The Education Garden was created by Nigel Clarke and all are welcome to visit at Queux Plant Centre.  Nigel realised that without linking nature and plants to the school curriculum there would never be time to get outside the classroom.  It's function is to show people how you can use plants and the natural environment to teach the curriculum outside of the classroom.

It has taken 5 years of development and after initially looking for a small area of land to create the Education Garden, Nigel found the answer literally in his back garden!  Inspired by the book "Acres of Diamonds", attending a Permaculture Course which was held locally by D'Arcy Brimson and his wife, Forest Gardens and Companion Growing, Nigel's design and ideas florished and the Education Garden was born.

Features includes the wreckage of a fishing boat number GU5050 - the boat represents the history of fishing in Guernsey and was originally going to be situated in the pond but the boat was bigger than the pond so Nigel had to rethink!  It also represents a voyage of life and the number on the boat is significant too - 50/50 is the balance of nature.  There are a pair of scales in the garden which also represents the balance of nature.  The pond is home to many insects and frogs.  If you know of anyone having a pond filled in, please contact Nigel (Tel. 07781 103486) - all frogs welcome to be rehomed!  The pond was created as the water running off the greenhouses at the centre was running to waste and since plants naturally find water this meant that the garden would water itself.  It is also a working vegetable garden with the produce grown feeding the Clarke family.



Vale Infants School

On 18th June 2014, 57 pupils from Vale Infants School participated in a workshop.  The children, teachers and assistants were given a tour around the Education Garden to discover Nature's Recyclers and then they planted up a pot plant and bean seeds which they were able to take with them.  The children were encouraged to use all their senses and to enjoy various aspects of the school curriculum being taught outside the classroom.

Acorn House Pre-school Workshops

On 18th & 19th March 2014, 42 children from Acorn House attended a workshop in the Education Garden. 

On a lovely sunny March morning the first visiting group of children enjoyed walking around the garden where they looked out for frogs in the pond, planted garlic and lettuce plants in the edible area and discovered that worms were full protein.  The children were accompanied by teachers and assistants and everyone enjoyed getting their hands dirty during the planting session.

Acorn House Preparing To Plant

Looking For Frogs In The Pond

It's Never Too Young To Start Planting As Acorn House Discovered - Well Done Girls

St. Sampson Infants School

Diane Thorogood who is a teacher at St. Sampsons Infants School attended The Council for Learning Outside the Classroom course in June 2013 (sponsored by JLT Insurance Management (Guernsey) Limited) and consequently is the first teacher to bring her pupils on an educational visit to the Education Garden.

Diane says "After spending  a day at Queux patio as part of the Learning Outside the Classroom course, I was extremely inspired to want to change some of my practice at school and incorporate the outside area more fully into a learning enviroment.  I currently do use my outside area, however the LOtC day proved just how much more can be achived and once this is set up, it would ultimately save practitioners/teachers time in setting up daily activities in the outside area.  I then arranged with Nigel Clarke for my class to visit Queux Centre learning area so that they could enjoy the experience too.

The children explored the area, chose their favourite place and sketched it.  We then acted out stories, using a few props and masks.  The children then found different textures to mark make with.  The morning was a complete success with the children all asking if we could visit again!  They were totally engaged with the area, its range of beautiful flowers/plants/textures and experiences.  I am now in the process of re-designing my outside area and hope to submit the plan and costing to scholl in September 2013 - so watch this space! 

I am extremely grateful for the hard work Nigel Clarke has put into this initiative and the support of JLT Insurance Management (Guernsey) Limited for the LOtC course sponsorship".

On a warm, sunny July 2013 day St. Sampsons Reception pupils and teaching assistants enjoyed learning outside the classroom as the photos below show.