Green-fingered reception class gets growing

Woolaston Primary School Garden Club

Discovery Class pupils at Woolaston Primary School in Gloucestershire have wellies and watering cans at the ready.  They’re all set for a school garden adventure!

The four and five year olds got a taste for gardening in the autumn when they planted bulbs with teacher Mrs Price. Excitement has been mounting ever since the first green spears broke the soil in December. Now the snowdrops are in full bloom and the daffs aren’t far off.  The children are hooked: they can’t wait to get sowing and growing this spring.

We’ve been working with Mr Fothergill’s to decide the best flowers and vegetables to grow in the school garden. The biggest challenge is choosing varieties that will be ready before the summer holidays at the end of July.


Sweet peas  were at the top of our flower list, closely followed by Cosmos and Calendula. As well as being prolific flowerers, these three have nice big seeds that will be easy for reception pupils to handle.

We’ve got a packet of Candytuft seeds which should offer a low-maintenance way to brighten up the classroom’s outdoor area. And we hope to transform a weedy patch by the tyre trail into a nature garden with an RSPB Flower seed mix


Carrots were a must – the Discovery Class eats them at snack time several times a week. We went for a round variety that can be grown in containers outside the classroom. Perhaps we’ll team them up with the Candytuft.

Peas had to feature too. Eaten fresh from the pod, they’re a sure-fire way to get our young gardeners fixed on growing their own for life.

We’ve also got Broad Beans, Garlic, lots of salad leaves and some cheerful multi-coloured varieties of Radish and Beetroot.  Tomatoes might be tricky, but we’re going to give them a go. The variety we chose is Sub-Arctic Plenty – its fruit can set in cold weather, so even if we have a chilly start to summer a few may ripen before the end of July.

Lastly, we decided to throw in some Leeks . They won’t be ready until the autumn, but maybe the class can make some leek soup to share with the incoming reception pupils. With a bit of luck we’ll get them hooked on gardening too.

Next steps

Getting an early start is essential to ensure we have lots of flowers and veg before the summer holidays. We’re going to sow as much as we can in March and early April – but tender crops and some flowers will have to wait until after the Easter holidays.

Keep in touch over the next few months to see what we’re up to, the challenges we face and what we learn along the way. Share your gardening experiences and tips too – we’d love to hear them!

Here’s the full list of what we’re growing, all carefully selected for early flowering and cropping:


Mr Fothergill’s have supplied Woolaston Primary School with all the seeds they need to produce a really productive school garden this year.  The Woolaston Primary School gardening blog posts are written by school parent Mary Hamblyn.  She also blogs at  

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One Response to “Green-fingered reception class gets growing”

  1. Grandma chicken Williams grandma says:

    Hi guys
    Very impressed with the gardening,and that William is growing his own as well as eating mine.

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