Canning Town students’ prize-winning allotment and orchard

Students from a Canning Town school have nurtured and grown their own prize-winning allotment and orchard.

Hard-working, green-fingered youngsters from Rokeby School in Barking Road transformed an unused area at the back of the school - previously covered in weeds - into a flourishing food growing plot.

Fruit and vegetables are now sprouting all around and their grounds are now home to garlic bulbs, broad beans, potatoes, strawberries, raspberries, blackberry bushes, and apple trees.

Working in partnership with Rokeby students on the Eco Committee, the allotment is not only green in colour but green in its ethics.

Compost bins that collect food waste from the school canteen are used along with water butts to make the area as eco-friendly as possible.

Deputy headteacher Wendy Bower, who oversees the Eco Committee, said: “The boys deserve a lot of credit for all their hard work in making this project a success.

“The Barking Road now has a prize-winning garden to be proud of.”

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With the support of the Newham Hearty Lives project, their hard work was recognised by the London Children’s Flower Society when they awarded the Rokeby School students a silver medal in their annual summer gardening competition.

This term, students will be focusing on nurturing the seeds they have sown in the food growing area as well as further developing work in the eco garden to build a raised pond, wild flowers to attract bees and encourage urban pollination, and maintaining young apple trees as part of the school’s orchard.

As well as their extraordinary gardening skills, the students of Rokeby School have also been developing their minds through the Philosophy 4 Children scheme, a supplementary communication stimulus alongside the National Curriculm.

The Barking Road school was recommended by the Society for the Advancement of Philosophical Enquiry and Reflection in Education (SAPERE) silver award for being an ‘excellent example’ of using the practice in Years Seven to 11.