Countryside Classroom - Connecting schools with food, farming and the natural environment

Growing Schools has been re-launched as Countryside Classroom, the largest ever partnership of organisations who are committed to helping children learn about food, farming and/or the natural environment.

It is the vision of Countryside Classroom that schools and teachers across the UK will embrace food, farming and the natural environment as essential components of a broad and balanced curriculum, incorporating them into day-to-day learning. As a result of this, every child will have the opportunity to learn about and experience these topics in diverse ways that are increasingly supported by experiences outside the classroom.

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The Growing Schools Garden Birmingham

Following the success of the first Growing Schools Garden at the Hampton Court Flower Show in 2002, and its subsequent removal to a permanent home at the Environmental Curriculum Service in Eltham, the DCSF brought together a group of educational organisations in order to construct a second Growing Schools Garden. The aim was to show how learning can take place outside the classroom by demonstrating a range of opportunities within the school grounds, and hinting at activities that can take place in the wider environment. The Garden was designed by multi-award winning TV gardener Chris Beardshaw and created for the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show  2007 where it won a gold medal and the prestigious Tudor Rose for best in show. The garden has now moved to its permanent home at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens.

The partner organisations were:

Find out more by using the menu to the left.

The Growing Schools Garden 2007 can now be visited at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. It is open to the public and regularly used for school visits and children’s workshops. A programme of CPD training is planned to start in Autumn 2009.


The Garden has also inspired a Virtual Growing Schools Garden, which can be visited online. As well as a tour of the garden, there are details of how to make many of the features, together with case studies from participating schools. Photo albums and video clips show a wide range of learning outside the classroom activities with teachers talking passionately about the benefits, and students demonstrating their enjoyment and enhanced learning.