Wellbeing Gardens at The Taunton Academy
There is growing evidence that if we spend time gardening it reduces stress, boosts our mood and gives a sense of achievement which helps improve our wellbeing. School clubs are an important part of supporting student wellbeing and we have added gardening to the activities available. Two existing spaces have been enhanced and are being nurtured, one outside the Franklin building by Year 11 students and the other at the front of school by Year 8 students. These spaces are also used for individual or small group work. Year 7 is enjoying the garden as part of the Wellbeing Wednesday lunchtime club.
Students began with weeding and clearing beds, followed by planting seeds, which were nurtured on windowsills. The weather held back the planting out of the growing seeds, but once the sunny days returned we were able to plant them outside in our raised beds and pots. Lettice, potatoes, carrots, radishes, cauliflowers, strawberries, tomatoes and runner beans are all now growing well. Wild flowers are growing from seed in some upcycled decorated tyres and the sunflowers are beginning to gain height. Students were recently delighted with their first crop of radishes, some were less delighted when they tasted them for the first time! But they enjoyed sharing them with other staff and students.
There is lots of fun, laughter and chatter while gardening and our school pastor team regularly join to help and talk with students – they are also a great source of gardening knowledge. We plan to continue to nurture the gardens and hope more students will be able to enjoy them and get involved next term.
Transition Lead/Wellbeing/School Chaplain