We want to create an outdoor classroom in our children's school playground. Daubeney is an inner city school in a deprived part of Hackney. Many children come from homes without gardens, and teachers don't have an easily accessible outdoor resource to provide children with access to nature, and space to learn and grow outdoors. The PCTA and School Sustainability Lead have been working with local collaborative design practice Co-DB as well as teachers, pupils and parents, to co-develop a plan for a currently underused part of the playground, to create a natural space for sanctuary, creativity and exploration. We will create distinct learning zones so the new garden can hold multiple groups at any one time and can be used both for whole-class teaching as well as a sanctuary space for small groups or individual pupils needing respite from the busy classroom environment. The new garden will bring together the school community and will be open to the wider community when possible.
What we'll deliver:
Why it's a great idea:
There is increasing evidence that people with the least access to nature have the worst levels of physical health and mental wellbeing. If we want our children to be the caring environmentally-conscious leaders of the future, we need to foster their connection with nature. We have been working in a phased way with teachers, children, parents and local environmental organisations to ensure collective involvement in the design and development of the plans. Many of the parents are involved in a local community gardening initiative, and will be contributing their skills and time to make the garden a reality. Community involvement in the school project will help to further strengthen the links between parents, pupils and the wider community, and exposing children and staff to nature in the safe, familiar environment of the school playground will develop confidence for them to go on to explore the currently under-used natural environments in the local neighbourhood.
Steps to get it done:
About the space
Daubeney Primary School is located in Kings Park Ward in Hackney, East London. The ward ranks 4th out of 21 wards in Hackney in terms of deprivation. It is within the 5% most deprived wards in London and the 5% most deprived wards in England. Over 30% of pupils are eligible for the Pupil Premium.
London Borough of Hackney