Pupils at Ellon Academy worked hard to have the garden looking its best and prepare for an Award Ceremony.  They were thrilled to welcome Jim McColl from the BBC “Beechgrove” programme back to the school garden to see the fruits of their labour over the last year and to celebrate their achievements.

(L-R) Jim McColl, Darren Bryce, Ross Watson, Jacob Vavangas, Collin Stirling (representing The Caley), Dougal MacIver, Pauline Buchan (Head Teacher)

They gave him a tour during the afternoon of Wednesday 9th October.  Soup made by pupils from home grown ingredients was served with sandwiches as they chatted.  This was followed by an award ceremony in the polytunnel classroom.  Parents and carers attended along with a select group of pupils and staff to support those being awarded their certificates.

Four S3 pupils were presented with a Grow and Learn Roots Award which is certified by the The Caley.  It requires 80 hours of practical gardening and learning about seven core horticultural topics with additional activities and personal goals being set.  A senior pupil was also awarded a Silver level ASDAN certificate.  This is a varied life-skills course which also involved working on the school community garden project.

Additional Support for Learning teacher and co-ordinator of TEAM-CG (The Ellon Academy Memorial Community Garden) said “I am very proud that these youngsters have completed their courses.  It is a fabulous recognition of their hard work and commitment to working outdoors with plants and crops, caring for the soil and recycling waste by composting in different ways.

Pupils have learned new horticultural skills.  The course however is about so much more – teamwork, confidence building, self-esteem and personal development.  We are also helping in our own small way in the context of climate change.  The biodiversity on site has increased hugely.  We have many birds, bees, butterflies, worms and other invertebrates in and around the garden areas that simply were not there before.”

Chatting with Jim

To see how the garden has developed over the last four years and keep up with current news, you are invited to visit the blog at eagerbunch.blogspot.com

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