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Champion gardeners at school

PUBLISHED: 14:27 01 July 2009 | UPDATED: 15:17 07 July 2010

Tristan Standley-Gould, seven, with the sunflowers at the Dereham Church Infants School's garden.

Tristan Standley-Gould, seven, with the sunflowers at the Dereham Church Infants School's garden.

Champion gardeners at a mid-Norfolk school are celebrating after scooping an award for their horticultural achievements.

Dereham Church Infant School and Nursery has received a £1,000 prize after winning the Growing Food Project, a school competition run by the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association.

Champion gardeners at a mid-Norfolk school are celebrating after scooping an award for their horticultural achievements.

Dereham Church Infant School and Nursery has received a £1,000 prize after winning the Growing Food Project, a school competition run by the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association.

The St Withburga Lane school has transformed a former grassland area into a garden where pupils now grow a whole host of produce including carrots, runner beans and pumpkins.

Each year group has its own plant bed and 64 pupils have also joined the school's gardening club which meets on Monday lunchtimes.

Teaching assistant Suzi Senior, who runs the gardening club with Claire Bryant, said: “We are thrilled to win the competition because the children have worked so hard on the garden. The real reward is the happy faces of the children and their enthusiasm.

“The garden is teaching the children where the food comes from. We involve them with the planting and watering, and the caring for the garden as well as the harvesting. They take the vegetables to the canteen and then get to eat them for dinner.

“It has made many of the children more adventurous in trying different types of food and a lot of the children are also doing gardening at home now.”

Bethany Holland, six, said she was excited that the school had won the competition.

She said: “I am really proud. It is important to grow healthy food.”

Seven-year-old Tristan Standley-Gould added: “I like gardening at school because you learn more about nature and plants.”

The school was presented with the award at the Royal Norfolk Show.

Mrs Senior said some of the options the school was considering spending the money on included a new irrigation system for the garden, some more garden tools and creating a small orchard.

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