It’s always about this time of year that we begin thinking ahead to our new season programme of school visits. Last year was our biggest and most successful so far, with visits from Kingswells and Kaimhill Primaries and Orchard Brae ASN School.

This week Stuart and I had the pleasure of meeting with Professor Donald Gray from the University of Aberdeen’s School of Education and Bob Donald, Director of One Seed Forward.

Bob, Norman, Donald,Stuart.

Bob and Donald are collaborating on a scheme called, Garden Schools and developing an approach they have termed, Cultivating Education.

Here’s the story in they own words:

” The Garden Schools initiative is a collaboration between voluntary organisation One Seed Forward and the School of Education in the University of Aberdeen.

OSF Garden Schools promotes our concept of Cultivating Education, with the aim that every school should be a Garden School, a place where outdoor learning is an integral part of the curriculum even where there is a limited amount of space available on school grounds.

Three schools in Aberdeen took part in the pilot project and an educational programme and materials were created which are now available to all schools

More specific objectives of the Garden Schools initiative are:
• The creation of, or improvement to, a space in the school that can be used as a vegetable garden.
• A developed school educational programme that includes local vegetable growing, health and nutrition benefits, recycling and composting, links to literacy, numeracy, citizenship, science and arts.
• Developing links from garden projects to raise awareness of climate change and climate actions and sustainability.

There is also a Facebook group for teachers, parents and interested parties to share knowledge and materials about growing spaces, as well as being able to ask One Seed Forward any questions. If you would like to join this please follow the link above.”

We had a right good natter and shared experiences and ideas. It was very reassuring to confirm that our own wee programme is built on the right principles and come away enthused with possibilities for the year ahead. We have lots to learn from Bob and Donald and hope very much to stay in touch.