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Community Service Day with the ADEC group

8 August, 2017

A group of students from United Arab Emirates recently completed a day of Community Service, working on designs for a Community Garden at Kings Bournemouth, to be developed in a student-led project. Teacher Anne Powell reports on their progress.

This summer we are really pleased to welcome back our students from United Arab Emirates for their summer programme of study. While the students are here they are taking the opportunity to experience a range of activities and educational settings, such as trying out classes from our range of academic courses here at Kings Bournemouth, and also going to visit Bournemouth University.

As part of understanding the aim of enrichment activities students in the UK take to build their student profiles, the group completed a day of Community Service on Sunday 23rd July. There was a range of projects available such as beach clean-up, working on the environment in nature and conservation areas around Bournemouth, and gardening. However, it was decided to bring the students together to help with a major project that Kings Bournemouth are planning — the creation of a Community Garden in the school grounds.

The aim is to create a garden that will be maintained by students and that will provide areas for the Biology students to learn about wildlife and plants, areas to grow some herbs to use in the school kitchen, plus a pond to attract wildlife. We would also like to have an area as a peace garden and memorial for students leaving Kings.

All the students were very keen to be part of a Community project, understanding fully the benefits of working towards this together, which led to lots of discussion on this. We started by looking at a presentation to understand what kind of garden could be created and to look at some ideas from similar garden projects. They then split into groups to start discussing ideas and working out the different skills of each student, like planning, drawing plans, presenting the project, etc.

ADEC students in the classroom working on Community Garden plans

Then it was time to go out and look at the area and measure up. Everybody got fully involved in this, making suggestions and noting down the vital measurements. Having discussed important points like positioning for the sun, thinking of which trees might drop leaves and where they could place water containers to collect the rain naturally, each group worked together to try to fit everything in the area and draw up a good plan.

Once rough plans were made, it was time for the skilled designers to take over, and as the groups gathered round their tables, they made suggestions to add to the design. They were all so enthusiastic, it was a joy to see! We could see some very promising designs developing and were looking forward to seeing the final products.

As we came to the end of the morning, it was time for the groups to present their designs. This is where those with presentation skills took over. They were all so well thought out, including all the ideas for the student memorial garden, bug hotels, pond and wildlife meadows.

The mutual support for each other's designs 'sealed' the morning of Community Service. We now look forward to being able to use the ideas when we start to construct the garden next term and will keep everyone informed of our progress!