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Weeton Primary School in Preston received a grant from The Tree Council to get the entire school planting trees!

Planting trees and creating young tree champs

Every year, The Tree Council provides grants for schools and community groups to plant trees during National Tree Week. The grants help schools to lay down roots for a greener future, by planting more trees and by educating young people about why trees matter. 

Weeton Primary School was among thirty-eight schools and communities groups awarded a Tree Council tree planting grant in 2018. The school used the funding as an excuse to turn the school tree-mad for the week! 

Students in the tree-themed assembly [Photo credit – Weeton Primary School]

A week of tree-themed learning

To kick off the week, teachers held a tree-themed whole-school assembly on the theme of trees, and why they matter.

In classes throughout the week, teachers found creative ways to weave trees into every subject. Children learnt how to calculate the size and age of trees using maths skills, and they also learned how to identify different trees using their leaves. 

Students also got outside and learned how to measure the girth of trees and had a go at sketching trees. Years 2 and 3 learned how to use natural dyes for crafts. Year 1 learned about the seasons and the spiky but lovable creature that relies on hedge trees for their habitat – the hedgehog!

Students doing craft activities using natural paints [Photo credit – Weeton Primary School]

A little rain never hurt anybody…

On planting day, Weeton planted fruit trees and British native species in their school grounds. The whole school came out to get involved. They also invited, parents, grandparents and carers to join the festivities. The fab teachers who organised Weeton’s tree planting project told us ‘it’s raining but everyone has wellies and waterproofs and there are hot drinks and biscuits for afterwards!’ (We agree that hot tea and biccies are an essential element of any tree planting day!). 

Students planting [Photo credit – Weeton Primary School]

By planting together, everyone got to learn how to plant a tree in order to give it its best chance at life. The parents and carers who came helped to ensure every tree got planted, as it can be hard work!

If you want to have a fantastic tree planting event like Weeton’s, consider doing the following:

  1. Write a letter home to parents inviting them to join the tree planting festivities, and reminded them to send pupils to school in winter-ready gear that they don’t mind getting dirty
  2. Arrange lesson plans that include learning about trees, from Geography to Maths to English to languages! For inspiration, check out Tree Warden Kate Bretherton’s fantastic website Hello Trees
  3. Get messy! As you know, students love activities that get them out of the classroom and engaging with nature, and the messier, the better!
  4. Split up your volunteer adults so that even the youngest children can have a go at planting.
  5. Most of all, don’t forget to HAVE FUN!

Around the country, schools, children and young people planted around a thousand trees during National Tree Week in 2018, Want to plant trees for the future? Find out more about our tree planting grant scheme and apply here.

Thanks to Weeton School for giving us permission to share their story.