Allotment sheds light on gardens

2nd June 2006 at 01:00
For some time now my school has had an allotment which everyone has been tending. We have also used it as a link with a creative partnership initiative we are involved in. As part of this, 12 Year 1 and 2 pupils, known as the "key gardeners", visit the allotment every other week for a whole morning to work with a gardener.

They keep a diary on what they are doing and help with the planting.

In addition, an artist takes each class to the allotment to work on art and other projects. So far children have created a wall-hanging on the theme of above groundunder ground, which looks at plants and their roots, made scarecrows and sculpted natural forms and painted bricks to be used as markers.

We also visited an exhibition at the University of Central England, Birmingham Institute of Art and Design where designers and illustrators showed their ideal and dream sheds (there is a shed on the allotment which is used for the children's exhibitions). Pupils made drawings of sheds and models and discussed different uses for sheds. We hope to use the exhibition as a trigger for a cross-phase project on the subject. I would like eventually to have a shed on site which we could customise in different ways.

Sheds can be used in a variety of ways: for imaginative play and drama, in maths to look at 2D and 3D space, and in design and technology - children can design their own or discuss how to use the one they have.

Dawn Whittaker

Year 1 class teacher, Colmore Infant and Nursery School, Kings Heath, Birmingham lThe Shedshow is at the University College for the Creative Arts at Epsom

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