The Victorian Schools Garden Award (VSGA) recognises, rewards and celebrates the gardening achievements of schools, their students and community in existing and newly established school gardens. It is run annually across both metropolitan and regional Victoria.
The Victorian Schools Garden Awards (VSGA) recognise the importance and value of gardens and outdoor spaces in progressive modern education.
Established by Paul Crowe OAM and the late Kevin Heinze in 1977, the Victorian Schools Garden Awards have a long history of bringing the joy of gardens and gardening to school aged children. Held annually, the Awards program recognises new and existing gardens and rewards the achievements of students and school communities in school gardening.
For the last 3 years Bonbeach Green Thumbs have submitted into the awards because the VSGA recognises, rewards and celebrates the gardening achievements of schools, their students and community in schools.
2015 and 2016 saw the garden at Bonbeach P.S being recognised and presented with Regional Awards for the efforts made to bring the school garden alive for the students and wider community.
Each year the Green Thumbs garden specialists at Bonbeach, select a handful of students to attend the award ceremony. The students that stand out for their dedication, enthusiasm and initiative are the ones that are chosen to represent the school.
Celebrating 40yrs of Victorian School Garden Awards this year, it was an honour to be selected to plant the commemorative tree in the Royal Botanical Gardens before the awards with Tim Entwisle Director and Cheif Executive of the Royal Botanical Gardens, Judith Graley MP Parlimentary Secretary for Education and Craig Taberner, CEO of Nursery Garden Industry Vic. We now have a tree to visit to celebrate our acheivments but also to celebrate what it is that brings us all together - nature.
The awards ceremony took place under the beautiful oak trees in the Botanical Gardens, Melbourne. Schools from all over the state were recognised for their achievments and awarded with certificates and garden industry vouchers to purchase items for their gardens. Bonbeach was one of these schools receiving a Regional Award but also a State Award, followed by the the most coveted, The Kevin Heinz Perpetual Award!
Green Thumbs are very much looking forward to the possibility of installing a green house with the winning funds to help create another dimension to the garden. The full circle of life will be celebrated as the garden provides seeds for furture plants to grow and learn from.
It is an honour to be recognised for our achievments in the garden but also to represent the Victorian Schools Garden Awards for the 40th year anniversary. There are so many people to thank but none more the children who enter the garden at Bonbeach P.S and make it what it is! They are the ones who bring the energy and excitment. The wider community for all they do to help the garden grow, the principal for believing in and supporting what can be achieved by many hands, the teachers and Amy & Jade, the driving force behind it.
NO PACKET NOVEMBER aims to teach our children that real food is grown.
Join us as we get kids excited about real food minus the wrappers!
WHAT DOES IT INVOLVE?
We want you to reduce the amount of packaged food you put into your kids and your own lunchboxes for the month of November and replace with real food/home baked items.
supported by Growing Green Thumbs
There is nothing better than harvesting your own food that you have grown! All grades have been harvesting their crops that were planted in winter.
Grades 2's got to pick their strawberries that they grew in the Vegepod and what a crop it has been so far. Deliciously sweet and juicy strawberries were shared amongst the grade. They continue to care for their crop and look forward to many many many more yummy sweet organic strawberries.
Grade 3 and 4 spent an afternoon of harvesting their late winter crops with squeels of delight when pulling up carrots. Curly, bent and twisted the carrots were a favorite! Not to mention beetroots, lettuce, spring onions, broccoli, cauliflower and peas.
Students planted a sunflower seed & pea seed in a recycled coffee cup to take home and nurture. Kids are now seeing the effects of what water, warmth and air can do to a seed. It Grows! When growing food can be done at home in a small container, the message of growing your own food stays with them longer than just a class at school.
Maintaining their crops was done with pride and proved to be very successful with a great harvest of different types of foods. Students picked caterpillars from their brassica plants and even hatched a cabbage moth! They sang songs to their beetroots.
Once a week for 9 weeks, students learnt in the garden under the school's science curriculum. They learnt how to use tools safely, the life cycle of worms, life cycle of seeds, organic pest control, life cycle of cabbage moths, planting methods, companion planting and were tested at the end. Written by Growing Green Thumbs, the program was enjoyed by students and teachers.
As always a big thank you to Scotsburn Nursery for providing the school with seedlings! and the secret deliveries of seedlings that appear every term from a very special lady called 'nonna' !
Happy growing, harvesting and eating.
Lessons are always being learnt in the garden. Last Summer we failed to produce any pumpkins or zucchini's because the flowers were being picked and used as decorations for some seriously amazing, competition worthy mud pies.
Plant life cycles were discussed with students in the garden with a focus on pollination and flowers so it was understood that the flowers have a purpose and are not there just to look pretty - which they do.
The students needed a flower garden that could be used for these and other creative ways, like perfume potions, snail salads, head crowns and boquets for the teachers.
Grade 2 students were encouraged to plant flower seedlings and seeds in a dedicated area to create a flower garden just for them - and yes to be picked. If they proved they could nurture and care for their plants, in return we would purchase some bird houses or similar for them to add to their flower garden. Lunchtimes developed into a little flower club ranging from Prep to 6!
Weeks went by and the flower garden was being nurtured, soon becoming a fairy garden that included a gym, a cafe, movie cinema, library. A whole fairy city had been created.
Our friends at the Chelsea Men's Shed were delighted to make some little houses from recycled timber for the flower garden. Grade 6 students assisted in attaching the houses to stakes. The preps dug holes for the stakes, and of course the Grade 2 took charge as foremen and directed them where to go.
To see friendship circles across the year levels forming over flowers and faeries and the sharing of houses and flowers. . We decided to install a couple of letterboxes to encourage literacy via letter writing - bringing more imagination into the garden.
Today, Fairy Fushia replied after she discovered a letter during her flying lessons!
Grades 2,3 and 4 have spent 3 weeks learning in the garden this term. They have learnt about worms and looked at their bodies under magnifying glasses. They are experimenting with seeds and how they grow, planted seeds for comparison growths and planted out lots and lots of seedlings.
Winter/spring veggie plantings consist of carrots, broccoli, beetroots, lettuces, onions, cabbages and herbs. The biggest thrill for the grade 2's has been creating a new strawberry patch.
BAMBOO and LOGS - Kids at play.
Everyday, logs used as garden edge were turned upside down by eager kids looking for bugs and beetles. We decided rather than putting these logs back in place each day, to give the kids their own logs. We waited until some local cut down a tree and had it cut into pieces small enough to handle. We also have a local family who grow bamboo, and often drop 3m lengths off for use in the garden.
We left the logs and bamboo in the garden for the kids to discover! First they created a log maze, then we found a water fountain, a cafe, a fort, an open fire.....it changes every day and it's amazing to see what their imagination brings each day.
Bamboo was made into giant tee-pee's and structures, and eventually climbing frames for our peas.
Nature Play encourages kids social development. It gives them opportunities to learn how to work in groups, including learning how to share, how to negotiate and how to resolve conflicts, and problem solve together. Achievements are celebrated and not so successful attempts are re-negotiated until they are happy with their masterpiece. Check out some of the imaginative nature play in our garden...
Term 2, the grade 5/6 students spent time in the garden learning about biological sciences. They tested the pH levels of the garden bed soil, learnt all about seeds life cycles, planted and experimented with what seeds need to germinate and recorded growth comparisons, designed and built tee-pea structures, investigated waste and composting, learned how to care for chickens, taste tested, picked and created their own pizza's and finished with an amazing excursion to Pure Peninsula Honey learning all about bees and honey production.
Grade 5/6 students have been having fun in the garden this term! They are actively involved in soil testing, planting food crops, building structures, learning about water waste, food waste and composting. Each student keeps a workbook that is detailed & provides great insight to a behind the scene look at their school garden. They are half way through their term and are really keen to learn more, grow more and play active roles in their school garden.
Hi, I'm Alicia, the chicken monitor at Bonbeach Primary School. I take care of the chickens and check for eggs, I've been on the job a few days now and so far and so far I have found 5 eggs. We have three chickens at BPS at the moment all of which are sadly nearing the end of their lives. Out of the three chickens, my favorite is the one with white neck feathers and a flaking crown which is the red bit on a chickens head, this chicken I like is the oldest of the 3. The chicken which I'm least fond of is the one which is very pecked because she doesn't like being held like the other 2 do. Because our chickens are getting old we're thinking of getting some more the types I want are chicks because they are so cute and fluffy but also some black and white ones because the ones we have at the moment are brown.
On Friday's I've decided to clean the coop weekly. I go into the coop every lunchtime with a couple of other kids to check for eggs and keep the chickens company. I stay in the coop all play.
I've learned that the reason chickens heads don't move when you move their body is because since chickens can't move their eyes they have to turn their heads and if their head is moved every time their body's did the world would be blurred for them.
I find it really fun to be the chicken monitor because I love animals and chickens are no exception.
By Alicia E
The school chickens will soon have a few new feathery friends. Alicia is currently researching the types of chickens she would like to care for. Her enthusiasm for our feathered friends is admirable and her willingness to learn all she can to make the school's pets lives better by giving them her love and care. Great job Alicia!
Melbourne Cup Day saw our juniors missing out on week 2, not to worry we will make up for it at the end of term. Prep/1's have taken ownership of the organic fruit orchard and weeded out all the grass to prepare for sunflower seed planting. They were each given a handful of seeds from last years flowers to take home and plant. There are lots and lots of lady birds in the garden at the moment, with everyone getting extremely excited when a little red lady bird lands on them or they get to pick one up.
Our senior kids finished filling all the beds & Vegepod with soil and compost which means its now time to plant! We cant wait to see what they decide to plant in their Pizza garden. This week the girls had a turn at cleaning out the chicken coop and changed the water, raked the floors and topped up the feed. Eggs were taken to the office for sale and the happy chooks got to eat a bunch of freshly weeded scraps from the garden.
A visual diary of the garden at Bonbeach Primary School built by Growing Green Thumbs & many many little hands
MAKE SURE YOU VISIT BPSGREENTHUMBS ON INSTAGRAM FOR DAILY PICTURES
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