Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots programme at Instituto Español Cañada Blanch in west London is educating students from both the Primary and Secondary schools in fundamental components of living harmoniously with the natural, living world and learning how best to work together.
Following the acquisition of a new plot of land within the school ground, students organised a series of bake sales in order to raise funds to be able to buy essential tools to be able to work the land and plant crops such as rakes, shovels, seeds and even a small greenhouse. Each year group has taken charge of a different element of the project, from planting vegetable crops from which to learn firsthand the life cycle of various plants in addition to discovering the pleasure and advantages of growing their own food.
The overall project incorporates both working on the kitchen garden and maintaining all the green spaces within the school grounds which, in themselves, have become educational resources. These younger generations have learnt the benefit of working on longer term projects such as growing vegetables versus the instant gratification of being continually connected to their ‘phones, which is an increasingly valuable lesson in addition to appreciating the advantages of fresh air, sunshine and of working with others.
In these ways the students have become more consciously aware of their environment and learn something of their potential in terms of how they can change and affect their environment for the good and benefit of all.