Sam and Sally find a new home!

Gareth Austin, Radio Foyle & NWRC with staff and pupils from Blighs Lane & Fountain Nursery Schools. (2606JC2)
Gareth Austin, Radio Foyle & NWRC with staff and pupils from Blighs Lane & Fountain Nursery Schools. (2606JC2)

The children of Bligh’s Lane Nursery have been handing over the Scarecrows Sam and Sally they made this year to the children of the Fountain Nursery Unit.

Gardening expert Gareth Austin has been working with the children in Bligh’s Lane Nursery this year on a Gardening Project.

Sam & Sally Scarecrow, with Blighs Lane & Fountain Nursery School pupils. (2606JC1)

Sam & Sally Scarecrow, with Blighs Lane & Fountain Nursery School pupils. (2606JC1)

Gareth and the children constructed ‘mini allotments’ in the school and the children planted flowers, herbs and vegetables throughout the year with great success.

But the children soon discovered that seeds were being eaten by the birds!

They were very concerned and had to find a solution to this problem. After some research they found out that a ‘Scarecrow’ would do the trick!

The children made a list of ‘Scarecrow requirements’. A parent provided some old clothes, whilst Gareth provided the straw. They then got to work on ‘Sam’. Sam stood proudly in the school but looked a bit lonely – Gareth was told that he needed a ‘girl friend’ and that’s how Sally came to be built.

The ‘couple’ have worked hard since the Spring and the Garden has flourished, but the children thought that Sam and Sally might be lonely when they had all transferred to Year 1... Gareth then suggested that the scarecrows be givento the children of the Fountain nursery unit as a special gift for their garden.

“The Extended Schools Funding has enabled us to employ Gareth this year”, said Mary Gillen, Principal of Bligh’s Lane Nursery.

“The Gardening programme compliments and supports the Pre-school Curriculum. The children have learnt about growth, planting, harvesting, and the weather conditions necessary for growth. They have learnt about the difference between sowing seeds and planting bulbs; the difference between flowers and edible flowers and the difference between wet and dry mini beast habitats. They have planted hazel nut trees, constructed mini allotments and built scarecrows – all delivered in a fun an exciting way by ‘Gareth the Gardener’! I couldn’t have wished for a better experience for the children in my school.”

On the day of the big handover the Bligh’s Lane pupils jumped onboard buses and headed to the Fountain; where the Fountain pupils had prepared potted plants as gifts for their visitors.

After the big handover all the kids headed down into the nursery playgroup where the real business of having fun together began!

The day of the handover was supported by the Northern Ireland Housing Executives Social Education Project.