The Garden to Table programme is such a wonderful asset to our school. From the onset we have been on the go. Our children are enthusiastic about what they are learning. They are asking more questions, they are becoming more inquisitive and more importantly they are learning to respect their own environment and each other.
It is literally taking the classroom outside the four walls that they are so used to and opening their eyes to other ways of teaching and learning. There are so many advantages to this programme. It has taught our children the importance of caring for things, such as tiny little seedlings that eventually grow into vegetables that they can harvest and cook or prepare to eat. They have excelled in learning to cook meals that they would not otherwise have at home and have surprised themselves at how wonderfully tasty and healthy the food can be. Having the two specialists for the garden and the kitchen is essential. The classroom teacher does not have the time or the ability to organise both components and supervise it as well. Another essential component is the volunteers. Without the wonderful volunteers the supervision of the small groups of children would not be possible.
Having parents come on board is important. They have commented on how impressed they are at how much the children know about what they are doing both in the kitchen and the garden. The parents that have come to help have also been surprised at the simplicity of the recipes and how easy they are to make. This is often something they have not tried to cook at home and thought that they (the children) wouldn’t like it. But surprise, surprise! “It tastes good”.
If ever there was a solution to child poverty this is it!
The last thing I would like to comment on is the multitude of learning opportunities. The curriculum areas that this programme can lend itself too are extensive. There are so many learning opportunities to be had outside the classroom now. Children are able to make inquiries about all sorts of things such as the compost and how it works, Understanding what type of insects are helpful in the garden and which ones are not, knowing how to organically rid our gardens of certain pests, finding out about sourcing fair trade products for cooking – spices etc – questions like, where do the spices we use come from and how are they used in our cooking. The list goes on.
One of the most worthwhile programmes a school could invest in.
- Teacher, Cannons Creek School