The Cardiff Healthy and Sustainable Pre School Scheme (CHaSPS) provided a practical training session aiming to give preschool setting staff the knowledge and confidence to undertake a growing project in their setting.

The training was delivered by Grow Cardiff, and focussed on how to grow fruit and vegetables with children in settings whilst supporting their work towards the ‘Environment CHaSPS Booklet’.

The training enabled staff to develop their own outdoor garden spaces and become more confident to plant a variety of fruit and vegetables across the seasons.

The session covered, topics such as, how to set up the outdoor area for growing activities, seasonal fruit and vegetables, setting up a growing activity, learning how to plant seeds with children and how to expand learning opportunities for children through the planting experience.

14 staff have so far participated, with more training sessions planned. Staff who have attended the training are keen to continue with the planting activities that Grow Cardiff has shown them. Being trained to run the session in their own setting, gave staff confidence to expand their planting areas and use the ideas suggested.

The training highlighted that some setting staff would like to explore planting activities with their children but did not feel very confident at developing a ‘growing area.’

Grow Cardiff helped the setting staff to feel more confident at planting and setting staff could see how to run a planting activity in their own setting.

All setting staff that took part in the gardening workshop were asked to complete a questionnaire after the training. The feedback was very positive. 100% rated that the training was very good and would recommend the training to someone else. All the results came back stating that setting staff were now very confident or more confident at carrying out growing activities with young children.

Due to COVID 19 some of the settings were hesitant to let any trainers/visitors into the setting, however, because this was an outdoor training session it worked well.

Further growing activities in the settings following the training, encouraged the children to take home their plants and discuss their learning as well as monitor progress of their own plants with their parents and carers.

Setting responses:

The children at nursery really enjoyed the activity with Isla from Grow Cardiff. We planted strawberries, pumpkins and lettuces and we have really enjoyed watching them grow so far.  The children have been busy watering them every day and we are hoping to get to eat them very soon!

The children were thrilled to be able to take home strawberries they planted and were so excited to tell and show their parents at the end of the day. We have asked the parents to send us in photos of their progress.

Isla was amazing with the children and the children thoroughly enjoyed the session.  The staff learn a lot form Isla such as the condition of the soil we needed, how to plant correctly, tools to use and how often to water the plants. This made the staff more confident doing our own garden activities.

‘Lovely activity parents were really pleased with their plants to take home.’

‘After the session I now feel I could plant seeds and plants by myself with the children.’

For more information visit the Cardiff Healthy and Sustainable Preschool Scheme