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Harlow Co-op makes community donation to support Newhall Primary Academy allotment project

Business / Tue 15th Jun 2021 at 07:00am

MISS Jenny O’neill, Assistant Head of Newhall Primary Academy and Nursery collected the £200 cheque from Coop Manor Hatch store from Mohammed Zaman, Co-op Member Pioneer for Harlow and Store Manager Mary Redding.

Miss O’Neill said: “The project aims to create a wellness community allotment where families and their children can come together to provide community food resources and learning opportunities linked to the curriculum for the children.

“We aim to be a truly outstanding school by providing the highest quality outdoor learning and teaching environment for the greater wellbeing of all our pupils and deliver an outstanding immersive educational curriculum.

We also want to make a significant, sustainable and socially responsible contribution to the local community and society as a whole, promoting health and social cohesion.

“There is no public gardening or allotment areas in Newhall nor are there any talks of initiatives to investigate this healthy recreational and purposeful community activity.

“This is an area we wish to target and support. As with most schools, the past year has had adverse effects on our pupils, staff and the general school community.

“Managing the COVID-19 pandemic has been extremely challenging with most of our pupils and parents having to manage home-learning under some very difficult personal and financial circumstances.

“Despite our parents’ commitment to supporting the children’s learning at home, our wellbeing checks have highlighted the effect isolation is having on the mental wellbeing of our parents and the children. Our allotment project aims to address this mental health issue through the provision of an in-school and after-school hours school-based allotment area for pupils, parents and the broader community to access.

Impacts and Objectives for the Project –

1. An outdoor classroom which will meet the National and Early Years curriculum requirements and extend pupils knowledge, practical skills and understanding in an outdoor setting.

2. School caterers provide children with the most nutritious and best tasting meals cooked from fresh ingredients. Maintaining school’s own allotment would mean that school can tailor their menu to determine what we grow as well as providing fresh fruit and vegetables to our families.

3. The allotment will allow the children to grow and cook their own ingredients for Design and Technology lessons. This will support and improve their food knowledge as well as encourage them to become aware of the importance of knowing where your organic food comes from.

4. Provide sustainability understanding and appreciation by encouraging the use of food waste for composting and in so doing teaching them the importance of worms and other organisms required for this process.

5. School envisage a gardening skills afterschool club which will have links to the school values and Healthy Schools initiative.

6. An aspect of the allotment will include herbs and edible greens as well as an ‘open’ digging area for those children who would benefit from ‘mindfulness’ and sensory activities outside of the classroom.

7. As the project develops, School would like to set up a school enterprise around the allotment. This would teach children the business basics of budgeting, marketing, supply and demand etc. Profits could then be reinvested in the garden and the enterprise further developed to include a chicken coop.

Newhall School aim to spend £200 community donation from Coop on gardening equipment such as children’s gloves, watering cans, seeds, pots, a composting bin as well as tools and a hose.

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