Monthly Archives: July 2014

Gardening Club & Holiday Events

Meryl Pays A Visit

The gardening children were thrilled by a visit from Meryl Tshiamalenge today who came along to share her love and knowledge of gardening with an inspirational talk on ‘gardening without any money’ (Meryl’s great grandfather built Keystone, the beautiful old building that was a Youth centre in the town for many years).  The children listened with amazement at Meryl’s wonderful talk about making fertilisers from nettles (for vegetables that grow underground) and comfry for plants that we eat that grow above the ground.  We found out that bananas make great food for roses and that old kitchen roll tubes make perfect containers for germinating large seeds.  We look forward to a return visit from Meryl in the warmer weather next year.  We were also very impressed by Meryl’s impressive cycle from Kettering in the heavy rain  to see us!


‘Mrs T’ sharing her great love and enthusiasm for gardening with the club

The children enjoyed taking Meryl a guided tour to show her the apple and pear trees, flowers, vegetables and strawberries.  Meryl was very keen to teach us how to take strawberry cuttings from the runners that were producing new plants!


Meryl’s guided tour



Finding more pumpkins!


A Rainy Start Back For The Gardeners

Not even the rain could dampen the spirits of the enthusiastic group of children eager to get their willies  on for their first session of the year.  Lots of work was achieved including a tour of the vegetables, clearing the tomato patch, planting 4 trays of sweet peas (the wrong season but we like to experiment) AND painting some autumn leaves for our gardening club new display area.  Great fun was had by all!

The Gardening Club Returns 2014/15

At last another year of gardening lies ahead of us and we cant wait to start harvesting the fruit from the summer!  The vegetables and fruits have been waiting long enough which has given the perfect opportunity for children to observe the seed pods develop and disperse in their Science lessons!  A huge thank you to James Bedford’s mum for harvesting some of the tomatoes to make jars of chutney.

The list of dates of  arrangements  for collecting the children and the dates for the 4 gardening groups can be found in the enclosed note. Due to the great demand for this club it was necessary to split the numbers across the year.  A waiting list is in operation if spare places do arise throughout the year for those wanting to join in.

Garden club info 01415


Ready to Start...

Ready to Start…





P1070860 P1070861 P1070862 P1070863

A New Go-Ride Cycling Club for Kettering


Exciting developments for Kettering Cycling Club have been negotiated over the last few weeks with British Cycling (BC), Northamptonshire Sport (NS), Kettering Borough Council (KBC), Rothwell Town Council (RTC) to bring a British Cycling Go-Ride club (traffic free cycling) to the local area.  Watch this space for developments and adverts.  Please book up following the information on the flyer.Go-Ride October Half term014

Gardening Club Feast Day Summer 2014

Many thanks to all contributing and taking part in our annual Garden Club feast this year.   This must be at least our 8th event and the highlight of our gardening year to show our families around the gardens and enjoy tasting our produce together !  The gardens looked great – full of tomato plants, lettuce, strawberries, sweetcorn, potatoes, raspberries, runner and broad beans, rhubarb, apples and plums, herbs and beautiful hollyhocks and sweet peas.  The sun was out, the food delicious and company fantastic. Well done to the children who were able to drag themselves away from the feast long enough to give guided tours around the gardens.

Thank you for all contributions of seeds, cuttings, plants and of course labour!  I look forward to welcoming you back for another year of gardening in September.




School Holiday Events 2014

This Summer marked the 4th year of events with an eco and outdoors theme run from Brambleside and local environmental education centres.

If you are keen to keep posted on up and coming events please visit The Eco Explorers Activity Club Website.

Science In School

Dissecting Flowers and Pollinating Plants
Year 6 enjoyed learning more about the importance of pollinating insects and the function and names of the parts of a flower.  Sequencing the life cycle through annotated diagrams, role play and presentations helped us all to remember the key stages of germination, flowering, pollination, fertilisation and seed dispersal.

Oriental Lily


Dissecting and labelling and writing about the flower’s different parts


Team work!


Role Play – re-enacting the work of a pollinating insect! – making model flowers and transferring the pollen…


Can you identify our stigma, style, anthers and filaments?

Outdoors Learning

Kayleigh is Spreading The Word!

Since beginning her work as a volunteer reading dog at Brambleside 3 years ago through the Read2Dogs scheme Kayleigh and her handler, Vickie Birtley, have been dedicated volunteers at more than 7 other schools throughout the county – includes new ones in the pipeline this year!  Feedback from headteachers, staff, parents and children has been very positive and clearly highlights great enthusiasm for this fantastic scheme.   Kayleigh is currently free in Term 5 on a Thursday morning for schools open to exploring this eco approach to literacy in their schools.   In the holidays Kayleigh welcomes dogs from far and wide to join her in Eco-Dogs activities through The New Beginnings Dog Training Club with Kettering Borough Council which involves children learning more about responsible dog ownership, learning about the work of a town dog warden, checking their own dog’s micro-chip is still working (many are not!) and having fun learning simple agility and taking part in Kayleigh’s Krufts event.  More details on the Eco holiday website.  Please note that Kayleigh should take off her Pets As Therapy vest at these events but sometimes forgets!! Eco Dogs is not part of their scheme.

 Please contact Evelyn Clawson for more details (see home page for contact).


Kayleigh at Brambleside in a Summer holiday event in 2012


New Beginnings Dog Training Club at Brambleside Community Primary School, Kettering – Eco Dogs L-R Clorissa Paul (New Beginnings DTC), Vickie Birtley & Kayleigh, Evelyn Clawson (Eco Explorers AC), Steve Nurthen (Kettering Borough Council)

Our New Look Story Den

Thanks to Boughton Estate for their generous donation of 6 beautiful Black Poplar logs and to The Northamptonshire Community Payback team we now have ample space for learning outside in this very leafy area of our school.  The logs were delivered at the end of Summer holidays and the Community team have spent several Sundays installing them for us – not an easy task!  We are very pleased by the difference they have made to our school grounds over the past 5 months.

Alfie, our visiting maths dog and owner Lynette (a retired maths teacher) felt very much at home in their first outdoors maths lesson of the year.  The children couldn’t wait to get started exploring numbers, counting and applying their maths skills in the great outdoors with Alfie.




Numerous lessons have taken our learning outside the classrooms this year which have helped to fill our gardens full of fruit, vegetables and flowers, brighten up our front entrance area with planters, plan features for the new outdoors learning area proposed for next year and helped us learn more Literacy, Numeracy, Geography, Sport and Science to name a few subjects…  Visitors to our school, in the photos below include Mr Lane from Kettering Borough Council to talk about playground designs to Year 1 to support their topic work, Anita Smith, founder of the Wildlife Calling Conservation charity who organised the Conservation Day in May and Kellie King with her parent volunteers and Brambleside Beavers group who planted flowers, lettuce and enjoyed digging our gardens.  Here are some of the highlights the year…


The Kettering Beavers Enjoy Using Our Gardens


Dave Laine from Kettering Borough Council helped inspire great playground designs in Year 1


Measuring up for our new outdoors learning ‘classroom’ space


Anita Smith from Wildlife Calling at a Family Open day on Endangered Species at Brambleside in May 2014



Family Gardening Day June 2014


Loyal watering monitors kept our plants alive all year – the sunflowers have never looked so BIG!


An outdooors Learning event we took part in this year was ‘Empty Classroom Day’.  More ideas and lessons outdoors on their website…!/journal


Eco-Schools at Brambleside


Bramblesids Community Primary School first registered with Eco-Schools in 2003 and were awarded their first green flag in 2005.  Since then the prestigous green flag has been awarded every 2 years until 2011 when the first ambassador role was achieved.  Following 2 yerars of environmental projects, linking with other schools, raising money for worthy charities and developing new activities and lessons to promote environmental education, this ambassador role has been renewed for another 2 years. The school has been appointed ‘Learning Outside The Classroom‘ as a specialism.

Eco-schools is an international award programme that engages children in fun, action-orientated learning in their local communities and beyond.  Pupils are the driving force as they form an eco-committee and help to carry out an audit to assess the Environmental performance of the school.

There are 9 Eco-Schools England topics – Energy, water, waste, biodiversity, healthy living, Global Citizenship, litter, transport and school grounds.  For more information and a great source of resources to support your eco projects view  Eco-Schools England and The Pod

There are endless opportunities for linking with other countries around the world – eco connect page.

The aim of this website is to showcase our eco activities, advertise our community events and network with others via the comments tab to share ideas.

Evelyn Clawson

Science and Eco-Schools Coordinator

July 2014