Halwill School Wild for Learning Area
At Halwill School, an area has been set aside as a 'Wild for Learning' space. The area includes a yurt, a pond, a willow structure, a fire pit, an orchard and a wild flower meadow. The project started in September 2010, when the children and parents were invited to school to discuss the way we hoped the are would work and be used to enhance the children's learning. The children drew plans of how they imagined the space would look.
Expert advice from Paul Martin of the Devon Wildlife Trust and Mark Elliot, co-ordinator from the Working Wetlands Project, were used to draft up a proposal. Both men were amazed by the area and the potential if offered.
The first 'Wild for Learning' day was on Monday 17th October 2011, a day when the children enjoyed the area and started to develop the different zones. Key Stage 1 created and made some beautiful outdoor musical instruments. They generated designs and then painted them on to the various pots and pans kindly donated by parents. Key Stage 2 children took the species list generated by Paul Martin and developed interpretation boards - which will be dotted around the area - to help us all identify the different plants and animals that already exist. Spring bulbs were planted, flanking the pathways. A herb garden was planted in raised beds and will form the start of our 'English Country Garden'. Pyramids were used to indicate the area to be planted as the Wild Flower Meadow, this would be planted in Spring 2011. The mosaic was finished so that it could be mounted in the school.
The area has continued to be used since that first day. The yurt has been used as an outdoor classroom and the fire pit has been used for toasting marshmallows or just to sit next to whilst drinking hot chocolate when the children have 'camped' at the school. Since the Federation of Halwill and Ashwater Schools, it is planned that both schools can make use of this wonderful space.
Ashwater School Garden
At Ashwater School, there is the old garden of the headmasters house which is used by the children. The garden is enclosed by a stone wall and has a greenhouse, a handmade shelter, a small pond, a vegetable plot, seating and bird feeders. The children have the option of attending a 'Gardening' after school club during the Summer Term. The playgroup also uses this area.
We welcome any ideas, support or volunteers from the wider community, please feel free to contact either school if you are interested.