Environment and gardening club

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ERASMUS+ KA2 THINK AND CREATE YOUR OWN HOBBIES 2020-2021 THIRD TERM ENVIRONMENT AND GARDENING CLUB NTRA. SRA. DE LA VICTORIA - SPAIN Hello Friends! This last term went by so quickly. Spring came and as Harriet Ann Jacobs would say “The Nature resumes her loveliness, the human soul is apt to revive also”. We could continue with face-to-face teaching, allowing us to carry on with our Erasmus+ project working from the school. We even went on some excursions in the area, allowing us to admire the natural beauty around us.

Let me start by presenting you our special room called SARGON’S CLASSROOM. As we have told you, our school specialises in working with students on the autism spectrum. There is a maximum of five students who can go to a classroom dedicated to supporting students with autism, which we call SARGON.

But why Sargon? When the room opened, one of our students at the time who had autism received therapy in a specialised environment. One of the dolphins at the centre was called Sargon, so we decided to name the room in honour of him.

Our 3-year-old Infants and Mixed group read the book “Polar bear, Polar bear, what do you hear?” and they really enjoyed the story telling. They studied the animals that live in the Arctic, especially focusing on the polar bear. Then they learned about the importance of taking care of the Earth to help conserve polar bear populations.

In addition, they coloured in the different characters of the tale and created hairbands which helped them review the animals and their habitats. This allowed our students to become aware of the importance of taking care of the different ecosystems in which life provides natural services that are essential for health, quality of life and survival.

4-year-old Infant students started their special arts and crafts garden, in which they designed these beautiful trees made from silky paper and toilet rolls.

These groups also created palmed-shaped flowers which they coloured in.

Our Mixed group designed their own garden with these colourful flowers that they made using toilet rolls instead of brushes. Their area of focus was the season of spring, creating coloured pictures while listening Vivaldi’s classical piece titled Spring.

Linking to and broadening concepts already worked on last year, our fiveyear-old groups focused on plants too this term. They were excited about the arrival of these special plants: carnivore plants. Our students enjoyed finding out about their morphology and their way of feeding. They learned their names, how to identify them, how they are fed and how they are taken care of. Until the end of the school year, each day one student is put in charge to look after them, observe their state, see their growth and feeding habits, as well as water them when necessary.

First graders investigated and learned about plants too. They did different experiments to see what plants need to survive. Students found it surprising that a plant without sunlight grows white instead of green! Later, students put their baby plants in bigger pots to allow them to grow larger.

Here you can see what the plant seeds developed into by the end of the school year. First grade families helped to make this beautiful display to demonstrate the life cycle of a bean plant.

They also decorated the corridor with these flowers.

Our 1st and 2nd graders visited the Environmental Education Centre. During their time there, they participated in several gardening activities.

From the flower´s transformation into a fruit to the development of seeds, students learned about plants’ different stages of growth.

They visited the garden and learned the names of the vegetables grown there.

They observed how to create a hotbed and how to prepare seeds to be sown. Our students also removed weeds from the garden.

Students took the weeds to the composter to create compost. They also sowed several seeds and planted some plants, which they watered afterwards.

Finally, our students collected produce from the garden and prepared salads. Third graders also learned about the environment this term. They celebrated International Earth Day on the 22nd of April. They were presented a PowerPoint about the importance of taking care of the Earth and its natural environments. The students prepared this big poster that was later displayed near the school´s main entrance.

They also recognise the value of looking after the birds that live on the school grounds, so they prepared bird houses in Arts and Crafts using recycled materials. They used tins, jars, plastic lids, etc.

Third graders also created presentations about the different natural environments that they are surrounded by. We were able to enhance our learning in a variety of ways; while some students built herbariums, others focused on finding out more about a specific plant. We subsequently displayed the students’ work in the Science corner by the main entrance of the school.

These groups also went on an excursion in the local area to discover our cultural and natural heritage. We visited the castle in Villarejo de Salvanes, as well as La Casa de la Tercia. In the latter, we could learn some traditional agricultural methods and find out about the instruments they used in our village to put these techniques into practice.

These third graders were very active during this third term, as they also went on a school trip to La Chimenea in Aranjuez. This is a beautiful village nearby where we were able to be in close contact with nature. We observed small animals - like insects - and plants with magnifying glasses. We also planted cauliflower seeds in seedbeds and chards, in addition to harvesting garlic later in the day.

Fourth graders put together displays concerning plants in Natural Science classes, which we thought would be appropriate to link with our Erasmus+ Project.

In conjunction with their project, these fourth graders went to visit “Mojón del Rey”, a Holm Oak (Quescus ilex) reforestation scheme in our area. I have included some information about the route.

The walk lasted 4 and a half hours and we took three stops along the way. Some of the activities we did included photography, collecting leaves, examining topographic maps and learning about reforestation. The route was safe, as well as beautiful, with the fountain of Mojón del Rey and its surrounding trees being a highlight of the trip.

We prepared a charming garden by the main entrance. For this, we brought garden shelves and we counted upon the help of a garden and flowers expert. We planted aromatic plants (two types of thyme, lavender, rosemary and mint) and flowers (diagonaria, diantus and verbena flower). On top of one of the shelves we placed a special flower called “paper flower” that is dry and has a paper-like texture.

We got instructions on how to water them and we are taking turns to do it.

In our school we are conscious of the 3Rs rule (Recycle, Reuse and Reduce). Therefore, we have different types of containers to dispose of rubbish in our school. In addition to this, we learned about the importance of recycling thanks to our language assistant Claire, who prepared an activity to review the 3Rs rule as well as showing us how to recycle.

In Spain, we put different materials into different containers. -

Green Dome: Glass only (jars, bottles, containers, but not the lid).


Yellow Container: Plastic bottles, shopping bags, detergent bottles, metal containers like cans and trays, etc.


Blue Container: paper, newspapers, cardboard boxes, cereal boxes, brochures, envelopes, magazines, etc.


Orange container: for used kitchen oil only.


The rest of our waste goes into square grey or green containers.

We worked on the following two activities: Activity One: - Place different coloured papers in front of containers and explain what kind of rubbish they are used for. - Hold up pieces of recycling one-by-one and ask for volunteers to place them in the correct area. - Do this for about 3-5 pieces (depending on time). Activity Two: - Separate students into 2-3 groups. - Give them a bag of recyclables and the different papers to signify different containers. - Have the students separate the rubbish as fast as they can (time them). - Groups with perfect separation skills get stickers.

Third and fourth graders had the opportunity to learn about agriculture; they discovered the differences between intensive and sustainable farming. Even though it is more expensive to implement, intensive farming yields the most product (plants and livestock) as farmers applying this technique increase the efficiency of agricultural operations by using the least amount

of land and reducing the size of the labour force. This method encourages farmers to use pesticides and fertilisers for plants, in addition to force feeding and giving medication to livestock. Students discussed the different pros and cons of intensive farming in class.

On the other hand, sustainable and organic farming focuses on keeping the environment healthy instead of producing the maximum amount of product, which is achieved by rotating crops, using fewer pesticides and chemicals, not separating animals and plants, and placing greater importance on the preservation of natural landscapes. Students also found out about the different pros and cons of sustainable/extensive farming:

Following this, students collectively did a quiz about everything they learned about in this topic.

Green spaces are areas reserved for plants and natural features. There are natural green spaces such as forests, plains and river valleys.


features include mountain ranges such as the Alps and the Pyrenees. There are also urban green spaces in the form of parks. These are important for city planning as these natural spaces are set aside by the council to keep them as green spaces. Within our capital city, Madrid, we have urban green spaces – including Retiro Park and Casa de Campo. However, in our village Villarejo de Salvanés, we can also access the local olive fields and some parks such as Parque de Ramón. Fifth and sixth graders worked on the importance of green and natural protected spaces. From reducing pollution and stress to improving water and air quality, students became aware of the wide range of benefits that green spaces provide. They finished the activity by designing and drawing their ideal green cities.

This was a short but intense term, in which our students became experts on nature and the environment. We did some excursions and visited different places to carry out our Erasmus+ project, which the students really enjoyed. Even though there are still some restrictions in place, I hope we could meet in the next academic year. See you soon my friends!