On this page, you can find out more about a school visit to Martineau Gardens, from the perspective of the teachers and the pupils; there are reports, pictures, quotes from feedback questionnaires and links to school websites. (If you’d like to book a school visit, please return to the Education Page.)
‘Martineau Gardens Report’ by St John’s School, Sparkhill
“This was a valuable experience for our children who have limited opportunity to explore outdoor spaces. The children could feel, smell and taste the different plants. This has helped them to understand that our food does not just come from a shelf on the supermarket.” – Mrs Masani (Teaching Assistant)
As part of our ‘Green Fingers’ topic and linked with the Science National Curriculum for key stage 1 pupils , 60 Year 1 pupils from St John’s School in Sparkhill visited the Martineau Gardens in Edgbaston. The children received a comprehensive, hands on experience in which they discovered the importance of plants to themselves and their wellbeing. They tasted vegetables that were growing, identified leaves from the different trees, sowed carrot seeds and guided their friends blindfolded through the wood. They learnt how plants grow and what they need to survive, they identified different parts of the plants and their jobs, they looked at the food they provide and why we need them.
The children returned to school excited and motivated, with a better understanding of how to care for the natural environment. The visit has fuelled further explorations at school, touching on many different areas of the curriculum. They have written information books explaining about the different parts of the plants, created garden and plant poetry, thinking about what they saw, tasted, smelt and touched. They have been gardeners and plant experts in a Garden Centre role play and they have created some fantastic art work, looking in detail at different plant parts. They have prepared and tasted their own fruit and vegetables and planted their own sunflower seed.
Both children and staff were impressed:
“The trip was tailored to the National Curriculum Science Programmes of Study. Children were free to explore in a hands-on and practical way.” – Miss Arnold (Class Teacher)
“It was a fun trip. I liked trying all the different plants growing in the gardens. I learnt that we cannot eat all plants, only some.” – Fayzan
“It was so fun. I liked searching for birds and looking for the different leaves in the wood. I learnt that a dock leaf with spots can help you if you get stung.” – Zara
Report written- June 2015
Click here to see pictures of pupils exploring the Food Growing areas: