School garden may be lost in merger

Last updated 05:05 14/11/2012
Daniel Tobin

Burwood School pupils are learning first hand about the joys of growing their own vegetables, thanks to a garden built on their school grounds by the local Bunnings store.

Burwood school vegetable garden
Daniel Tobin
SENSE OF PRIDE: Burwood pupils all play a part in tending the school garden.

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Schools Shake-up

Name Burwood School
Suburb Burwood
Decile 7
Type Primary
Roll 274
Cost $4.7 million
Principal Susan Jennison
Proposal Merge

An extensive children's vegetable garden may be lost if plans to close the Burwood School site goes ahead.

Burwood principal Susan Jennison said the vegetable garden had given the school community a "sense of pride".

However, under the Education Ministry's shake-up of Canterbury education Burwood faces merger with Windsor School on the Windsor site.

The school boasts a bountiful vegetable garden which teacher aide Jacquie Ching and her husband Dave helped to set up on a spare patch of land.

Ching convinced Bunnings Warehouse to donate a raised garden bed which the school soon filled with seeds.

She now works part-time for the school sourcing grants and helping pupils in the garden.

"Jacquie and her husband give up their own time at weekends and tend to the garden. It's fantastic," Jennison said.

"All the children have a go at planting during the year but there's also a group of eco warriors who do extra work to help Jacquie out."

The produce grown in the garden was sold at the school gates for 50c. All the proceeds were re-invested into the garden.

Jennison said the garden taught children at the school about planting, sustainability, recycling and composting.

"We think of it as part of the curriculum. It's great for kids to learn about these things and experience something they might not get to do at home."

She said the school community felt a "sense of pride" over the garden.

"All schools get low-level vandalism but no-one has once touched or vandalised our garden. Everyone walks past and comments on how nice it is.

"It may not be the world's best garden but I think it's great that it's a community garden."

Jennison said they were always looking for more community volunteers to lend a hand.

"If they are any other grandads or keen gardeners who have some spare time that want to come teach children we're open to that".

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