Mr Turner is our Horticulturist and works tirelessly to ensure our children are given the very best opportunity to learn about the natural world. He has a full teaching commitment and works with every child at St Uny School. Another crucial aspect of Mr Turner's role is to help plan the development of outdoor learning spaces and habitats and and make our vision a reality.
All children have an entitlement to outdoor education whilst at St Uny. Each and every class has an allotted time working outside in the polytunnel or pond habitat.
The work which takes place outside is very practical and delivered in a small group situation so that understanding can be monitored immediately and misconceptions dealt with. Mr Turner is passionate about horticulture and has a tangible enthusiasm about all he teaches.
An intensive scientific, practical and environmental understanding will be built as your child moves through school and will offer a very firmly established appreciation of the amazing world in which we live. The work our children our engaged in outside the classroom at St Uny is well-planned with built in continuity and progression.
Our intention is to be a learning community working in a holistic way, by integrating spiritual, moral, aesthetic, physical, social, emotional and intellectual strands in our everyday practice. Our outdoor environment will be of a quality to match all that is going on inside the school, and will provide a rich and complementary educational resource. We offer a stream of first-hand experiences which anchor education in the real world and which supports an authentic curriculum for the 21st century.
Key Aspects of our Provision
1: Innovative and creative approach to teaching and learning.
2: Imaginative use of the International Primary Curriculum to meet full National Curriculum requirements.
3: On-going monitoring, assessment and analyses of teaching.
4: High involvement of and with parents, the local community and partners within our community.
5: A proactive approach and commitment to national initiatives.
6: An on-going commitment to the professional development needs of staff, the local, national and international communities.
7: Development and use of the outdoor environment as a teaching and learning resources and a spiritual reminder of the greatness of God.
In July 2007 we purchased and erected a polytunnel learning space. We then appointed a Horticultural Leading Support Assistant, Mr Turner, who is based outside in the grounds. All our children from Reception through to Year 6 spend part of each week in the poly-tunnel completing science linked experiments and activities and learning about the natural environment.
They do this to understand and learn through real experience but also because our world is changing. We have to foster in the children we teach a reverence, awe and wonder for the beauty of creation, we have a responsibility to create citizens of the future who care about the world in order to ensure they are ecologically aware and responsible.
All the units of work developed in the poly-tunnel are the result of a collaboration between the teachers and our horticulturist. They plan and talk together closely linking the activities to National Curriculum objectives but never losing sight of the fact that children need to engage in order to understand. Even our very youngest children love Science because that means doing, "digging, planting and growing."
We attain extremely high academic standards in Science and in 2012 acquired the Silver Science Quality Mark. In order to continually improve provision and scientific teaching and learning we have recently added and equipped a small laboratory. The Laboratory is used for research, microscope work and experimentation in controlled conditions.
The Pond & Wildlife Garden
Mr Turner planned the installation and its development. The Pond Habitat has been kindly sponsored by; The St Ives Rotary Club, St Ives Town Council, Underwild Landscaping and Cornwall Probation Service. This area is utilised throughout every year to deliver many areas of the curriculum.
developing and will evolve over the years into a fantastic resource for learning about habitats This habitat is stilland wild-life. We are so excited by the many, many exploratory opportunities this has opened up for our children. Our children will become familiar with the landscape, learn the names of flowers and insects, appreciate the amazing world in which they live and, hopefully, create the kind of memories we did as children and catch their own dragonflies in a jar!
Click images to enlarge
Spirituality & the Natural World
In 2010 our school was graded as outstanding for its distinctive Christian character during an Anglican School Statutory Inspection. This 'distinctiveness' we believe is evident in the quality of learning we provided for children about the world they live in.
Our children learn to be thankful for so many reasons not least for the world in which we live. We teach our children to be kind and considerate to each other, to make a positive contribution to their school, local and global communities. In order for these experiences to have impact and lasting effect children need to be immersed in the world from the very youngest age throughout their childhood to develop real relationship with all living things and an affinity with nature.
We believe that, as a faith school, we have a duty to teach children about our amazing world; to teach humility in the face of greatness. We are educating children today who will inherit a world that has been damaged by the human race, we have to ensure that each child appreciates the magnitude of their inheritance. We have to give our children an understanding and respect of the environment in order to equip them to change the future.
Additional Spaces for Learning outside the Classroom
Designed, planted and maintained by the children with the support of our volunteer, David. This space is used for quiet reflection, reading and sketching.
Willow fedge and Apple Orchard
Both these features were planted by the children a number of years ago and have thrived and flourished. The willow is harvested and used for art projects annually and very soon we hope to have our first Cornish apple harvest.
In 2013 we have added an apiary space to our grounds. We acquired funding to purchase our two beehives and the equipment needed. We are very proud that we are the first primary school in Cornwall to have an apiary and hope that this summer will produce the first St Uny honey.