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Country in the city: Nature waits inside Finsbury school gates

Hugh Myddelton Primary School celebrates new outdoor learning space

14 June, 2019 — By Emily Finch

Pupils have been given the task of ensuring their pond stays plastic-free

PUPILS will be met by chickens and a goat as they arrive at school, thanks to a new outdoor learning space.

Students and teachers at Hugh Myddelton Primary School, in Finsbury, marked the launch of their new green space with a party which featured musicians from City University on Friday.

On the bridge: Yasmin, 10, Jessica, 10, Sophia 8

Gardens in front of the school, rated “outstanding” by Ofsted, now house a pond, chicken coops and an allotment space for children to grow their own vegetables and flowers.


Executive headteacher Nathalie Parker said: “The learning space is terrific and the children will be able to see vegetables growing that they have only until now seen in supermarkets. It’s important for them to know where their food comes from.”

Florence, 7, with the school hens

She said a “complicated rota” had been set up which will see teachers and parents look after the goat when the school is closed.

The goat will go to Freightliners City Farm, in Holloway, for short stretches.

Pupil Carly, 9, said: “Our job is to try to take care of the animals.”

She is on the school’s eco council, whose task is to ensure the school pond remains plastic-free.

Islington’s Mayor Cllr Rakhia Ismail and executive headteacher Nathalie Parker 

“I have to fish out anything that goes into the pond which isn’t meant to be there,” she said. “I would tell people who throw rubbish in that ‘This is not just your land, it’s for everyone’.”

Carly, 9, in the eco-council 

The Parent Teachers’ Association helped organise the creation of the new learning space.

Parent Claire Balak said: “We have brought the countryside into the city.”

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