees the Eco Club, said: “I think it’s really important for children to understand where their food comes from and the process of cultivation from field to fork. What better way to do that than to grow your own food.

Naill Alston, 13, sets out to clean a flower bed. Photo by FRANK REID

“It also provides a practical framework for some students to thrive in a different environment.

The garden is just one of many initiatives led by the Eco Club, including the planting of 450 trees and the creation of a vermicomposter to reduce waste.

Mr Hodgson added: “It’s important that students learn about sustainability and trees will help provide wildlife corridors and offset our carbon emissions.”

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Darcie Peters, 14, thinks growing your own food makes people less likely to waste it. Photo by FRANK REID

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Sandhill View Academy student Ava McCully works in the garden. Photo by FRANK REID
Geography teacher Aidan Hodgson says it’s important for children to know where their food comes from. Photo by FRANK REID

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