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2020-02-24 Community & Lifestyle
Author: Satterley Property Group

Planting Sustainably at Honeywood Primary School

The Honeywood Primary School Sensory Garden has been a big hit with students, teachers and the local community. ‘Science Specialist, Mrs Henderson expressed to Honeywood Primary P&C that she would love to incorporate a garden into the primary school that had sensory benefits, produced food and grew plants that would feed the schools growing insect collection’ Lauren Collinge, Honeywood P&C President says.

The sensory garden’s initiative is designed to enhance and expand the school science program in a hands-on way, linking topics taught in the classroom to real-life experiences, like gardening. The use of the garden is also a part of the school's Waste Wise accreditation, an initiative designed to ‘close the loop’, recycling food waste into the garden through composting and worm farming. 

Honeywood Primary School pupils have been central to the garden’s design sharing with the school's P&C team their thoughts and ideas for the gardens inclusions and layout. Pupils have helped with the garden’s elements such as putting together compost bins, filling the garden beds with soil and planting the plants. 

Pupils involvement in the sensory garden will be ongoing. In 2020, students will assist in setting up and managing the on-site worm farm, and once the garden is producing excess stock, they will be involved in distributing the produce to the local community. 

The sensory garden provides many benefits for pupils and the community. The sensory garden will provide a calming and soothing environment for pupils and staff to enjoy. Teachers have the opportunity to move outside the classroom and enjoy the benefits of the outdoors, while children learn about how food grows and how to harvest their own food to eat. Families are also encouraged to spend time in the sensory garden before and after school encouraging quality time together. 

‘Over 20 fruit trees, a range of herbs and vegetables, honeysuckle, murraya, lily pily, lavender and a range of flowers to encourage bees are grown in the sensory garden. We also have plans for specific gardens in the future including a pizza garden and fruits for drying and juicing!’ advises Mrs Collinge.

'We applied for grants to help with building the garden and also approached local companies for assistance in either a financial or donation of goods capacity. Our P&C also raised funds throughout 2019 through a range of school and community activities’ Mrs Collinge continues.

2020 will be a time of growth for the Honeywood Primary Sensory Garden. The school's Gardening Club will commence with parents and students involved meeting fortnightly to manage the upkeep of the garden, in addition to time spent during school hours. 

‘The children are very excited about the garden, watching things grow and learning about the processes involved. We currently have our potting benches being made by the Kwinana Men’s Shed and have plans in place to have a lemonade stand and produce trolley made. We also have ‘The Worm Shed’ coming during the term to run a worm farm workshop with the children.’ Mrs Collinge continues.

In addition to the gardening club and worm farm workshops, another bench will be made to provide additional seating as well as a birdbath, sundial and custom weather vane for students to enjoy.

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