The Perse School

Prep hosts grand opening of new science garden

1 Oct 2015

Yesterday, on the 400th anniversary of the foundation of The Perse, a new science garden was unveiled to staff, pupils and parents at the Prep.

The idea of creating a science garden came from Prep pupils after the School received a donation from the Perse Prep Parents’ Association last year. The Prep’s School Council debated how to use this money, with the children voting overwhelmingly in favour of creating the garden in an unused area of the Prep’s grounds. Additional funds were raised for the garden through BBQs and concerts. Parent and garden designer Maryam Mortaz kindly offered to bring the children’s ideas to life.

The pupils have been involved at every stage of the design process, with each form group putting their ideas to the designer. Maryam also met with the Prep’s head of science, design technology, geography and the Head James Piper, to discuss how the garden could be designed to integrate into the curriculum.

The garden design is based on Fibonacci’s ‘golden ratio’, whereby when a series of numbers are added together, and squares are made of these widths, a spiral pattern is produced. The garden features a herb and a vegetable garden – the ingredients grown in the garden will be used in the Prep kitchen by chef Sean Johnson, and a range of flowering plants. If you look closely you will also see cubes of the iconic Wellingtonia tree which used to stand in the Prep grounds integrated into the design, helping to preserve an important part of the School’s history.

The garden has been much used so far, with pupils enjoying sketching the plants in their art lessons, and it will also serve as a beautiful area for outdoor reading during the summer months. A new Prep gardening club also began this term, with pupils learning how to maintain and water the garden, as well as labelling the plants. This club has proved particularly popular with the children, with over 140 children registering their interest in joining. Plans are also afoot for a weather station to be installed, where the children can monitor rainfall, temperature and wind speed.

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