Search

Headteacher committed to environmentalism at eco primary school with car park gardening oasis

14:29 28 January 2014

Outdoor classroom at  Rhyl Primary school Ewan Graham 10 & Salma Shahzadi 10 pictured with new head teacher Helen Connor and outdoor teacher Tom Moggach

Outdoor classroom at Rhyl Primary school Ewan Graham 10 & Salma Shahzadi 10 pictured with new head teacher Helen Connor and outdoor teacher Tom Moggach

© Nigel Sutton email pictures@nigelsuttonphotography.com

The new headteacher of a primary school that turned a car park into a gardening oasis is committed to keeping environmentalism at the heart of the curriculum.

Helen Connor is only in her third week as head of Rhyl Primary School in Rhyl Street, Kentish Town, but plans are already underway to improve on the school’s existing eco credentials.

Together with outdoor learning teacher Tom Moggach, son of Hampstead author Deborah Moggach, Ms Connor wants to make sure every pupil knows about sustainability, seasonal produce and how to eat healthily by the time they leave.

“What’s challenging are the restrictions on the curriculum,” said Ms Connor, of South Tottenham, who was head of North Harringay Primary in Harringay before moving to Rhyl Primary.

“There are expectations and demands to be met, which are becoming increasingly harder to manage.

“But it is important that it remains a central part of the curriculum here and it doesn’t become overshadowed.

“Ultimately, we are teaching the leaders of tomorrow.

“Many children we teach will be teachers, some will be politicians and some will work on the market in Queen’s Crescent, so if the message can get out there, it can only have a big impact.”

Pupils have been working on small gardening plots, created by Mr Moggach in the corner of the school’s car park, at least once a month and they often visit the outdoor space in their other subjects as well.

Strawberries, lettuce, courgettes, watercress and a wide variety of salad leaves are just some of the plants grown in this urban garden.

The school recently won a silver award from the Food for Life Partnership, a network of English schools and communities, for its healthy lunch menu and for using sustainable ingredients, some of which are hand-picked from the garden plots outside.

Mr Moggach, a food journalist who joined the teaching staff in 2012, said outdoor learning is not only beneficial because it gives children exercise, but also because it is a “cross-curricular” activity.

Last term, using maths, literacy and logical thinking skills, pupils were asked to pick salad leaves from the plots, choose good quality leaves for sale in shops, create an invoice and deliver them to a nearby cafe. They sold £600 worth of salad last year alone.

“I don’t think it is challenging for the younger ones, because they have a natural affinity for the outside,” said Ms Connor, who has been a teacher for 20 years.

“Children are fascinated by nature, by things that grow, animals.

“It’s about educating parents to some extent, as I know many of them don’t have a garden or an allotment and they can learn from their children.”

n Visit http://outdoorclassrooms.wordpress.com for more information.

0 comments

Latest News Stories

16:33
The teenager was found collapsed near one of the ponds on Hampstead Heath. Picture: Polly Hancock

A pair of Camden police officers have been praised as “life-savers” after a desperate midnight hunt for a teenage girl who had taken an overdose of pills on Hampstead Heath.

11:59
Raymond Simonson (third from left) and Paul Perkins (fourth from left) take part in the commemoration walk. Picture: Nigel Sutton.

Community figures today walked to remember those who lost their lives in the 7/7 terrorist attacks exactly 10 years ago.

15:44
Staff who treated 7/7 victims at the Royal Free attend the memorial event at St Paul's Cathedral today. (L-R) Oliver Greengrass, Ashley Baruah, Dr Andres Izquierdo-Martin, Nick Vincent, James Mealey, Sarah Edwards, Melissa Brackley.

In the hours following London’s July 7 2005 bombings, the Royal Free was one of the hospitals to receive those injured in the attacks.

13:40
The motorbike destroyed the bus stop outside Chalk Farm tube station. Picture: @andi_falNZ

A man has escaped with minor injuries after his motorbike smashed into a busy bus stop outside Chalk Farm tube station.

Most read news

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our monthly newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

Good times with Greenall's!

Good times with Greenall’s, a Great British gin sponsors Great British racing.

Escape to the picturesque sights of Cornwall

Summer is finally here, and what is the number one holiday location in the UK during the warmer months? Cornwall, of course!

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder