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Top 10 ideas for a School Outing

by: BBC Gardeners' World Live 09-Jan-2017

Gardening with children at school is a fantastic way of reconnecting with nature, getting outdoors, enjoying a practical and rewarding science, promoting healthy living and encouraging a sustainable approach to community and environment.

Finding inspiration can be a stumbling block. But a school outing to BBC Gardeners’ World Live is a great way to get ideas, speak to experts and plan top notch gardening projects! What's more, we’ve teamed up with the Skinny Jean Gardener to provide EVERY School Group Visitor in 2019 with an exclusive, and lively, theatre session (included in the £17.00 School Group ticket). See bottom of this post for booking details.

The Skinny Jean Gardener is in a high-gear to inspire the UK's children to get growing with an upbeat approach, fun videos, regular slots on Blue Peter, and appearances at BBC Gardeners' World Live!. Enjoy a taster of the energy here: Topsy Turvy Tomatos with Jamie Oliver.

Having been inspired by the Skinny Jean Gardener, here are our Top 10 ideas for your school outing at the show:

  1. Ask every pupil to note down and photograph their favourite thrifty gardening idea, to be recreated at school.
  2. Find the strangest and most exotic plants in the Floral Marquee, such as Air Plants or Carnivorous Plants.
  3. Be detectives to find the most unusual vegetables (such as purple carrots!) and speak to the nursery owners to find out the history behind these rare varieties.
  4. Discover the ‘New Varieties’ of plants launched at the show and ask the Nursery owners how they cultivate a brand-new plant. Even follow this up with a ‘grafting’ project back at school.
  5. Look around the Show Gardens for great ways to encourage wildlife into your school garden, and get tips on how to create them as a group back at school.
  6. Get ideas for unusual containers, and create a fun ‘container garden’ back in your school garden.
  7. Get pupils into groups to buy a packet of seeds, for a group germination project at school.
  8. Visit the Schools Competition (with an international theme) and recreate one at school
  9. Read the definition of ‘sustainability’ to your group, who become scientists as they explore the Show Gardens to unearth sustainable garden features from water-butts to wildflower meadows pooling ideas of what can be recreated as a group at school.
  10. Take photographs, make some drawings and create a diary of the day out when back at school.

Before I sign off, let’s remind ourselves of the ‘Food Growing In Schools Taskforce’ report in 2012 (led by Caroline Spelman M.P. and Myles Bremner of Garden Organic) which showed that there is evidence that food growing in schools:

  • Encourages and facilitates learning, particularly science learning.
  • Builds skills, including life, enterprise and employment related and horticultural skills.
  • Improves awareness and understanding of the natural environment and its importance to us.
  • Promotes health and well-being, particularly in relation to diet and nutrition.
  • Supports school improvement and development.
  • Strengthens communities and school-community interaction.

So, let's get growing!

We offer a FREE TEACHER TICKET with every 8 School tickets purchased. Read more >

Book your School Outing to BBC Gardeners’ World Live via our Groups Box Office on 0800 358 0058 (8am-5pm Monday to Friday) or


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