Growing Space Newsletter
“The garden gives our children an opportunity to discover where our food comes from… and how magical soil can be.”
Featuring: Michael Gove
Now that the school term draws to an end, we would like to take this time to look back, reflect and thank those involved with our launch of Christ Church Growing Space.
On the 23 May 2019, we proudly launched our first Growing Space project.
Growing Space at Christ Church is located in the south garden of Christ Church Kensington W8, where Gardens Montessori, Thomas’s School Kensington and St-Mary Abbot’s C of E Primary School all share access to the garden for nature-based classes, growing edibles, engaging in forest school activities and learning about the role and importance of the insects that inhabit our soils.
Featuring: Joanna Ebner, Head of Thomas's school Kensington
We were very fortunate to have with us on the day both Helen Browning, President of the Soil Association, and Michael Gove, Secretary of State for the Environment. Both guest speakers spoke passionately about the need to educate our children in nature in the hopes that they grow to become responsible stewards of our environment.
This garden is a “wonderous thing… I would love it if every school had the opportunity to grow and explore their relationship with the earth and with nature while they’re at school.”
Featuring: Helen Browning, President of the Soil Association
We are so very fortunate to have found such a willing and supportive partner in Christ Church, who have shared this patch of earth with us and allowed us to transform it into the outdoor learning space that it is today. We have been overjoyed to see our participating school children already engaged in planting strawberries, beans, peas, herbs and onions. They have been superbly behaved in the new garden space and we hope that they will enjoy harvesting the fruits of their labour before the end of term! If not, fear not, our environmental coordinator (EC), Pascale Rochefeuille will ensure that during our summer holiday workshops some very lucky local children will enjoy that task.
Nothing will go to waste!
What's on in the garden?
On the topic of workshops, we have also hosted our first Nature & Bliss Urban Forest School experiences since May, bimonthly, and over the May half-term we welcomed the School for Creative Thinkers who engaged parents and children in their Woodland Creatures Garden workshop. We are welcoming them again this summer! You can book now our summer workshops on our website or the School for Creative Thinkers website.
More information further down in Our Summer Workshops list.
How to get involved?
We have had many enquiries into volunteer opportunities in the garden. We have been very fortunate to have a dedicated team of four Duke of Edinburgh volunteers.
We welcome anyone to join our team! Pour petits et grands
For any neighbours, parents and children who wish to help this summer to water, weed, and to harvest the garden, on a weekly basis or occasionally, we still have some volunteer opportunities available! So get in touch!
To get involved, please contact us directly:
Email at email@example.com
Call or text on 07418084468
Our Growing Space team: Erica Cobb (Founder and Director of Arcadia Charitable Trust and Growing Space, Pascale Rochefeuille (Growing Space EC and Director of Nature & Bliss), Our wonderful and dedicated volunteers: Ella, Poppy, Yazzie and Alex.
On a final note, we are working hard to help build and provide other growing spaces in the borough for the local schools and the community. To achieve this, we need your help!
We are still looking for sponsorship for raised beds and selected trees.
Each sponsored item will receive an engraved brass plaque.
It does make a wonderful gift or commemoration!
SPONSOR a tree or a vegetable bed today!
Please visit our website for more information or speak with Pascale who can show you around the garden.
Our Summer Workshops
Our workshops will be running throughout July and August, please book directly with Pascale or get in touch for more information.
Nature & Bliss
Urban Forest School
Dates: July 6 and July 13, last week of August (TBC)
Location: Growing Space at Christ Church Kensington - Woodland Garden
Age: 5 to 12
Price: £25 per session
School For Creative Thinkers
Nature's Architects Summer Camp
Days: Mondays and Wednesdays
Age: children 4*-11 yrs old (*Children age 6 and under must be accompanied by an adult)
Price: £35 per session
Parents are welcome to stay and join in with the children
Please note classes are held outdoors so please dress accordinging to the weather!
This summer camp introduces biomimicry, and shows how architecture draws from lessons in nature and is inspired by animal builders. We will introduce and explore nest weaving from birds, building cellular structures like the bees, cave dwellings and more! Your child will learn about the incredible building abilities of these animals and the architecture they inspired through storytelling and architectural imagery. Children will build and create architectural models from these lessons, and be able to take home their own creations. Each lesson also includes a take-home learning note-card which will feature the week's animal, architectural lesson, and other activities to do at home with your child and to reinforce the learning.
Mon 15 July - Bird
Wed 17 July - Bee
Mon 22 July - Beaver
Wed 24 July - Polar Bear
Mon 29 July - Termite
Wed 31 July - Spider
Mon 5 August - Brown Bear
Wed 7 August - Coral
Mon 12 August - Caterpillar
Wed 14 August - Hermit Crab
School of Creative Thinkers
Days: Tuesdays and Thursdays
Age: children 4*-11 yrs old ( *Children age 6 and under must be accompanied by an adult)
These nature-themed workshops will encourage the children to bring nature's design into their own projects while learning about architectural and urban design principles.
Parents are welcome to stay and work with child
Classes are held outdoors, please dress your child according to the weather
Woodland Creature Gardens
Children will create their own creature’s city, learning the concepts of architecture for a city and the landscape. Starting with small logs, every child will have his or her own delightful and magical dwelling to take home and enjoy.
Dates: Tues 16 July, Thurs 25 July, Tue 30 July, Thurs 8 August, Tues 13 August
Simple designs of a pavilion will create dramatic shadow play with the structure. Children will be encouraged to experiment with different materials for constructing their project and learn about the relationship between the structure and the natural sunlight.
Dates: Tues 23 July, Thurs 15 August
Children will observe behaviours of birds in the outdoors and also learn more about them from story-telling. From the lessons, children will then design and build their own garden structure to take home.
Date: Thurs 1 August
Children will observe behaviours of bugs in the outdoors and also learn more about them from story-telling. From the lessons, children will then design and build their own garden structure to take home.
Dates: Thurs 18 July, Tues 6 August