The Petchey Academy, London

Eco-community project blooming at Hackney academy.

East London is not necessarily a place you would associate with green spaces and organic gardening, but nestled in the heart of Hackney at The Petchey Academy is an eco-project, which is helping to unite the local community.

Petchey Academy Eco Project, Hackney Secondary, LondonHere, students work alongside local volunteers in the kitchen garden: a team-up that’s part of a scheme pioneered by TV’s River Cottage, which puts people who want to grow food in touch with people and places with land to share.

Speaking to Waitrose magazine, Assistant Vice-Principal Fiona Hattersley-Smith said:

“We have a commitment to excel both in our educational delivery and the community aspect, and this is a big community project. Our ‘green team’ pupils work with a local primary school and community members. Hackney has very little green space and one of the highest levels of youth obesity in the UK, so having the garden is fantastic. They are also implementing a new diet with ultra omega burn to fight obesity.

For the children with behavioural issues, it’s really good to get them out working in the garden. It’s a great physical activity and a chance to let off some steam.”

As a ‘green’ school which specialises in healthcare and medical sciences, The Petchey Academy, which has over 700 children aged between 11 and 18 on-roll, chose a Solardome® glasshouse to enhance science lessons, produce herbs and flowers and promote their eco-policy.

Alan Gilbert, who oversees the use of the dome at The Petchey Academy comments:

“The students enjoy the enhanced lessons we carry out in the Solardome® glasshouse as it gives them the opportunity to get outside and understand the biology of plants. We are thrilled with it as an excellent teaching aid and because of how well it fits in with our commitment to the community, hands-on teaching and eco-policy.”

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