1 Involve everybody - pupils, parents and staff 2 Survey the grounds, decide what needs to be done. Give each year group a different area. Use questionnaires and analyse the results by computer 3 Draw up a wish list: teaching areas, wildlife garden, vegetables, drama spaces, a quiet area, discovery trails, and so on
4 Investigate planning permission, funding, safety factors and maintenance requirements 5 Use a map of the site to see what needs improvement 6 Try a variety of sketch maps and involve pupils in measuring areas and deciding what you need for the garden 7 Approach industry for sponsorship or contractors and garden centres for materials. The Wildlife Trusts (for details, call 01522 544400) and the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers work with schools 8 Funding: English Nature operates a schools grants system and produce an action pack. The British Trust for Conservation Volunteers, at Conservation Centre, Balby Road, Doncaster DN4 ORH, call 01302 859522, has a list of organisations which give grants, as does The Directory of Grant Making Trusts 9 Devise a maintenance plan with your contractor that states the aims of your site.
The RHS Greenfingers Challenge encourages youngsters to improve their environment. First prize is pound;500 and winners have their entry exhibited at the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show (July 9 to 12).
For details of in-service training, contact Sue Johnson, RHS Wisley, Woking, Surrey GU23 6QB. Tel: 01483 224234. Fax: 01483 211750.