Tying in several elements of the National Curriculum, St Agnes School’s year one pupils followed a fascinating trail through Trewithen Gardens in the footsteps of celebrated 19th century plant hunter, George Forrest.
Together with teacher, Sue Greenaway, and parent helpers, they were met by Trewithen’s Head Gardener, Gary Long – a modern day plant hunter himself. Gary told the children about both Forrest’s and his own trips to China, gave them a tour of the garden and sent them on a treasure hunt to find exotic shrubs and trees Forrest brought back to Trewithen where they have grown and flourished for over a century.
Left to roam and discover the beauty of the garden in small, supervised groups the children uncovered the garden’s secrets, collected petals to take back to school and answers for their treasure hunt before meeting for a picnic.
Sue said: “We came last year and would love to come again. What’s great about Trewithen Gardens, unlike the majority of others, is that you don’t have to stick to the paths, the children are allowed to go into the bushes and really explore. We never have a shortage of parents volunteering to help with this trip either – it’s a beautiful place, we all enjoy days out at Trewithen!”
Back in the classroom they used all the information gathered during the trip for art, science, history and creative writing projects.“It’s really rewarding sharing information about the garden’s history and guiding people as they discover our exotic plants,” said Gary. “I thoroughly enjoyed myself and I think everyone from St Agnes School who came on the trip did too.”