Health and wellbeing

Funding level: £1,001 to £5,000


Clapham Manor Primary School has an exciting project to enrich our pupil’s experience of the natural world, and inspire a deeper connection to the environment and the part we play in taking care of it.

We are a diverse, inner city school in South London with green-fingered ambitions, and this year we want to create From the Seed to the Plate. To do this, we would like to build rows of beds tailored to the age and size of the children, in which they will plant, care for, grow, and harvest different types of food, which will be used – and eaten - during cooking lessons in our food technology laboratory.

Our PTA charity, Friends of Clapham Manor Primary School, aims to enrich the educational experience of every one of the incredibly diverse range of pupils; 53% have English as an additional language, 20.85% have additional needs, and 33.8% are pupil premium. We know that many children do not understand where their food comes from, nor have space to grow food at home. With this project, the children at Clapham Manor Primary School will gain practical skills, develop an understanding of the processes vegetables and plants go through to produce food, and partake in the harvesting of something tangible that they have nurtured to fruition.

An Aviva Community Fund award will enable us to build a growing bed for each class at the school. Our current beds are too high and the children cannot reach the back, which prevents them from using the space, or growing edible food. With this funding, the beds for younger children will be lowered, and accessible from all angles. The beds for older children will involve more complex gardening structures, for example pea frames and biodegradable nets. The beds will be of an inclusive design, enabling children with special needs and disabilities access to them.

It is well documented that spending time outside enhances children’s sense of wellbeing as well as helps them develop practical skills. We know children speak more outside. And for a positive growth mindset, they need to feel they can achieve. Through From the Seed to Plate, they will be given responsibility, and with this comes confidence. They will be given real tools, which shows them we trust them, and with this comes self-respect. And there is a tangible outcome to their hard work and care, which resonates and creates a sense of achievement. There is also the by-product of developing gross and fine motor skills….but they don’t have to know that!!

Perhaps most importantly we want to show our children that there is a whole world beyond the city we live in and the supermarkets we rely on. They will feel with their hands and open their minds to a new perception of food and where it comes from, and experience first hand how slowing down, and taking time, creates things worth waiting for.

Finally, to celebrate the launch of From the Seed to Plate, we will create a community event to celebrate the children’s first amazing harvest, showcasing their food to family and friends. It will be a celebration of nature and of the children, the journey they took and the adventures that will follow to create delicious, home (school!) grown food.

Friends of Clapham Manor Primary School

Moment of Pride

The charity represents every parent at the school. It is in this capacity that we aim to expand the experiences and enhance opportunities of each child. We are proud to represent this diverse, positive school, and are delighted to be given the chance to apply for funding for something so valuable.

Location: Belmont Road, London SW4, United Kingdom