Sunnyfields has a large area called ‘The Ecology Garden’ which provides an outdoor environment where children can extend their learning.
It has been developed over the years by the Gardening Club to become a 'wildlife haven' with different habitats built by the children from rocks, bricks, wood, carpets, pipes and tubes in order to encourage a variety of wildlife.
Thanks to the hard work of the Gardening Club, the Ecology Garden received the Green Award plaque from the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts for having so many features that encourage a variety of wildlife.
Sunnyfields has also had the honour of becoming a Growing Schools Accredited Site. Sunnyfields Primary was the second school site in England and the fourth across the UK to gain accreditation. This privilege enables the school to join a network of other accredited sites which include: the RHS Gardens; Wisley Rosemoor, and Hyde Hall, Botanic gardens such as Kew and Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh and the Eden Project, as well as smaller Community Gardens and Urban Farms across the country
All of the Growing Schools Sites exemplify:
- Excellent practice in developing children's learning in the natural environment,
- Provide training for teachers and educators to develop outdoor classrooms for learning,
- Provide access to sites that offer a range of plant displays and opportunities for learning outside the classroom.
Young Gardeners Competition
Every year, Sunnyfields hosts the Young Gardeners Competition with schools around Barnet participating.
The competition is sponsored and judged by the Hendon Horticultural Society and a local Garden Centre; ‘Finchley Nurseries’.
The winners are presented with a variety of cups and prizes by the Mayor of Barnet who is, every year, impressed with the incredible displays arranged by the different schools who attend to show the variety of things they have grown in their own grounds.
Sunnyfields won the award in the past but more recent winners include Frith Manor and Foulds School.
Activities in the Ecology Garden
Many different activities take place in the Ecology Garden.
For example, children may be given the opportunity to undertake a mini-beast hunt as part of their Science lessons.
When children are learning about History, they may also carry out a dig in our Archaeological bed in the Ecology garden and find artefacts buried within it that they can then try to identify.
Children also may use the Ecology Garden as part of their PHSE lessons. At Sunnyfields we run ‘Forest School’ sessions were children have to work as a team to tackle a task such as camp building.
We run a Gardening Club after school so that children are able to participate in a variety of activities.
When children are learning about the Second World War, they have the opportunity to visit the Anderson shelter in the WW1 garden in our school grounds.