Year 1 and Year 5 are continuing their close work with our friends from the London Wildlife Trust. Sylvia and her colleagues are helping the pupils to give our school playground a green feel with a number of projects being worked on. We are grateful to Lend Lease who have kindly helped with the funding to make this project possible.
The wonderful spring weather was the ideal time to start planting some seeds. Bluebells and Lilies of the Valley should hopefully be growing in the school gardens over the coming months.
We are also keen for our wildlife sessions to offer a very practical and useful contribution to our school life. Vegetables and herbs have been planted in the school beds. It is hoped that any produce can be used in the school kitchen to help prepare our meals.
The willow dome that we planted a few weeks ago is already starting to show signs of growth. The top edges of the willow branches have begun to bud. We have high hopes that the outer structure will become covered in willow leaves as the summer months approach.
This has been a wonderful project to observe with the younger and older children working together. Both year groups have been exchanging ideas and tips to help with their wildlife work.
We concluded this stage of the wildlife project by inviting all four classes to share their knowledge about the wildlife that we have been helping to attract.
The Year 1 pupils explained to Year 5 about why they have been planting trees around the edges of the playground. These help small mammals and birds to have a safe place to find cover. They also give off oxygen. The pupils pointed out that buds are starting to form – a sign that sunlight is being attracted.
An Insect Hotel has also been built by Year 1 as part of this project. We used wood, twigs and cardboard to create a safe place where insects might want to come and live. We are hopeful that ladybirds and woodlice might come and stay.
Year 5 are very pleased with their willow dome. Willow is a remarkable plant – it is very resilient and should hopefully keep on growing. Bees and other insects will hopefully be attracted to the willow. This will then help other plants in our playground to become pollinated by the bees. The dome is also a safe place for children to play in the summer months.
The raised beds in the playground have also had a good digging over by the pupils. We have also put in place some bird boxes. These will offer a safe place for blue tits, house sparrows and hedge sparrows to bring up their young.
Our work with the London Wildlife Trust across two years groups has been a wonderful project. It has helped the Year 1 and Year 5 pupils to work closely together, as well as transforming our school playground. Sylvia has very kindly left us with some watering cans, gardening gloves, canes and a number of seeds. We hope that this is just the start of our school playground becoming a wildlife habitat.
Many, many thanks to Sylvia and her London Wildlife Trust colleagues for all the work on this project.