Learning support coordinator Mrs Patricia Scrivener has been working with students within the ABLE WA program (Ability Based Learning Education) to build a sensory garden at the back of our Primary play area.
A sensory garden is designed to stimulate the five senses - sight, sound, smell, touch and taste and students were required to identify what types of plants or installations could provide this stimulus and plan how the garden would be laid out.
Students have studied recycling and the long-term effect of producing non-recyclable products, land clearing and its effect on the flora and fauna, and renewable energies. Mrs Scrivener has challenged them to use recycled items to build the sensory garden.
A boat pond and waterfall has been built using recycled junk from around the school grounds. The boat, pond liner, white plumbing pipe, black poly pipe, and the water pump were laying around in piles to take to the rubbish tip. Some holes in the pond liner and boat were repaired after a few mistakes, rethinks and problem solving. The pond and waterfall are now working.
Biology studies are undertaken whilst planting seeds and cuttings and monitoring their growth, taking photos of the life-cycle along the way, seeing what flowers they produce, and in some cases eating the fruits of their labours in the form of broad beans, snow peas and parsley.
Some plants have died off and the group are now collecting seeds to plant again. They’ve seen how fast plants grow once you fertilize them and recognised how the different seasons can affect growth.
“Working on a project like this means asking a lot of questions, requesting permission, borrowing and asking for help. We have therefore been practising our communication skills. Our maths knowledge has grown with trial and error, estimation, rough measurement, formal measurement, comparing, costing of materials and budgeting. We have become problem solvers and our creativity is growing daily,” explained Mrs Scrivener.
“Our new project will be making the compost for our sensory garden beds and garden borders made out of cleverly recycled items. We are currently gathering food scraps and small Masters milk bottles.
Learning as we go has been fun. Watch this space!”