Our ‘Blooming’ Outdoor Classroom 2022/23
It’s a delight to come to this time of year as we have waited patiently for all those little seeds and shoots to spring to life since spring, winter or even back as far as autumn! Our school garden though small and simple, acts s a backdrop to much of our outdoor learning- particularly in term 3. Whether its art or nature, music or playtime, bug hunts or birdlife, or even a picnic its lovely to enjoy the colour, smell and even taste of this outdoor space. We had a good crop of rhubarb this year, our strawberries are coming along nicely as are our potatoes, carrots, parsnips, onions and more. The flowers that were planted by parents, staff and pupils at the front of our school are really looking wonderful. They add a nice warm welcome and splash of colour as we arrive to school each morning. As Well-Being plays a very central part of life here for us all at Maryborough NS, we value all that these small green spaces offer to us. The joy and wonder of nature! -Ms Gow-
Our wonderful ‘Outdoor Classroom’
A Garden Project Update by Ms Gow- May 2021
Over the last term, we have been involved in an exciting project offered through Laois Education Centre(LEC). This project is part of the Community of Belonging Initiative. This initiative aims to support schools around interculturalism.
In light of this, and with huge support from a number of community organisations and volunteers, LEC started to plan a number of projects. One of these is a small intercultural gardening project. Schools that took part in the BEACONS event were invited to be involved in this pilot project. Maryborough NS was successful and we were invited to participate!
Ms Gow and Ms Delaney joined with many other schools in the surrounding areas and took part in an online webinar training and information session led by Elizabeth O’Connell and LEC. Following this, we at Maryborough NS were supplied with two 4-foot square raised beds each with grids to allow for “Square Foot Gardening”. Thanks so much to Mr Hickey who collected these for us from Portlaoise Men’s Shed (who made them) and he then secured their bases in our school garden. Thank you also to Mr Buggie for supplying the topsoil for these beds. Next, Ms Gow and the children filled the soil into the beds added compost and mixed in suitable manure.
Ms Gow collected a selection of plants supplied by LEC to grow in the beds. Thanks to Carmel for all the plant labels too! Since then we have been busy getting our hands dirty and our new beds up and running. Nell and Tara kindly wrote and illustrated thank you cards to the Men’s Shed and Mr Buggie. We have everything from carrots, beetroot and spuds, to cabbages, leeks, lettuces, herbs and more!!
This project is a lovely addition to our already established outdoor classroom area at the back of our school, which we are so proud of. Any parents who have an interest in gardening or are willing to offer a hand or helpful advice will be very much welcomed!
All we need now is sunshine, rain and a little loving tender care! We will be keeping photos and a little diary as it progresses. We intend to link in with the wider community as well, as we play our part in this wonderful intercultural initiative.