“There is only one way to remove negative and destructive aspects of the lives of the young. All educators are obliged to show children so much beauty and truth that there is no longer room in a child’s soul for hideousness and falsehood – provide the children intellectual nourishment, lead them to new knowledge with enormous amounts of imagination and thought, to stimulate the child to gain new perceptions. All those things can only be achieved by artists and educators.”
“Gardening is great for children. Kids in the garden learn new skills and have fun, especially when they grow an edible garden. Children can learn about science, nature and the environment from growing their own food. The whole project creates opportunities for people to be a part of something, where they can experience a sense of worth and value. By transforming our environment, the value of appreciation was brought to every single individual that’s part of our school.”
SEED has spent the last 14 years pioneering Environmental Education in under-resourced schools across South Africa. We have done this by creating programmes that teach and support teachers to grow and use outdoor learning spaces, including relevant food production systems. We have written four textbooks with teachers and partnered with schools across the country to integrate Environmental Education into teaching practice.
Our work has shown us that it is possible to transform whole communities through growing a culture of outdoor learning at schools. We have found that it remains incredibly important to connect children to the ecosystems that support them to ensure earth stewardship in future generations and to inspire them to become powerful in their own lives through understanding gardening as a metaphor for social change.
The Schools Programme addresses the following issues:
- The education system undergoing change and teachers need help in learning how to deliver the new curriculum in a practical and relevant way. There is a unique opportunity to integrate the delivery of the curriculum alongside ecological and environmental education that also teaches numeracy, literacy, food security and biodiversity.
- Children are coming to school too hungry to learn (at least 25% of children in the Cape Flats are malnourished to the point that it affects their academic performance. Teaching them through food gardens delivers multiple outcomes in one effort.
- The kingdom of childhood is under attack – many children grow up in homes that live the problems associated with life in the Cape Flats (gangs, violence, drug abuse and parents who work in the city and are not present). Gardening enables children to see the power they have to create meaningful lives for themselves through connecting them to the daily miracles.
- School holidays are a vulnerable time for many children, as parents work and children are often left locked in at home or wandering the streets unattended. There is therefore opportunity to employ environmental education to engage with children in a fun and creative way while providing a safe and stimulating environment for them to be in while parents are at work.
We now offer the following Teachers tours, workshops and support:
Teachers Tours and Curriculum Workshops
The tour for teachers focuses on inspiring them to take learning outside. The tour brings alive the CAPS curriculum, which is then distilled in a workshop where educators engage with SEEDs new textbook Learning Adventures in the Outdoor Classroom, which they take away with them. The book provides guidelines and examples of lesson plans for teachers to deliver the national curriculum through the garden, and at the same time instil and appreciation for nature and build children’s ecological as well as language and mathematical literacy, for example
Teachers are invited to a supported Learning Adventure. These Learning Adventures deliver the CAPs curriculum in a hands-on way. SEED assists teachers to bring learning alive. We can tailor specific lessons for you and offer the following standard adventures:
Soil Grade 4 – Food chains, food webs, habitat and ecosystems.
Soil Grade 5 – Find out that miracles happen in the dark and cover all of your soil outcomes for the year in one day.
Renewable Energy Grade 6/7 – Explore the RDP house and get hands on knowledge experience of the free energy around us.
We plan to grow a supportive Teachers Forum that meets once a month and enables teachers to deliver teaching in the Outdoor Classroom, and to establish thriving food gardens at their own schools.
The SEED School Holiday Programme is anew programme that has grown directly out of requests from parents in the areas surrounding Rocklands Urban Abundance Centre, who really battle and worry about their children for 6 crucial weeks of the year where they are at work and their children are not at school. Due to a lack of financially viable alternatives, many children in Mitchells Plain spend these 6 weeks locked indoors watching TV as the outside threat of gangsterism, drugs and violence can derail a childhood and, indeed a whole life.
Our holiday programme responds to this dire need and keeps children safe and held. Through providing exciting curriculum-enriching, garden-based activities covering all learning areas, fun filled arts and crafts, imaginative story telling and more; the programme seeks to enrich and inspire these children, filling their precious souls with beauty. As the children explore the wilderness and cultivated ecologies that have been created at Rocklands over the years , they also learn about food gardening, with each child being supported to start a food garden at home.
“The SEED programme has managed to create a new love and appreciation for plants and crops in our learners. They really enjoy working in our garden and realize the value and advantage of growing your own crops. This for me is a key value seeing that we are
living in a rural area.”