Whitnash school winners create family legacy of trees
Talented pupils at Whitnash Primary School won 420 trees to plant in a national Woodland Trust drawing competition. And to coincide with celebrations for the school’s recent ‘good’ Ofsted rating, staff decided to invite the children and their families to get involved and plant their own tree each around the perimeter of the school in Langley Road.
Over two very rainy days, parents joined their children - despite the wet weather - to plant their crab apple, elder, blackthorn and dog rose tree sapling, which, when grown, will surround the school grounds.
The school’s site manager Nigel Johnson, who coordinated the plantings, said: “We decided that, because we had recently been given a ‘good’ Ofsted rating, we would give every pupil a tree as a reward for doing so well.
“We are a ‘Forest school’, so the children already enjoy learning outdoors and they got a lot out of planting the trees. They all got their hands dirty - and they all got soaking wet! But they did enjoy it.
“They are saplings now, but hopefully they will have doubled in size in 12 months’ time. We’re also hoping for blossoms in the spring.”
The school is now working towards gaining a Green Tree Award from the Woodland Trust. Mr Johnson said: “The children are learning about their own tree, taking photographs of it as it grows and recording observations of the changes they see and the wildlife which comes to their tree.
“They are very excited about it - all the time I can see children pointing at their tree.”
In September, the school received its most recent Ofsted report, which rated the school as ‘good’ - an improvement on its previous rating of ‘satisfactory’. Inspectors rated the school as ‘good’ in all areas, including achievement of pupils, quality of teaching, behaviour and safety of pupils and leadership and management.
The school was praised for its improvement in achievements, which inspectors said have “consistently risen” since 2011, bringing the school’s achievements to being above the national average. It was also praised for “good leadership, management and governance” in making sure the school is constantly improving.
The Woodland Trust works to create new native woodland and improve existing woods in the UK. To find out more, visit www.woodlandtrust.org.uk