GROW at School

GIY is piloting a school food growing and research programme in 32 primary schools across Ireland for the next 3 years (2019-2021), thanks to funding from The Community Foundation Ireland. GROW at School will examine the impact of food growing on primary schools and their students over the course of 3 years.

GIY has been running food growing programmes in schools for a number of years now and we have witnessed first-hand how food growing instils an appreciation and understanding of food in children and can help them to live healthier and more sustainable lives. GROW at School will help us to establish an evidence base for the impact these programmes can have. Primarily it will help us answer the questions:

  • What impact does food growing at school have on participating children? (Does it develop a knowledge and understanding of food? Does it result in behavioural change or healthier outcomes?)
  • How dependent is the success of a school food growing programme on the knowledge of the lead teacher?
  • How important is the garden kit, resources and curriculum plans provided?
  • How valuable is a school garden as a teaching resource?
  • What impact does it have on the whole school community?

Participating schools have received identical vegetable garden kits, a school garden plan and associated curriculum resources. They have also committed to completing surveys of participating students, parents and teachers at the start and end of each year.  The programme is specifically designed for primary schools and for the academic year with curriculum plans and teachers resource guides for the full school year.