Every year Barn Croft Primary School holds an international themed Big Lunch, when children and their families are invited to bring food into school to share with each other in celebration of their cultural heritage.
Shared values that show respect for every culture in the school and wider community meant Barn Croft was perfectly placed to hold a Commonwealth Big Lunch to mark the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London in 2018. Barn Croft attracted the attention of The Big Lunch patron, Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cornwall, who decided to pay a special visit to see the school’s preparations. Together they made bread and later, Her Royal Highness also gave the community a stunning cake for their Big Lunch table.
National Lottery support
Over the past few years Barn Croft teachers have been expanding outdoor learning activities, seeing this as a hugely beneficial way to engage children with the whole curriculum and wider world. In 2018, the school secured a £10,000 National Lottery grant to support the programme.
Expanding from limited school grounds into a much larger local allotment space, National Lottery funding equipped the school and their local community with a few basic tools and the guidance of an experienced organic gardener. A team are working together to turn the allotment into a thriving community project that helps kids and their families learn about growing good food to eat.
The benefits impact the wider community who join in on the allotment. A series of built raised beds are in planning to offer people who don’t have gardens opportunities to get out and experiment. As different people meet and mix on the allotment, they’re making friends and learning how to grow their own food together, strengthening bonds and building a stronger sense of community.
Plans for the future
In 2020, Barn Croft School has ambitious plans to do even more to bring people together. The allotment team are preparing to grow a show stopping giant pumpkin from a very special prize winning seed, the school will be holding another international themed Big Lunch and a Disco Soup is also on the cards. There’s lots more to come from the little London school that holds a big place in the hearts of their local community.