29th November 23
Prince’s Mead has been awarded Level 4 in the prestigious Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) School Gardening Award. Thanks to the enthusiasm of our teachers and generous donations from the Prince’s Mead Association (PMA), our pupils get lots of opportunities to learn about gardening and the plethora of wildlife on our doorstep.
Lucy Brown, Head of Pre-Prep and Gardening Club Lead, expressed her excitement on receiving the Award:
“We are incredibly proud to achieve the RHS School Gardening Award Level 4. It’s a reflection of our school’s dedication to providing an enriching and holistic education that goes beyond the classroom. This accomplishment is a testament to the hard work and passion of our pupils and staff, and we are thrilled to continue nurturing a love for nature and sustainability among the Prince’s Mead community.”
In our recent ISI Inspection, the inspectors specifically referenced in their report that, during their discussions with pupils, the children “shared the joy of growing vegetables and the sight of bees and butterflies”.
RHS Level 4 focuses on gardening for wildlife, using gardening to support the curriculum, and inspiring others within your community.
Starting in Pre-Prep, pupils are taught about growing seeds and learning what plants need to grow. Weekly outdoor learning sessions nurture pupils’ curiosity for gardening for wildlife with activities such as making bug hotels. Our pond also provides the opportunity for pupils to learn about the diversity of wildlife that can be discovered in a water-based habitat.
In Prep they go on to learn about asexual reproduction in plants and take cuttings of mint to see how plants can make roots and reproduce without seeds. They also learn about bees and their importance as pollinators, and Year 6 have been busy this term harvesting the honey from our very own beehive which is located in Gray’s Wood and will be used to bake a delicious cake for them to enjoy.
Prince’s Mead is also part of the South Downs Bee Lines Initiative, 66 hectares of lush wildflower habitat created across the South Downs National Park to help bees flourish. This year our school community bought Comic Relief seed bombs to help us to re-seed our wildflower lines.
We also have a budding extra-curricular Gardening Club who, thanks to the PMA donation of six raised flower beds earlier this year, have been planting and growing herbs, vegetables and fruit. Growing our own food and learning where food comes from forms an important part of the pupil’s learning and they receive immense joy from seeing their homegrown produce transformed by our Chef into wonderful green salads, courgette fritters, and rhubarb jam for them to have for their lunch.
The achievement of this Award will continue to reinforce the Prince’s Mead ethos of developing a lifelong love of learning, curiosity about the world we live in and a desire to contribute to it.