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Back to basics approach is paying off at Church Hill Middle School
8:40am Friday 26th October 2012 in News
Buy this photo » Lauren Furneaux, 11, and Charlie-Jo Peacock, 13, get planting. Buy this photo RMM431206a
CHURCH Hill Middle School has redeveloped its garden and is nurturing hens as part of a new ‘back to basics’ approach.
It had previously re-tendered its catering contract, and now uses organic company Cygnet Catering, which included a provision to buy produce which is grown or produced by the children.
The school can now propogate seeds, grow fruit and vegetables, harvest, sell, consume, compost and recycle scraps, by giving them to the school’s hens which then produce eggs.
The garden was sponsored partly by a new BT initiative through the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) and TV gardener Hannah Genders.
Some plants will be propogated and others provided by Mini Meadows Farm and sponsored by BT.
The BT Growing Together Scheme is linked to a series of lesson plans, developed by the RHS and is designed so that vegetables can be planted, grown and harvested within the school year, providing excellent learning opportunities for children.
BTs support the scheme by funding packs of plants and providing volunteers.
The youngsters are all now involved in all aspects of care for the school’s hens, on loan through Mini Meadows Farm, which also provided an incubator to hatch 37 chicks in the science lab.
The current year six was involved last term in a business enterprise initiative which involved setting up an egg business, packaging, marketing and retailing the eggs, which are now sold to staff, parents and the public.
All profits are used for the upkeep of the hens.
A school spokesman said: “The pupils ascertained, through their business initiative, that we would never break into a profit with the amount of eggs being produced.
“They put forward a proposal to headteacher, Phil Hume, to ask for a further three hens, which would, they projected, see us reaching 'break even point' within eight months based on an average of six eggs per day at a retail price of £1.25 for four eggs.
“The hens are used very much as a learning resource at our school.”