New garden for Gidea Park College pupils makes perfect sense says Havering Mayor
PUBLISHED: 10:00 28 November 2018
Mayor of Havering Cllr Dilip Patel paid tribute to the efforts of Gidea Park College staff and pupils after officially opening a new Sensory Garden at the Balgores Lane school.
The seeds of the project were sown by deputy headteacher Wendy Kaylor, with colleagues Ian Metcalf and Mark Larwood combining with parents and Romford company Paradise Paving, who carried out all of the hard landscaping, to see it come to fruition.
And Cllr Patel was only too pleased to cut the ribbon in a short ceremony at the independent primary school, saying: “I was extremely impressed when I visited the school and it was a great pleasure opening the garden.
“They made me feel very welcome and the artwork on display was excellent. I’m sure the garden will be enjoyed by children for many years to come.”
Mrs Kaylor explained how the garden had been designed to encourage wellbeing and act as a beneficial space, while also being a fun educational tool that allows children to explore and learn about their senses and nature.
It contains a pond, a bug hotel and storytelling area and is seen as a key learning tool for science subjects especially.
“Children in our Gardening Club use the space to grow various edible vegetables, fruits and herbs,” she said.
“While in the garden, children are encouraged to touch, smell, taste and generally interact with the environment around them – a destress environment to promote calm in an increasingly challenging world.”
The school PFA were thanked for their continued support in helping to pay for a water fountain and all of the electrical work, while parents Mrs Agarwal and Ms Bartley worked on a tree mural.
Headmistress Katherine Whiskerd added: “I was so proud of the school and all the pupils when the Mayor came to open our new Sensory Garden.
“They showed him some of their work, read poems and sang the school song. It was a real highlight of our school year, and we were so grateful that the Mayor gave us so much of his time, even wearing his robes at the pupils’ request!”