Pro­gram plants seed to learn

Manjimup-Bridgetown Times - - Times | News -

FROM plant­ing the seed to eat­ing or sell­ing the pro­duce, stu­dents at Walpole Pri­mary School en­joy an im­mer­sive and hands-on gar­den­ing pro­gram.

The pro­gram ties in well to STEM ed­u­ca­tion, which pro­motes a fo­cus on sci­ence, tech­nol­ogy, engi­neer­ing and maths.

Act­ing principal Brian Dev­ereux, whose five-week stint at the school fin­ished on Fri­day, said Walpole Pri­mary School was a “hid­den gem” that had a thriv­ing and unique way of us­ing its gar­den­ing ex­tracur­ric­u­lar ac­tiv­i­ties to pro­mote the cur­ricu­lum.

“From worm farms and com­post­ing, to re­cy­cling, food waste man­age­ment and aquapon­ics, the gar­den­ing pro­gram gives stu­dents so much in­sight,” he said.

The pro­gram was headed by school gar­dener Rob Grif­fiths, who took pride in lead­ing stu­dents through the pro­cesses in­clud­ing plant­ing, feed­ing and clean­ing up af­ter chick­ens and ducks, main­tain­ing the gar­dens and even brain­storm­ing ideas on how to make the gar­dens more ef­fi­cient or au­to­mated.

Once pro­duce is ready, with ad­di­tional do­na­tions from fam­i­lies in the area, the stu­dents’ hard work is put up for sale in a pro­duce stall at the front of the school.

Peo­ple are en­cour­aged to give do­na­tions in ex­change for pro­duce which can make the school’s P&C be­tween $60 and $70 a week.

“I come from a school with 700 stu­dents and I can say there is a great sense of com­mu­nity within the school,” Mr Dev­ereux said.

“It is a great school do­ing great things in, for and with the Walpole com­mu­nity.”

Pic­ture: Tari Jef­fers

Walpole Pri­mary School gar­dener Rob Grif­fiths and principal Brian Dev­ereux, right, with Lara Hunter, Year 5, pre-pri­mary stu­dent Pey­ton Mac­don­ald-Wordly and Year 1 Freya Mayger in front of the suc­cess­ful P&C pro­duce stall.

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