Growing garden

What do we mean by a growing garden?

an illustration of a man carrying a bag of compost followed by an elderly lady and young boy

A growing garden could be an allotment or a planter/bed where the learners can grow their own plants or food.

These growing spaces are a must for all nurseries and schools as they open up so many opportunities for teaching and understanding where food comes from.

There is a buzz about Food Activism in schools which is about enabling children and young people to get together for a common purpose and doing something great that can benefit their school and community.

Get everyone involved 

  • a planter in an allotment with a sign saying Chard

A school allotment is a great way to get everyone involved, staff, learners, parents and the local community. You can build your own planters and dig out some beds and get planting.

Growing your own food not only teaches children where their food is coming from, but the act of gardening is known to improve well being. This hands on project based learning will also really inspire and enthuse some learners and encourage a lifelong passion for growing and gardening.


When you are growing food in your school allotment there are opportunities to learn about enterprise and how you could market and sell your food product. You can also grow things like wheat and flax and learn how to turn that into an end product such as flour and linen. There are so many opportunities.

Case studies

Canal View Primary’s School Farm

Primary six and seven have been working with Edible Estates to create this amazing school farm in their school grounds. I was shown around by one of the learners and it was great to see how engaged the learners are in the project. Check out this video by Edible Estates showcasing the work they’ve done Canal View Primary School, Edinburgh.

  • planters and a poly tunnel
  • planters inside a poly tunnel
  • a scarecrow
  • planters in the school allotment
  • a scarecrow outside a polytunnel

Broughton Wildness

There is an exciting project happening at Broughton High School in their grounds, I will update this case study once I’m able to visit.

There are many good examples of this being done well in schools, check out these:

Chisenhale Primary School, London

  • the outdoor classroom and greenhouse
  • the allotment space
  • benches run either side of the allotment space
  • wheat growing in a planter
  • the outdoor classroom and greenhouse with lots of small plants potted on a table

I was lucky enough to be shown around the wonderful work the school had done when I was in London. The school’s grounds are really tight and all hard landscaping. They have done wonders with it by providing planters on roof top terraces and a fabulous allotment with adjacent outdoor classroom that was an old bike shed.

Springhallow School, London

RHS School Gardening Team of the Year 2019 Winner

Reepham High School, Norwich

Winner of the RHS School Gardening Champion of the Year 2018

Further reading

Here are some useful links to find out more about growing food in school eco-schools

better eating better learning

food growing strategy

good food nation

Food growing an improvement in literacy

Sustain: children’s food growing campaign

The City of Edinburgh Council logo