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From the blog

Using the ReThink Food Growing Tower in our school

by Steph Patten

Growing TowerIn November 2021, the UK is due to host the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26). To mark this occasion, Rethink Food teamed up with the charity PECT and schools across Peterborough, to give young people the opportunity to highlight the positive actions that can be taken to help us achieve a brighter and more sustainable future.

The Growing Tower programme was devised to introduce children to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, introduce an alternative method of food production, reveal how the food we eat can impact on the planet, and provide children with a platform to share their positive solutions.

The Growing Towers were delivered directly to schools across Peterborough in autumn 2020. Here at Hampton College Primary, we were delighted to have been accepted to the scheme and have loved the growing tower. The children have engaged in many different aspects of learning; Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Communication and Language, Literacy, Maths, Understanding the World, Expressive Arts and Design were all covered!

The children were following instructions, writing, taking turns, talking to each other about what they had done, what they had to do, and what they think will happen – plus writing notices and signs for other people to tell them what the growing tower is, as well as observing the growing.

One child, in particular, was so enthused by the project. He loved checking the tower multiple times a day and went on to make his very own growing tower out of junk modelling – his first piece of work he has completed where he collaborated with his classmates – a truly incredible day!

The children loved learning about what the plants needed to grow, and they were keen to check on them daily. As the classrooms are very well ventilated to reduce the risk of Covid-19, we had to move the tower into the room where we have our dinner. Every day they would walk in and inspect it.

As we have come back to school, the children who are attending enjoyed picking the fruits of their labour, and we made tomato, basil, and chard soup – it was delicious. The children at home were so excited to see pictures of how the tower had grown, watch videos of us smelling and touching the leaves and joined in with making soup from their house. We are now extending this topic to talk about the differences between healthy and unhealthy food, which the children are keen to learn about.

Thank you so much for this opportunity, it has been incredible.

To find out more about PECT’s learning opportunities for schools, call 01733 568408 (ext. 314) or email [email protected].