GREEN-fingered students have been getting growing thanks to a cash windfall — and are now even mored fired-up following a special delivery from space.
A year ago, Listerdale Primary School received a Big Lottery Fund Grant to develop a garden area at the side of the school field, including a raised bed for each class, shed and two water butts, two cold frames and a potting bench.
They enlisted Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust volunteers to help realise their vision and are now planting fruit and vegetables.
The children also have some special seeds to plant, thanks to astronaut Tim Peake.
In September, 2kg of rocket seeds were flown to the International Space Station (ISS) on Soyuz 44S where they will spend several months in microgravity before returning to Earth in March 2016. The seeds have been sent as part of Rocket Science, an educational project launched by the RHS Campaign for School Gardening and the UK Space Agency.
Listerdale is one of 10,000 schools across the country which has received a packet of 100 space seeds, which they are growing alongside seeds that have not been to space and measure the differences over seven weeks.
Sue Newsome, teaching assistant, said the children were loving their voyage of discovery.
Dominic Curran, Senior Leader at Listerdale, said he children were loving their voyage of discovery.
“We are very excited to be taking part in the Rocket Science project,” he said.
“This experiment is a fantastic way of teaching our pupils to think more scientifically and share their findings with the whole school.”
He added: “Our new garden will mean that every child will have the chance to grow, harvest, cook and enjoy a range of fruit and vegetables.
“We hope that the project will benefit not just the school but also the whole local community.
“As a reward for achieving Level 3 in the Royal Horticultural Society Campaign for School Gardening, the school will receive young fruit and vegetable plants, ready to help our raised beds burst into life.
“The first installment of fruit bushes arrived at the end of last term.
“Members of the school Wildlife Group and foundation children planted blackcurrants, redcurrants, gooseberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries and rhubarb, which we hope will thrive, and everyone is looking forward to the harvest.
“We also received as part of the grant, snowdrop and native bluebell bulbs to plant around school and a nest box kit for each class.
“The bulbs are now growing and the nest boxes are up, with pairs of bluetits already showing an interest.
Teaching assistant Sue Newsome, the school’s environmental champion, said: “The school is really excited about the new venture.
“We hope all the children will develop an enthusiasm for their environment and experience the excitement and sense of achievement in growing their own food, leading to a greater appreciation of the natural world and a desire to protect it.”