Allotment Day is an Outdoor Treat for Harriers Students!

Pupils from Harriers Banbury Academy enjoyed a day learning in nature recently, when they swapped the classroom for the academy’s allotments.

The school, on Bloxham Road, enjoys extensive grounds with a variety of learning spaces. Alongside a wooded Forest School area and Storytelling Garden are designated ‘allotments’ for each year group.

Allotment Day, organised by Early Years teacher, Miranda Ross, gave every child in the school the chance to weed, dig over and replant the raised beds around the buildings. Pupils in Year 1 enjoyed planting the new raised beds in their garden for the first time.

“Working on the allotments is a hands-on way of learning about where our food comes from,” explains Miranda. “It’s a chance to observe insects, birds and other creatures and to understand how they are connected, and it’s great sensory play. Digging, weeding, planting and watering require patience and the shared effort is incredibly rewarding. Our children really engage in this sort of learning. They love getting muddy!”

Harriers Banbury Academy students allotments visit

While each class had a small budget to buy new flower or vegetable plants, the school had also received donations of plants and seeds from families and friends connected to the school.

“We’re very grateful that our wider school community supports these sorts of activities,” adds Miranda. “Engagement is one of the guiding principles at Harriers and the Allotment Day saw that engagement in action.”

Children in all year groups enjoyed the day, taking an interest in how previous planting had developed. Akshatha, aged 9, commented, “I liked to see how the ones we had already planted have grown,” while for Bonnie in Year 4, the experience was completely new: “Miss brought in a giant plant and it was the first time I’ve ever taken a plant out of a pot!”
Year 2 pupil Tilly aged 6, confirmed that mud was a big attraction: “I really liked digging up the mud! I got my hands really muddy!”

Harriers Banbury Academy students allotments visit

Vice Principal, Joanna Agate is delighted with the success of the day. “Spending time in our beautiful grounds working on a project like this is especially good for the children’s well being. The children love to spend time in nature and this purposeful learning benefits us all.

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