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Gardening

Green Fingers at NKETNS!

Bearach planted poatoes with 1st and 2nd classes back in March. This week, our last week in school, the classes dug up the plants to see had any potatoes grown. Look how much potatoes we got!

On Wednesday 29th of June we washed the potatoes, cut them and made chips. We cooked them in airfryers. The 1st and 2nd class corridor smelled of chips all day. All four classes had chips for lunch!

Hannah’s 4th class helped clear the beds and plant up the area beside our new 6th class project, all ready for graduation day.


Áine and Cathy’s 5th classes also did an amazing job weeding out the pond and surrounding beds. 


A huge thank you to all the parents and students who came in on Sunday 19th June and did a huge amount of work in the sensory garden. There are now loads of beds ready for new plants that will provide a variety of smells and textures for a multisensory experience.


They also gave the bog garden a makeover and it’s looking great, ready for exploring.

In February and March, children in many classes throughout the school become gardeners for the very first time!  Since then, they have enjoyed watching all their seeds germinate and grow.  There are undoubtedly some future very keen horticulturalists in our midst, with an eye on both helping our pollinators, our environment as well as producing some tasty food too!

The Infants sowed runner beans, peas, cress and sunflowers.  Sunflowers were specifically chosen and planted by several classes in order to remember and show support for Ukraine, their on-going struggle and our Ukrainian children and families who are new to our school. The sunflower is Ukraine’s national flower.  Some seedlings went home to be nurtured there, while others were planted into the beautifully, newly constructed and filled raised beds outside the classrooms.  The children have already sampled the peas and there are beans, herbs and courgettes to follow!  The sunflowers are growing tall and strong, but we see no amazing flowers yet.  Hopefully they will be in bloom before we finish at the end of June.  Perhaps we will see them when we return to school in September.

First Class planted all sorts of edibles such as salad leaves, spinach, radishes, chives, peas, turnips and herbs and took them home to enjoy.  Hopefully, they’ll be harvesting these for their lunches and dinners.

Second classes went potty for potatoes!  Their gardens are packed with very healthy looking spuds.  We are looking forward to digging them up when they’re ready and tucking into some potato based recipes…. Mash, potato waffles, potato bread, chips!   If you’ve any good recipes, let us know.  Bring on the Potato Fest!

Third classes also planted sunflowers and concentrated on pollinator friendly plants using wild flower seed mixes: cornflowers, asters, hollyhock, poppy, marigold, cowslip and clover, to name but a few.  Many dandelions (which adore it here in NKETNS!) and self seeding wild plants were left to flower.  Each child planted their own runner beans too and watched, in awe, as some grew (and are growing) to epic proportions at home! Some children have emailed in photos of their Jack and the Beanstalk sized bean plants.  Fee Fi Fo Fum!

All this gardening has been wonderfully facilitated by the construction of raised planting beds, most of which run parallel to the ‘field’ outside the 1st to 3rd classes.  Tons of topsoil and timber was ordered and delivered in May and NKETNS staff, parents and grandparents all helped to construct and fill them.  No doubt all our new beds will nurture a huge range of planting over the coming years, in addition to help instil an appreciation of nature and provide a great teaching tool with regard to delivering the SESE curriculum.  We look forward to seeing what develops within them in our remaining weeks of the summer term and what harvest awaits us when we return to school in autumn.

Fiona Knox