College and primary students team up for allotment project

Roebuck Academy pupils enjoy their new allotment 

Roebuck Academy pupils enjoy their new allotment - Credit: Courtesy of North Herts College

Students from North Hertfordshire College’s Childcare and Health & Social Care courses have been volunteering at Roebuck Academy to help renovate their allotment ahead of this year’s growing season.

While work on the allotment was completed last year, the raised beds in the allotment were not ready for use by the pupils due to many weeds and a lack of compost in the beds.

North Herts College students ran educational sessions with Roebuck Academy pupils 

North Herts College students ran educational sessions with Roebuck Academy pupils - Credit: Courtesy of North Herts College

To assist the students and teachers at the academy, NHC community allotment project leader Paul Dee arranged for NHC students to spend some time clearing the area and preparing materials so that the area can be used more easily.

Paul Dee said: “It was great seeing the NHC students throwing themselves into volunteering to help the children at Roebuck.

"People get so much from volunteering, especially if it becomes a long-term habit, so it’s not just Roebuck Academy who have benefitted.

"Employers like to see volunteering on a CV, and it also helps volunteers to feel good about themselves and improves their wellbeing – so everyone’s a winner.”

North Herts College students ran educational sessions with Roebuck Academy pupils 

North Herts College students ran educational sessions with Roebuck Academy pupils - Credit: Courtesy of North Herts College

The students also ran educational sessions with the children, teaching them how plants grow and helping them to plant seeds, including potatoes and other vegetables.

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The pupils at Roebuck Academy will now be able to look after the plants and watch them grow, before reaping the harvest over the coming months.

Science lead and Year 4 teacher at Roebuck Academy, Mrs Jarman, said: “Paul and his team of NHC students worked hard to help us to prepare the area for the growing season.

"In addition, they worked with groups of children from Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 Eco Gardening Club to plant a variety of vegetables and herbs. Since the visit, our pupils have been keen to look after these plants and have noticed lots of changes already.”

Year 2 teacher Mrs Hashemi added: "The children loved working together with the NHC students to plant the vegetables ready for us to observe and care for as they grow.”

Ciara Jones, entry-level childcare student at NHC, said: “I was proud to be a part of the team renovating the Roebuck allotment. It was a real confidence booster.”