School’s growing gardening success

DAME Bradbury’s School has achieved a Level 4 Certificate in the RHS Campaign for Schools Gardening, leaving just one level more to attain.

The certificate was presented by Mark Ropner, head gardener at Saffron Walden’s Bridge End Garden, to Year 4 pupils Hettie Carter and Emma Warden-Hill, who are both long-serving members of the school’s Gardening Club.

At the presentation assembly, gardening teacher Liz Bicknell explained some of the many things that children at the school have done in order to earn the Level 4 award. They have grown a wide variety of vegetables, and undertaken gardening using proper garden tools. They have shown gardening skills including seed collection, pest control, pricking out seedlings and making gravel beds.

The children have also used the garden to undertake various scientific activities, such as investigating materials found in the garden and looking at the properties of soil, and have used things found in the garden for art projects.

“We are delighted to have achieved Level 4,” said Ms Bicknell. “As we have progressed through the award levels, the children have acquired increasingly complex and demanding gardening skills and knowledge about horticulture.”

“After watching a slide presentation of the children working in the garden, Mr Ropner said how impressed he was with the level of their skills and knowledge. He said he would be asking them to do much more demanding tasks when they come to help at Bridge End Garden.

“Mr Ropner also said how pleased he was to see children learning to garden at school, as he had learnt to garden while at school.”

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• Free RHS Gardening Workshop

Dame Bradbury’s was recently accredited an RHS Flagship School and is hosting a free RHS Gardening Workshop for school staff, governors and parent volunteers on Monday June 28 from 4-5.30pm. For more details visit the school’s website, or e-mail