"Every young person should experience the world beyond the classroom as an essential part of learning and personal development, whatever their age, ability or circumstances.”
This statement from the Learning Outside the Classroom Manifesto, is the inspiration for a brand new garden that The Birmingham Botanical Gardens & Glasshouses are delighted and honoured to have been chosen, as the location for its permanent home.
The garden has been designed by multi award-winning TV gardener Chris Beardshaw, with the support of the Department for Children, Schools and Families, Learning through Landscapes (the UK school grounds charity) and Farming and Countryside Education. Generous support has also been given by Buildbase, Allford Hall Monaghan Morris and a huge range of in-kind sponsors, suppliers and supporting organisations mentioned below. This garden is distinctive because of the active and creative participation of young people, as children of all ages from more than 30 schools were involved in its creation, as listed below.
The aim of the garden is to show how teaching and learning can take place outside the classroom, within school grounds and in a wide variety of places and spaces beyond the school. Key components of the garden include a stumpery and evolutionary garden that explores geological history and the evolution of plants and animals, an aquatic garden, a wildlife area including a butterfly and bee border, willow sculptures, bird feeders and nest boxes, a storytelling area and a music area complete with a musical washing line!
Sustainability is an important element throughout the garden. The school and cob building demonstrate traditional and modern sustainable methods including a green roof, solar lighting and cob walls. Many of the garden features are made from recycled materials demonstrating how schools can re-use materials in functional, innovative and attractive ways. How to actively encourage wildlife in to school grounds is also included as the garden incorporates a range of habitats for different animals and even a bug hotel.
This valuable new resource at The Birmingham Botanical Gardens will be used to train and advise teachers on exciting, new ideas with a realistic vision of what can be achieved in and beyond the school grounds. Please see our education pages for more information.
Learning through Landscapes
Growing for Life
The Growing Schools Garden