New Rushden Academy pupils plant sensory and wildlife garden

The pupils used topsoil donated by a housebuilder

Thursday, 2nd September 2021, 11:10 am

Green-fingered schoolchildren have got their hands dirty to help plant a sensory and wildlife garden at Rushden Academy.

The incoming Year 7 pupils, who will be starting their first term at the secondary school this month, rolled up their sleeves after housebuilder Davidsons Homes paid for the topsoil to create the new installation.

The developer donated £500 for the topsoil for the new garden.

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Pupils Lyra Norman and Alfie Line with Linda Stevens (left) from Davidsons Homes and Rushden Academy teacher Cassie Wiles.

Cassie Wiles, head of Rushden Academy eco-committee, said: “It is fantastic that Davidsons Homes has made this very generous donation to this exciting project.

“The money has enabled us to get the topsoil down so that the pupils who will be coming to our school for the first time this September were able to join in planting flowers on their ‘Futures Day.’

“This was lovely because it gave the children not only a chance to come in to see the school but also to take part in creating a garden that they can watch grow and develop over the coming months and years.”

Cassie said the sensory and wildlife garden is being created to brighten up the school environment and to help pupils who may need extra emotional support.

Pupils Joycie Harper (left) and Bebe Hunt with Linda Stevens from Davidsons Homes watering some of the plants on the sensory garden.

She said: “The garden is in a large area behind the creative arts block. The rooms that look out onto this garden area are the isolation and hub rooms that are often used by students who may need a little more emotional support.

“It will be nice for these pupils to have this sensory and wildlife garden that they can help look after and enjoy as it develops. The idea is that the garden will provide a full sensory stimulation for the pupils through sight, sound and smell.

“We are hoping the garden will also attract a lot of insects such as butterflies, bees and beetles, which can help bring the children close to nature and provide a calming area to enjoy.”

Simon Tyler, sales director at Davidsons Homes South Midlands, said: “This sensory and wildlife garden is an extremely worthwhile project and one we were more than happy to contribute towards.

“As well as creating a calm and colourful environment for all the pupils, the sensory garden will also provide an invaluable educational tool for the teachers to engage the children and teach them about nature.

“It was great to see the children having such fun planting the garden, and I’m sure they’ll feel a huge sense of achievement as they watch it grow in the coming years.”