Pupils’ judgment day

Judge Susan Smith with children from Grange Infant School
Judge Susan Smith with children from Grange Infant School
Ben Chudley''Ben Chudley warming up for his double event

Meet the runner ‘raffling off’ his body - with the winner choosing words for tattoo

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Children at a school in Rowner have been getting their hands dirty in the garden.

The youngsters from Grange Infant School had a visit from a South and South East in Bloom judge for the Blooming Schools category, which has attracted a record 100 entries this year.

The contest encourages young people of all ages to become involved in projects to improve school grounds and increase environmental educational opportunities for young people.

Judges look at the cultivation of flowers, fruit and vegetables, as well as what actions are taken to care for the environment.

Sam Myers, deputy headteacher, says: ‘We entered In Bloom for the first time last year and were thrilled to win a Silver Gilt Award. We’ve worked really hard again this year, but it’s been particularly challenging with the weather.

‘The children take pride in what they do and want the school to look nice for visitors.

‘Our grounds include raised beds, a vegetable patch, pond area and wild areas.

‘All this helps the children learn about where food comes from, plus they get to sample what they grow.’

Andy Shaddick, public affairs manager at Southern Water, which sponsors the Blooming Schools category, says: ‘Gardening at school gives some children an opportunity they don’t have at home and it teaches them to use water wisely which, as we’ve seen recently, is a precious resource.

‘It also teaches them important skills about patience and nurturing, which they can use throughout life.’

School judging took place last month and the winners will be announced before the schools break up for the summer.