Winning Schools Announced in Guildford’s Schools in Bloom.

Mayor of Guildford, Cllr Marsha Moseley, presents the award to Glenesk School, East Horsley.

Guildford in Bloom, in their 40th year, have been busy working with schools in the borough on their very own gardening competition and are delighted to announce that from some very high standard entries, Glenesk Pre-Prep and Nursery school have been crowned the overall winners of the competition.

Judges Shirley West and Caroline Coleman visited 11 schools in total in the space of a week ranging from nursery and pre-prep through to senior schools. The aim of Schools in Bloom is to get young children involved in gardening for both education and wellbeing. The children have grown flowers and food and shown a care for wildlife with some extremely imaginative bug hotels and bee friendly plants. During the pandemic it has also been a great advantage for the schools to have a purpose to teach outdoors, and in many cases, the garden has been used in many other lessons including maths, art, woodwork and more.

Judge Shirley West says: “The schools we have judged have been amazing considering the pandemic they have had to deal with. We also had to give the schools an extra week to get themselves ready because of half term being so wet and we know that the schools were incredibly grateful that’s why we judged 11 schools in one week.

We found just how hard the children had worked on their gardens with the help of their teachers because no parents where aloud to help or volunteers.

The aim of Schools in Bloom is to get young children involved in gardening for both education and wellbeing.

But we were so surprised to see beautiful healthy flowers and vegetables and strawberry plants being attended by the children. They were proud to be watering and weeding and showing us how they made the bug hotels for the creepy crawlies and welly boots filled with flowers. The children were proud to show us their journals of their plans for getting ready for Guildford Schools in Bloom. And they took in the theme of Guildford in Bloom 40th Anniversary with cakes made of flowers and bunting wishing us happy birthday and banners highly decorated.

We chose Glenesk School as the overall winner because of the work and dedication the teacher had put in with the children was outstanding. Their flower and vegetable plots were so healthy mainly by making their own stinky manure from nettles and the children’s knowledge of wildlife was superb. The whole idea of teaching gardening to such young children could not be ignored. The children were so happy working outside where they knew they were safe and could escape from being indoors.”

Sarah Bradley, Head Teacher at Glenesk School was as delighted as the children were with the Award, presented by Mayor of Guildford, Cllr Marsha Moseley who wowed the children arriving in full mayoral regalia. She said: “What an absolute honour it was to welcome the Mayor and her fellow Counsellors to our school Assembly this week when they came to announce the results of the Guildford in Bloom Gardening Competition. The children were incredibly excited about our ‘special guests’ and it brought our whole school community together. It was a wonderful surprise to find out that Glenesk had won! How exciting it was for our gardening club children to meet the Mayor and receive their certificates, trophy and vouchers. This has certainly put gardening and all its health benefits in the spotlight, and I am pretty sure that it will remain a popular activity at our school again next year. This competition has given us something positive to focus on and we will display our trophy with pride.”

Cllr Paul Spooner, Chairman of Guildford in Bloom said: “I am very pleased that we have been able to run a successful Schools in Bloom competition this year in the 40th anniversary year of Guildford in Bloom. Our thanks to all schools that have taken part and the judges feedback recognises the enthusiasm and efforts of all involved at every school. I would like to thank all involved with GiB and particularly the judges for visiting each school. GiB would not be as successful as it is without the support of sponsors and we would like to thank Guildford BC, Silverback Studios and Chapters Financial, our Platinum Sponsors, who along with all of our sponsors allow us to run the School Competition.”

The Schools in Bloom Award is an integral part of Guildford in Bloom and ensures that the love of gardening and caring for wildlife is firmly planted in the future generation.

The main Guildford in Bloom competition has now closed for entries, and from this week, judges will be out and about judging everything from front gardens to nature projects – winners of the main competition will be announced in September.

Further information on Guildford in Bloom can be found at www.guildford.gov.uk/guildfordinbloom Other schools who participated, with their scores are:

Boxgrove Primary School

Gold


Burpham Foundation Primary School

Gold


Christopher Robin Day Nursery

Silver gilt


Glenesk School

Gold and competition winners


Guildford Grove Primary School

Gold


Jigsaw School (Cranleigh)

Gold


Kings College Guildford

Silver gilt


Lanesborough Pre-Prep

Silver gilt


Puttenham C of E Infant School

Gold


Wonersh & Shamley Green Primary School

Gold


Worplesdon Primary School

Silver gilt