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Damers First School – Garden of Hope

Damers First School Garden of Hope 2022

Damers First School were awarded a grant by Jane Goodall Roots & Shoots Programme in 2020. This will be going towards our Garden of Hope Project.

Harmony Principle – ONENESS

The principle of Oneness teaches us that whilst each principle of Harmony in Nature highlights a different perspective on the way in which natural systems work, they ultimately fuse into one. In the same way, we too are wholly part of this oneness since we are Nature. The more we appreciate this, the more likely we are to think and act in ways that value this sense of wholeness.

In educational terms, this principle reminds us of the importance of finding our place and our peace in the world. It provides a spiritual dimension to this learning and a chance to nurture pupils’ wellbeing through mindfulness, meditation or contemplative practices, through times of stillness and presence in our busy lives.

In school every week we have an assembly first thing on a Monday morning for Years 1-4 and during this assembly a theme is introduced for the week that we would like the children to think about.

The themes are chosen to fit in with our ‘Harmony’ principles (which are the principles of nature which underpin all of our curriculum planning) and our current ‘Jigsaw’ work (which is the work that we plan to support children’s personal, social and health education).

Our new situation provided us with an alternative way to see Harmony principles in action, in small steps and through the eyes of the children. Never has there been a more relevant time to explore these principles as a family.

  • In a virtual assembly children and families were invited to think about the many precious gifts that have been given to us during this time of lockdown. Time, opportunities to stand and stare, an appreciation of nature, gratitude, a focus on the simple things in life, a deeper understanding of our children’s learning, the role of the teacher … the children were asked to think about the many positive changes that have happened and the things that they, and their families, desperately want to hold on to post-lockdown – the ‘Lockdown Legacies’.

Words of wisdom from Master Oogway in Kung Fu Panda.

‘Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery but today is a gift – that’s why it’s called the present’.

This is a clip which was used in a training session with teachers recently, when we focused on the development of mindfulness within our own lives as well as within the classroom. Teachers share mindfulness links on their blogs and mindfulness activities are used regularly in our school.

  • Children were reminded that we are all part of a very big ‘whole’ and now more than ever, we are hopefully all able to see clearly the many connections that exist between ourselves, our families, our communities and the world around us. What are the gifts that have been given to us during this time which have made us happier as a family or stronger as a community?
  • Children and families were asked to think of 1 word to describe the most positive ‘Lockdown legacy’ for them.
  • Plan to use these words to inspire a community project to build a new garden together in the school grounds that will become a visual reminder of this time and will provide us all with the opportunity to remember the positives that have emerged and will hopefully stay with us long into the future.
  • We wish to create a garden that is both inward facing and outward facing, allowing us the chance to look at what we have but also to look towards our community as we are all doing during lockdown.
  • We want our garden to provide us with an opportunity to sit and reflect and remember. And to remind us of our symbols of hope and include our important legacy words.
  • Families were invited to generate ideas and send them in.
  • Families were invited to create words to form a centerpiece for our design inspired by this poem
  • We have had many responses from children and families for ideas and wishes for the garden which will be explored and incorporated into our final design.
  • We hope families will have the opportunity to experience pride and a warm glow as they walk past it for many years to come and remember the positives that emerged in 2020.

Children’s LEGACY WORDS which will be at the core of our design.

Hope Nature Wonder Fun Love Family Challenges Happy Patience  Hugs Focus Sisters Friends Playing Colour Grateful Thankful Blessed Strong Appreciate Brave Inspiration Outdoors Together Adventure Loved Cuddles Kindness Togetherness Connected Innovative Harmony Learning Community Happiness Optimism Positivity Time Courage Creativity

We plan to start building the garden during the Summer Holdiays surprising the children when they return in September.

Healing Garden A3

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