A morning at Armitage Primary School
Back in June 2020, we were contacted by Haydn Bettles from Armitage Primary School in Manchester. He wanted to create a wildflower area in school, hoping to attract more bees and butterflies into the school grounds. He also wanted to use the area to teach children about the importance of bees and pollinators.
Given this is right in our sweet spot (we’ve helped plant over 10 million bee-friendly flowers since 2015) and we’re based just a few miles away, we were keen to get involved – so at the earliest opportunity I went to help Haydn. After all the fun of digging and planting, I caught up with Haydn to ask him more about his role:
What does your role involve?
At the school, my role covers teaching the children about food, cooking, farming and gardening.
Wow, that sound like a unique role!?
Yes, this role is rarely seen in Primary Schools. Before teaching I was a chef – I worked in multi rosette and Michelin standard restaurants. I wanted to make a difference and that’s why I came into teaching. I wanted to use my contacts in food and farming to help children better understand these subjects.
How do you inspire the children about food and nature?
We run lots of projects, from Hydroponic growing, to an allotment where we grow our own veg, have rare breed hens, to their food lessons and also sending every single child out to a farm every year (we work with around 15 different farms). We start teaching food at 4 years old, all the way up to 12 and the children are making dishes such as pea ravioli, risottos, stir-fries- we really want children to have these high skills to take with them into secondary school and in life.
What initiatives are next for the school?
We are finishing off a wildflower meadow and also looking at how we can save water and electricity. Our aim is to become carbon neutral or off-setting as much carbon as we can.
Well I wish my school had a set up like that! What Haydn is doing is absolutely fantastic and we are proud to partner with him and Armitage School. You can follow Haydn on Twitter @PrimaryFoodEd. I must mention that the planters were kindly donated by Bee Friendly Schools. More info at www.beefriendly.school