St John's School Farm: A Community Garden

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31 May 2017

The St John’s School Farm is a community project taking shape on the Parish land across the road from the school.


Under the guidance of horticulturalist Carol Henderson, Year 3 and 4 students investigated the space and then let their imaginations run wild! The project has involved measuring up the space and creating designs with different aspects the students wanted to see in the garden.Images of students from St John's, working in their school famr and classroom

Carol cleverly wove together students’ ideas to design a space that really reflects the needs and wants of our community. Many of the designs have been displayed on the noticeboard at the entrance to the Innovation Hub.

Parents and students have all been involved in transforming the space, with trees, plants and vegetables all going into different areas in the garden.

As part of the project, the 3/4 students have also been the drivers and content creators behind the farm website, which aims to document and share the community garden project. They’ve focused a lot on website structure and media creation in their STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) time and they've also spent some time investigating CADs using Tinkercad. Now that the school has a 3D printer, their interest in this has risen so they will be refining our CAD skills in Term 3!  

In addition, the Innovation Hub has created a great space for students to extend their learning. The senior students are learning about the design process in the context of a physics/coding project that’s challenging them to create an interactive, educational game for the Preps. They’re using Scratch and Makey Makeys to do this and will be sharing the projects at Scienceworks as part of the CEM WeSTEM (West STEM) project. 

For the junior students, it’s all about playful exploration. Whether they’re building helicopters with Lego or making robotic hands out of straws and string, it gets linked back to the Engineering Design Process, which for them is simply ‘Plan, Do, Review’. They have also been playing with Scratch Jr, which is an age-appropriate way to introduce coding.

STEM teacher Bess Naughtin said, ‘I’m really excited to see the current Preps as Year 6 students. They’ll have had so many experiences with computational and algorithmic thinking by then and who knows what sort of technology they'll have access to in 2023. Exciting times!’

Read more about the project on the school’s blog