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Meet Liverpool’s newest Edible Playgrounds

Liverpool Holy Name edible playground

This week we embarked on a tasty road trip across Liverpool to celebrate the launch of three new Edible Playgrounds; a programme we deliver across the UK to transform urban school spaces into fun and engaging places to grow and learn about healthy food.

The three primary schools – St Teresa of Lisieux Catholic Primary and Monksdown Primary in Norris Green, and Holy Name Catholic Primary in Fazakerley – each served up seasonal home-grown feasts to their local school communities, and showed off their abundant raised beds and fruit trees which we helped them to plant last year.

Trudi, Jenny and Beth from Trees for Cities were joined by Liverpool’s Assistant Mayor, Cllr Nick Small, to officially open the Edible Playgrounds, and congratulate teachers and pupils on their experiential and innovative approach to food education.

Each of the Edible Playgrounds were developed using bespoke designs unique to the school, and followed up with hands-on teacher training and resources from our team to ensure the school were fully confident and prepared to get growing!

Monksdown Launch 1

 

Thanks to nearly £250,000 Dream Funding available from the generous support of players of People’s Postcode Lottery, all three schools can now enjoy seasonally grown fruit and vegetables all year round; with many pupils admitting that they now love vegetables that had not heard of previously, like Kale and Beetroot.

Of the Liverpool launches, the celebrations were of particular significance to St Teresa of Lisieux Catholic Primary School; one of the largest primary schools in Norris Green, and a flagship school for the Edible Playground programme.

Alongside using their outdoor classroom area of the garden to create stimulating lessons and enrich teaching of the core curriculum, pupils will grow and harvest apples from their blossoming orchard trees, strawberries and raspberries from abundant soft fruit beds; as well as herbs, salads and root vegetables from a network of raised beds and trellis archways.

Edible Playground liverpool lettuce beds

In addition to incorporating outdoor learning throughout the wider school curriculum, the school has also created an interactive Cookery Classroom where their school cook delivers outdoor cooking lessons to students 2-3 times a week.

Andrew Tremarco, Head of St Teresa de Lisieux Primary School said:

We encourage our pupils to get outside, stick their hands in some soil and learn about the benefits of healthy eating.  Our Edible Playground is all about trying to create a healthier, happier future for the children taking part. We want everyone to have those all-important memories of growing their own food, knowing where it comes from and experiencing the tasting of a wider variety of fruit and vegetables.

This approach to integrated food education in the city comes at a poignant time, following British Nutrition Foundation’s report recently which revealed that nearly 1 in 5 children believe Fish fingers come from chicken, and almost a third think cheese is from a plant.

Edible playground liverpool kids growing

With the support of players of the People’s Postcode Lottery, Trees for Cities and our charity partners Chefs Adopt a School and School Food Matters have successfully designed and built 10 Edible Playgrounds for 11 schools in London, Liverpool, Reading and Manchester.

We have trained 21 teachers to teach the curriculum outside through food growin, given 406 students the skills and enthusiasm to cook the produce they have grown and introduced each school to the Food for Life award framework to help them create and embed a culture of healthy eating at school.

Get an Edible Playground at your school

We are encouraging more schools to create an Edible Playground on their grounds, as a way to address growing concerns for food poverty, childhood obesity and a disconnect with food origins.

Edible Playgrounds school growing

For more information contact the Edible Playgrounds team on 020 7840 5956 or by emailing info@edibleplaygrounds.org