RHS School Gardening Team of the Year 2015
Ballycraigy Primary School
Antrim, County Antrim
80 team members, aged 7-11
About Ballycraigy Primary School
Ballycraigy Primary School has two streams of exemplary gardeners within the school. One group is made up of pupils that attend a gardening club each Friday, following a seasonal programme which teaches them all types of skills from propagating, planting trees, growing from seed, weeding, hoeing, watering, weeding, pond care and more. The second, more dedicated gardening group, meets on Thursdays from March to October, including the summer holidays. The Green Finger Group come with their parents and grandparents, friends and local youth club members to work on the school garden. Tasks such as cleaning the hen trailer, planting up new seedlings, weeding the raised beds, trimming the edges, watering the plants and even selling vegetables at the school harvest, come easily to them. They follow the example of the adults and have great fun learning from them.
The school has been awarded Eco Schools Ambassador status in Northern Ireland and the council has recently set up an allotment as parents, grandparents and friends are reviving gardening skills from their past and sharing it with the pupils. The Ballycraigy gardeners have come a long way over the years and their passion helps improve the school ethos immensely.
“Ballycraigy Primary School showed a brilliant enthusiasm for all kinds of horticultural tasks and the sheer number of students that attended the gardening club was testament to how much enjoyment the pupils get from their time outside. The resource that the team had and the way that gardening was integrated into the whole working of the school and other subjects was fantastic to see. A wonderful group with a dazzling energy.”
“A wonderful diverse mix of ornamental plants and edibles, some of which were of good quality. A real feel good video with a lot of pupils so enthused to be involved.”
“Ballycraigy has passion and enthusiasm by the bucket load! It’s wonderful to see a school where every single pupils plays a part in the garden and the quality of the plants and produce was spectacular.”
Ballycraigy Primary School's entry video