The community we serve shows high levels of poverty and a complex social and ethnic mix, in a densely populated urban area. 4,500 pupils 76% pupil premium many languages spoken at home (55% English as an Additional Language) triple national average of special needs and disabilities 10 primary, 2 secondary, 3 special schools and 2 children’s centres 3 We'd like to cultivate unused spaces of land in school grounds into growing and learning spaces for use by pupils, their parents and carers and our local community during and after the school day and at weekends and in the school holidays. By using the outside space we want to create a stimulating area for outdoor learning that can benefit children and the wider community, supporting a greater understanding and respect for nature and enabling those who would not otherwise have such experiences. Everyone involved will benefit from the mental, physical and emotional benefits of growing food, composting waste, and working together outdoors.
What we'll deliver:
Why it's a great idea:
Our schools serve a diverse community in one of the most deprived boroughs in England. In Lambeth, intergenerational worklessness is high as are instances of crime and gang rivalry. Our area has particularly high instances of violence against the person and drug offences. 90% of local residents live in flats. Almost all pupils live in social housing or rent privately, with very limited or no access to garden space. Most pupils are from low income families. Many parents are concerned for the safety of their children and don't allow them to go to nearby green spaces. In addition, there is an endemic lack of understanding about links between environment, exercise and healthy lifestyles. Children in densely populated urban areas where rates of crime are high do not have a strong appreciation of nature and are often isolated, which affects their development. Young children are active learners, and use all of their senses to enhance their natural curiosity.
Steps to get it done:
This project will build community partnerships to create a learning resource which stimulates interest in the environment, develops knowledge of nature and improves the local environment whilst also encouraging healthier lifestyles. The project will provide a lasting legacy to future pupils and members of the local community. Parents have welcomed the idea and a group of 40 parents and friends at St Mark's primary got together at a weekend in October to begin to clear an area which will be worked on at St Mark's – a fantastic turn-out given the wet weather on that day! The local café supported us by provided lunch for all who took part. A group of 30 local fitness enthusiasts helped us paint our garden fence on a Tuesday evening as part of their ‘good gym’ project and other local community organisations have expressed their support including Friends of Kennington Park and Incredible Edible Lambeth.
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