TEACHING AND LEARNING GARDEN

The cultivation of a school garden is above all the cultivation of knowledge through hands-on learning, and an experience that is not always available to today's younger generations.

The School Garden

The Bilingual School of Lucca will work together with Ecoland snc to provide an interactive and interdisciplinary environmental education programme for our students. Together with experts in agronomy the children and their teachers will create and care for a school vegetable and herb garden. They will learn about plant biology and sustainability while creating a sense of community within the entire school.

The cultivation of a school garden is above all the cultivation of knowledge through hands-on learning, and an experience that is not always available to today's younger generations.Cultivation at school is a way to understand how a community works and the importance of common goods, while honouring the knowledge and traditions from past generations and other cultures, and acquiring an awareness of biological phenomena and seasonal cycles. The plants in the educational garden will be observed and examined in their different stages of development.

The cultivation of the school garden is an interdisciplinary activity where students and teachers work together, making decisions and sharing ideas and methods. All of the classes in the school will be involved in the Orto Scolastico.

Organisation of the School Garden

Ecoland's educators (www.ecolandsnc.it) are agronomists and environmental guides who bring together a range of technical proficiencies acquired from their studies in agricultural and the natural sciences. They are experienced in the cultivation of educational gardens in infant and primary schools in Tuscany.

The garden will be created inside a 45cm-high wooden box to distinguish it from the other educational areas and to make the children’s work easier. The box will contain organic soil, and the choice of crops will be made based upon the school's educational programme. Whether the crops begin from seed or seedlings, these will always be certified organic and cultivation will follow organic standards.

At the start of the school year, the Ecoland experts will meet with the teaching staff to define an agricultural project that is coordinated with the school's educational programme. Cultivation and educational activities will take place in the garden with the Ecoland experts, who will guide activities to be carried out directly and exclusively in the garden, and to be continued in class. The school garden provides many opportunities for interdisciplinary learning, and lends itself to authentic learning in language, maths, science, history and geography. Additional activities complementary to the cultivation programme will also be offered. At least once a year there will also be a morning or afternoon celebration in the garden, to which the students' families will be invited.

The children’s garden experience can be followed on our own website, and at www.ortiscolastici.it where a full page is dedicated to the garden at The Bilingual School of Lucca, as well as at www.ortodellemeraviglie.it.