children gardening

Greenfingers at Cockwood Primary School

Greenfingers is a horticultural project offered through the Co-operative College’s Young Co-operatives scheme. Students decide what to grow, nurturing, growing and harvesting produce. They also price, market and sell stock, as well as reinvesting the profits in future projects.

Links to the curriculum

Greenfingers explores practical and ethical challenges in producing food and plants, considering issues such as where food comes and its environmental impact. Schools have incorporated Greenfingers into their curriculum in areas such as Food Technology, Citizenship and Art and Design, as well as linking it to Community cohesion.

Community partnerships

Greenfingers is often run by schools in partnership with partners such as a local agricultural college, an allotment association or a local business such as a garden centre or farm shop.

Small rural school Cockwood Primary in Devon was one of the first schools to benefit from the scheme. The school allotment is available to use at lunchtimes as well as a teaching resource during lessons. Students created a sensory area, as well as a herb garden to grow plants to use in culinary work. The school cook food uses grown by Greenfingers students:

“I put it into the meals, especially those of the gardeners (pupils). There’s always a benefit to eating fresh and locally sourced food and there’s extra benefit for the children when they know they’ve grown it themselves. It gives an extra flavour – the taste of pride.”

Skills for life

The school’s Chair of Governors is also full of support for the scheme: “Greenfingers is helping the children feel like they can be ready to tackle anything in life.”

A Year 6 student agreed: “It’s really fun, something positive to do in lunchtimes. We’ve been given a greenhouse at home and I’m really looking forward to using it. Growing at school kicked off my interest in gardening. I’ve got this for life now.”


Co-operative College