Bantaskin Primary School

Bantaskin Primary School is close to the centre of Falkirk. It has a well-developed orchard, home to more than 10 fruiting apple, pear and plum trees, and some raised beds in the playground where the children are responsible for the planting, caring and harvesting of vegetables, herbs and fruit. Each year group have their own plot, including a growing area for the nursery.

The school has installed raised beds in the playground, dug out grass patches to put in growing beds and the nursery has grown cabbages, strawberries and peas in tractor tyres. The orchard produces pears, apples and plums.  The trees are managed by parent volunteers who prune them when required. Over 300 children are involved in a ‘hands-on’ capacity, including preparing the soil, planting the seeds, planting out the seedlings, watering, labelling, harvesting and cooking with the crops.

The school has a new kitchen classroom and primary 5, 6 + 7 have been using the produce from the school grounds to cook.  To date the children have made: Pumpkin and carrot muffins, apple crumbles, apple scones, Italian pasta, vegetable soup, and chocolate potato cake. This year, 2017, Primary 6 and 7 have also held a fruit and vegetable sale. Children have enjoyed eating chives and nasturtiums during break-time.

As a school we hope to use our kitchen and our garden to help develop a great understanding of why fruit and vegetables are important nutritionally, as well as to demonstrate why local produce is important to help tackle the environmental impact of food miles.

One of our greatest achievements is the establishment of our ‘Good Food Heroes’ programme.  This is a cooking project to help engage with parents in our school as well as develop their confidence and knowledge of healthy food choices. The course we have developed allows parents to gain their ‘Elementary Cooking Skills’ certificate which is a REHIS qualification. Furthermore, the efforts of our children have been recognised by Royal Horticultural Society who has awarded the school a Level 3 certificate.  Our next step will be working on achieving the level 4 which will be developed by our ‘pop up kitchen’ afternoon and selling plants in May 2018.  This will help the children experience opportunities of enterprise and business skills.