PPA Gweek Class in RHS flutter
A little bit of Cornwall comes to the RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival this July as the birds of London and the south east enjoy a rest stop in some beautiful boxes painted by the children of Penryn Primary Academy’s Gweek Class, an ARB unit which provides more individual tailored, specialist provision to support pupils with more complex special educational needs (SEN).
The Sensory Trust, a national charity based in Cornwall, has teamed up with Defra (Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs) to create the ‘Year of Green Action’ garden. The objective is to demonstrate how sensory garden design can provide opportunities for children of all abilities to connect and engage with nature.
With a thriving Forest School, in addition to the ARB unit on site, Penryn Primary Academy was invited to be involved and sleeves were quickly rolled up in preparation. Lynsey Robinson of The Sensory Trust ran two workshops in June with the children of Gweek Class - painting, stenciling, drawing pictures, talking about caring for our feathered friends, listening to bird song and getting very, very sticky with large amounts of vegetable fat and a mountain of bird seed!
Gweek Class teacher Mrs Emily Miles comments, "The children were absolutely buzzing with excitement the entire time and their engagement and focus throughout the two workshops was exceptional. We can’t wait to hear what the reaction is to the sensory garden. It’s amazing to know that the children’s handiwork is being championed on such an important stage."
The Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival, a major event in the RHS annual calendar, runs from 2nd to 7th July and the ‘Year of Green Action’ garden, landscaped in partnership with Cotswold Estates & Garden, will showcase planting and design ideas from Defra’s 25 year environment plan as well as, of course, the Penryn bird boxes.
Lynsey comments, “Our aim is to inspire people to create sustainable and resilient gardens at home that ensure thriving habitats for humans, plants and wildlife. We’ve filled the ‘Year of Green Action’ garden with affordable, accessible features that all families, and schools, can replicate in their own green spaces.”
She adds, “On behalf of The Sensory Trust, I want to extend a heartfelt thank you to Emily and the children. As a national charity, we are committed to ensuring our ideas always receive local, firsthand testing so our beneficiaries may have the opportunity to provide direct feedback and so shape our national initiatives. We fully intend to continue our special relationship with Penryn Primary Academy and look forward to the next big idea!”