Horticulture Project run by Eco-champions (Year 7)
With the support from year 13 students and the Mathematics team, Year 7 students (Eco-Champions) are running a horticultural project. Our aim is to use a corner of the school grounds to grow vegetables; such as tomatoes and beans.
On a sunny day in March, some Year 7 students visited the site to make scale drawings (using our mathematical skills); to take a biodiversity survey (using our geography skills); and collect soil samples. The next day we tested the soil samples, (using our science skills). Combining all these cross curricular skills has been particularly enlightening for the students involved and will hopefully lead to a healthy and bountiful crop!
The purpose of the biodiversity survey was to provide an overview of the land, and identify any feature of conservation importance; flora, fauna or wild life habitats. While working on it, students found various plant species and small animals such as beetles and worms and were able to discover the important role these little creatures have in helping to break the soil down.
Testing soil is also important to optimise crop production and to improve the nutritional balance of the soil. Students were very excited to complete soil testing. This consisted of testing different chemicals, observing results and accurately recording them. It took two days to complete accurately the soil testing. Samples were taken from four different locations on the field and tested for their acid and alkaline levels, potassium, nitrogen and phosphorus content. The results were not promising. The soil at Whitmore is slightly alkaline, which is good, but it has very few nutrients.
During the Easter holiday, Year 13 students prepared the beds by digging the soil, and removing the turf. In April, Year 7 students broke up the soil and spread grass cuttings on the beds. Thank you Site Maintenance team, for leaving the cuttings. Students enjoyed using gardening tools, especially as for some students, it was their first ever experience. Each Year 7 form has been allocated a section, meanwhile tomato plants are growing in pots on the window ledges in our form rooms. Next step, planting out! Follow our progress in the next newsletter.
Bhreesha & Manya (7HRB)