Shute pupils create their own Botanicum

PUBLISHED: 17:30 19 July 2017 | UPDATED: 10:36 25 August 2017

The day was run by Ruth Worsley of the Legacy to Landscape project assisted by Samantha Knights, a parent who runs the school garden club, and project volunteer Sue Mattock.

Inspired by the scientific director of Kew’s book of the same name, every pupil at Shute Primary took part in the creation of a botanical logbook of the plants and trees within the school’s gardens.

The day was run by Ruth Worsley of the Legacy to Landscape project assisted by Samantha Knights, a parent who runs the school garden club, and project volunteer Sue Mattock.

Each child selected a different plant or tree and identified it with the help of books and then created a drawing and labelled it.

The older classes also looked up the scientific Latin name and carried out a written observation of the characteristics and properties of the leaves and flowers.

More than 80 different species were found in the grounds in total - with more yet to be identified.

Ruth said: “Each child became a plant hunter for a session and worked individually to make their own selection and then drawing. It was a great exercise in terms of teaching close observation skills and also making the children aware of the tremendous botanical diversity of their surrounds.”

The individual sheets and leaves are currently being pressed to allow the foliage to dry before being assembled into a large folio sized book. This will act as an important record of the flora at Shute in 2017 for years to come.

Earlier in the week, the KS2 children wrestled with clinometers and measuring tapes to find out more about their local ancient woodland.

Ruth said: “The children were delighted to bring maths outside the classroom.

“It gave students a great opportunity to compare the trees of Shute Woods with the neighbouring ancient trees of Shute medieval deer park by measuring their vital statistics.”

Clare Rinaldi, head at Shute Primary, added: “The children were delighted to be able to take part in such an interesting and diverse learning. It brought together many different skills and they benefitted hugely from it.”

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