sign in

Forgotten password?
Not registered yet?
Find out how to get started


Action Club

The Topsham School

Kitchen Garden Cooks

Kitchen Garden Cooks

View Team Noticeboard
View Team Action Club

The team:

The Garden Gang team member
The Garden Gang team member
The Garden Gang team member
The Garden Gang team member
The Garden Gang team member
The Garden Gang team member

The Get Growing Challenge

Final Measurement

  • You've increased the number of food producing plants you grow.

  • Number of students that are involved in growing activities:

  • Our school garden/allotment is currently:

    10+ m2.


Action update

June 10th, 2011

The weeks ahead…..

It seems rather strange that already we’re working upto the end of term. However in the next few weeks there’s going to be lots to do in the garden. We’ve still got lots of planting to do here at school and at the farm – one of the things we are going to try to do this year is some late sowings as quite often schools find they come back after the holiday to find everything has passed it’s best. So in the next few weeks we’re going to be sowing some more courgettes and runner beans to see how they do.

Our friends from St Sidwells school will be coming to visit again and we’ll be using produce to prepare our lunch.

We’ve a very willing group of volunteers from an electricity firm who want to coma along and help us in the garden for a day. We’re also going to get them to help us with a garden we are creating at the Devon In Sight centre which is in Topsham. They have lots of partially sighted and blind visitors so we are going to create a sensory garden at the front of the building – we’ll also be looking to include some food growing within this.

Our Elderflowers are ready for us to start this years production run of Elderflower cordial so we’ll be busy doing that next week.

We’ve also managed to put the posts in and build some of the frames for our plastic bottle greenhouse so in the next few weeks we’ll be starting to put this together.

At the end of term we’ll be celebrating 10 years of being on our current school site. We’ll be arranging a picnic and will be offering people the chance to use produce from the garden for this.

And finally there will be all the usual weeding, harvesting and watering to do.

A rather busy 6 weeks ahead!!!

June 10th, 2011

Best in Show!

One of our project for this year has been to develop a Salvage Garden – using as many recycled and reclaime dthings as possible. We’ve put this within our revamped Sensory Garden area and have so far used an old shope display unit, an old water play tray which had a hole in the bottom of it, old climbing blocks and tyres.

We also incorporated this into a 1m x 1m pallette garden we put together for a competition at our local RHS garden at Rosemoor. We wanted to show our comittment to food growing and managed to include 10 different crops along with things like bug houses and noisy fire extinguisher bells! One of the best things we liked doing was planting up the left over guttering which we thought worked really well and we’ll be trying to do more of next year.

Our Ecoclub have done alot of the work for this project but it’s been a rjeal team effort. Our challenge was to create a ‘Garden for Nothing’ and we managed to do this as we didn’t spend any money on anything – from seeds to planters!!

We took our garden to Rosemoor just before half term and was amazed when we heard it had received 2 first prizes – Best on Show and the Green Award.

Watch out Chelsea here we come!!!!

June 9th, 2011

A Visitor from Uganda

Earlier in  the year Mr Evans (our Year 3 teacher) visited our link school in Ajulu, Uganda. This is part of a Food for Thought programme, where we are sharing our growing activities with the children who attend Ajulu school.

Over the last 2 weeks Charles, the headteacher from the school, has been in Devon on his return visit. We have been busy showing him how we use areas such as our Allotment Patch and the farm in our lessons.

On Wednesday he visited the farm on our weekly visit with some of our Reception, Year 1 and Year 2. He helped us to plant some of the raised beds pick strawberries and do some weeding. 

One of the things he commented on was how young the children are when we start these kind of activities – in his school he says it is left until they are much older as people feel the younger children will just spoil things. When he goes back he said he’s going to make sure he gets all of the children involved in their growing area.

June 9th, 2011

A sugar snap or 2!

One of the best things about all the work we do in the garden is getting to eat the fruits (or vegetables!) of our labour.

Despite the exceptionally dry weather the sugar snap peas have been producing a huge amount of sweet pods. These have been going down particularly well at snack time and in our new shop area at the front of the school.

We’ve also been able to start picking the strawberries (which are delicious), lettuce (in the next couple of weeks we should be able to start taking some to our local cafe for them to use in their lunches), parsley, basil, spinach, radish, beetroot, broad beans.

We’ve also been able to sell some of our surplus courgette, tomato and cucumber plants – something we might try to do more of next year

May 23rd, 2011

Where have those few weeks gone?

What with holidays, weddings and rather sunny weather the time seems to have flown by. We’ve also been rather busy in the garden – we’ll be updating you in a bit more detail about what we’ve been doing in the next few weeks.

However, for now we’ve be busy in the garden;

 preparing our garden area, sowing lots of seeds and planting all the plants we have been growing…

creating our recycled garden on an old wooden pallette…

making our Salvage Garden…..

planting an African garden……

opening our new shop at the front of the school…..

working hard at the Kitchen Garden…..

more details to follow!!!

March 27th, 2011

More seeds to sow

Another wonderful sunny week saw us pottering in the garden and taking care of the seeds we have sown. The polytunnel is already getting a little full and we’ll be potting up some of our tomatoes, peppers, aubergines and amaranthus next week.

This week we sowed some heritage varieties of tomatoes, more peppers, aubergines and some leeks. It is amazing how good all the children are getting at sowing their seeds. One of the most popular crops we grew last year were the mini cucumbers so we have started a few of these as well so we can put them in the polytunnel at the farm. In the coming weeks we’ll sow a few other varieties as well.

Ecoclub continued to work on the plastic bottle greenhouse and top up the beds with compost. We also started to use our new litter pickers to tidy around the school – we were amazed at just how much we found around the school, something we will be sharing with the rest of the school!

Finally, well done to Megan who has been going out to the Allotment Patch every morning before school to help. So far she has cleared some raised beds and helped to pick some of the winter salad crops in the polytunnel which we put out to sell after school.

March 20th, 2011

A busy Sunday at School

We held our Spring Term Grounds Day today at school. Nearly 40 parents, children and staff came along to help complete a  long list of jobs to tidy up and continue to develop our outdoor learning environment.

The Allotment Patch is looking fantastic following this – already to be filled with the many seeds we have been sowing.

The Compost Area also got some much needed attention. We now have a ‘hot bed’, having made sure we have a good mix of materials. Some of our compost was used on the soft fruit area and there’s a bay which we have left full with compost as we are going to try to grow our biggest pumpkin to date – watch this space to see if it works!!!

Having emptied the tool shed (which needed a rather big tidy!) of all the 2 litre plastic bottles we have been collecting, we started cutting the bottoms of them and putting them onto 6 ft canes. These will be used to form the walls of our plastic bottle greenhouse. By the end of the day we had a rather a large pile of canes ready to go onto the frames whch we will start to make in the next few weeks. 

Wehave been giving away some of our trees from our Tree Nursery beds in the past few weeks. A couple members of Broadclsyt Community Farm came along today and took away about 40 trees to plant at thier project.

The fact that we have been able togive away some trees has also meant that we now have some extra growing space. One of them was topped up with compost today and then filled with the strawberry plants from around the grounds, creeating a new strawberry bed which we think will be one of the favourite areas for tasting later in the summer!

Other jobs included tidying our Keyhole Garden ready for Ecoclub to top up with compost on Wednesday, adding to our Bug Hotet and genrally tidying the Explorere Zone, creating a path around the pond, planting 100 new trees into the tree nursery beds, clearing the area for our Salvage Garden, painting and filling the new sand pit, planting the violas and primulas we have been raising in the Colour Garden and installing our new boat for the children to play in.

Many thanks to everyone for coming along and helping to make it such a productive day.

March 14th, 2011

Tomatoes for All

Another busy week in both the school garden and at the Kitchen Garden. We got to work sowing some of our seeds this week, including french beans, aubergines, tomatoes (about half a dozen varieties – our favourite name was Tigerella!), sweet peas, calendula and some sunflowers. Once we have grown some of our plants on we will be offering local families the opportunity to take some to grow at home for their own use but also to share with the local community.

Sam and Zak were amazing at sowing the lettuce seed. We’re going to make sure we do successional sowing for these this year so we have a good supply of lettuce to take to the local cafe. In the garden itself we planted some spinach, more peas, beetroot and broad beans.

 Up on the farm there was more compost moving, seed sowing in the polytunnel and general clearing.

Meanwhile back at school we started work on our Salvage garden. Our aim is to create a garden using recycled items. We already have an old display stand to use and found some great terracotta pots when we were tidying our pots last week. We’re also wondering if we can grow things in old wellies and car tyres.  We have also been thinking about the compost we are using. So far we have been using organic peat free cmpost but we have also got some blocks of coir to use so we added some water to one of these on Friday so we have some ready to use next week.

March 5th, 2011

Spring has Sprung!

What a difference a week makes. After a very wet to last half term this week saw the sun appear in Devon. This spurred us on to start on some of our action points for the coming months.

The younger children started work in the school allotment patch. Bed 3 is now free again as some of the last apple trees we had from last year have now gone to a good home. We started work here, planting a couple of rows of peas. We also sowed some amaranthus for our Ugandan area in the garden.

We also had our first visit to the Kitchen Garden at Highfield Farm. There’s lots of jobs for us to do up here so today we started by moving compost into one of the polytunnels, clearing some of the raised beds and then planting some peas and broad beans. We can’t wait to see how our work up here developes in the coming months.

Back at school we also spent time sorting out our plant pots so thet are ready for the tomatoes, aubergines, peppers and chillies we are going to grow. Ecoclub also started to sort the bottles we have been collecting for our plastic bottle greenhouse. So far we’ve had about 400 brought into school – we estimate we need another 1000!

The Appetite for Action programme has been developed in partnership between the leading environmental behaviour change charity Global Action Plan and Sky. Global Action Plan has run the Action in School programme successfully with over 300 schools, helping them to make small changes that make a big difference. The Appetite for Action programme with Sky will allow many more schools to benefit from the process.