Growing, learning and earning at Beenham Primary School

Green-fingered pupils at Beenham Primary School have just sown the seeds of a whole new environmental project due to take root this summer.

Thanks to a donation of topsoil from Grundon Sand & Gravel, the youngsters have been choosing exactly what to grow in their giant planters and working out how they can earn money for more seeds by selling the fruits of their labour.

Digging in: pupils at Beenham Primary School prepare their planters

With the help of teacher Mel Wilkes, the youngsters plan to follow in the footsteps of their ancestors by choosing produce which would have been grown and harvested by the Anglo Saxons, Vikings and Romans.

“We’re studying ancient settlers and thought it would be interesting to see if we could sow similar crops, such as corn and wheat, as well as root vegetables and herbs,” said Mel. “We hope that by selling some of the produce or food made with it, we can raise money to buy new resources for the next season.”

“It was lovely of Grundon to help keep the project cost effective by donating the soil and it’s good for the children to see that if you ask for help, people will respond. Grundon is very much a local company, pupils see the trucks coming to the school to pick up waste for recycling and it’s nice for them to see the support Grundon has given us.”

The soil was delivered to the school by one of the skip vehicles from Grundon Waste Management’s Beenham depot, and marketing manager, Kevin Brewer, said: “It’s very important to us as an organisation to support the local communities around our depots and it’s lovely to see the children so enthusiastic about the project. We were delighted to be able to help.”

Underlining its community commitment, Grundon Waste Management has also donated £200 towards this year’s Beenham Festival, which takes place on June 29, to raise funds for the primary school, St Mary’s Church and the pre-school group.

All four classes at the school, which has around 85 pupils, are each responsible for a planter and Mel says they all have roles to play in deciding how to make the best use of their school grounds.

The school is a big supporter of the Eco-Schools initiative, which helps to promote sustainability within the school environment, and the children have already helped to improve the school grounds by designing and fundraising for a wooden play fort and developing the garden areas.

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