Caroline Chisholm School Northants opens ‘Garden of Hope’
The garden, which saw phase one of its creation completed last week, was one of several school environment projects designed by students and staff.
After the recent loss of much-loved staff, the school wanted to create a beautiful outdoor space inspired by their life and service to Caroline Chisholm School.
With this in mind, it was agreed that an outdoor space for reflection, peace and wellbeing would be a fantastic addition to the school environment. The growing importance of green spaces in maintaining good mental health and wellbeing has become even more evident throughout the recent pandemic – and incorporating this idea in an innovative design enabled the space to be used as an outdoor classroom, where children can rest, learn and play.
Primary staff and children shared their ideas and with the help of Year 12 student leaders, the garden design ideas were agreed. The school’s partners at Gardener’s View began work in August 2022, which included two large decking areas with sail sun shelters, bench seats and wild-life attracting planting. Large picnic tables and benches have also been added to the primary playground, to be used at lunchtime and as break-out learning spaces.
Mrs Patterson, Primary Vice Principal said: “The benefits of gardens and beautiful green spaces have become so important for mental health and wellbeing in recent times. Our new ‘Garden of Hope’ will benefit the wellbeing and education of the children and staff who belong to our school community for years to come. The Gardener’s View team has done a wonderful job in bringing our staff and student hopes and dreams to life. Everyone is very excited to start using this beautiful new space”.
The project has been made possible thanks to the huge fundraising efforts of the school’s CCS Friends, parents, students and local community. The garden has been created on a previously uninviting grassy bank in the primary grounds, which can now be used as a year-round outdoor facility.
There are further developments planned for the ‘Garden of Hope’ which is just one of a number of projects designed to improve the school environment.
Work this summer has included the installation of indoor social seating for all students to enjoy during their recreational time and the creation of inspirational curriculum murals, based on artistic ideas and input from students. These now fill the previously blank atrium wall spaces of each teaching area within the school, situated in Wootton Fields, Northampton.
The school is continuing its plans for further student collaboration on the development of an inspirational learning environment, which will benefit the education and wellbeing of students, now and in the future.