Education Project

‘On the oldest and largest allotment site in the world, listed by English Heritage, a rich natural environment in the middle of the city, to create a space for kids…

Planting seeds with a nursery group

The Community Orchard provides the main location for our Education Project. It is a secure, relaxed and welcoming space, full of bio-diversity, native species and free fresh food. Focused around the needs of local children and the community, it is constantly evolving and taking the shape of its users, enabling a high quality interactive learning experience in a variety of settings.

We have three members of staff managing the Community Orchard Education Project. All are highly experienced in environmental education and outdoor learning, including Forest Schools leadership and classroom teaching.

Our objectives

  • Provide outdoor learning experiences for local school-children aged 3 – 16
  • Support local play-schemes during school holidays
  • Provide monthly Activity Days for the wider local community

Our work with schools

Schools are a main focus for the Education Project. We provide a range of learning opportunities appropriate to the changing needs and interests of local children as they progress through their school career.

Learning to grow fresh vegetables as part of STAA's Education Project

The work supplements classroom activities by providing hands-on learning experiences in a safe and supportive atmosphere.  Many of the activities follow basic principles and are common to all age-groups, although their application differs according to the needs of each group. General activities include food growing, harvesting and cooking; environmental arts and crafts; wildlife and site management, imaginative role-play and story-telling.

There is an emphasis on working with local schools, and in particular those within walking distance of the site. However, where this is not possible we will be very happy to work with other schools on a temporary basis. We will also be happy to help make similar opportunities available to all schools at a site local to them. We work with a range of age-groups, falling into three categories:

  • Early Years (3-5) First contact. Emphasis on exploration and gradual introduction to the site, including food harvesting, environmental arts and crafts, wildlife, fires and cooking.

    Early Years around the fire pit

  • Primary age-group (5-11) As above, along with practical food-growing, environmental awareness, drama and story-telling
  • Secondary age-group(11-16) As above, but with a particular emphasis on practical work, including site management, working with small groups and focusing on those who are less confident in a classroom environment or otherwise disaffected with school. This work could contribute to an Open College Network (O.C.N.) qualification, or equivalent.

To view our Creative Learning Programme click here.

To see some of the work we do, have a look at our short film. You can also view images of the Orchard in our gallery.