Green-fingered pupils from schools across Aberdeen City have been harvesting the crops from their One Seed Forward project.
As part of the leading research in the field of learning for Sustainability and Well-being, Prof. Donald Gray and Dr Laura Colucci-Gray from the School of Education have partnered with One Seed Forward a charity based in Aberdeen focussed on food growing in the local community. With funding awarded by Aberdeen City Council, the project involved three primary schools in the city - Woodside, Tullos and Bramble Brae where students learn how to grow their own fresh fruit and vegetables in order to encourage a healthy lifestyle. Project Leader, Bob Donald, from One Seed Forward, hopes that this will be a first step for pupils to learn how to grow and enjoy their food, as well as acquiring important life-skills.
In each school, the children designed their own vegetable patches; chose and planted their seeds and were responsible for watering, weeding, and maintaining them. A bumper crop of lettuce, strawberries, potatoes and other produce has been harvested in the last days of school before the holidays, with work to continue over the summer.
Professor Donald Gray, from the School of Education at Aberdeen University, said the project had “ticked a lot of the Curriculum for Excellence boxes” and added: “We have seen the children’s engagement increase greatly. They are proud of what they have achieved and keen on sharing their food and their knowledge with the younger children in the school. Pupils loved that it was ‘something important’ and ‘something real’”.
“We were asked to focus on regeneration areas, in some of the poorest parts of the city. We had concerns at first due to the lack of past experience of food gardens in schools but the results have been impressive.”
“We are now going to write up our findings, but the evidence we have suggests, there are significant implications for learning, health and wellbeing of children – as well as the potential for community involvement.”
The findings will be presented to Aberdeen City Council next month. This project is part of the growing strategy of the School of Education to promote real world learning.