The Totteridge Academy
Teaching urban students about the natural world
- Prize Category: Supporting Healthy Lives
- Format: Panel discussion
- Country: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
- Languages: Streamed live in English with automated captions in Arabic, English, French, Portuguese, Spanish and other languages to be confirmed later.
- Learn more about the Top Ten Shortlisted Schools in the Supporting Healthy Lives category on the World’s Best School Prizes website.
The Totteridge Academy, a mixed secondary school in Barnet, London, UK, has formed a partnership with local charity GROW to turn a disused field into 6-acre agroecological farm that it uses to grow produce for healthy school meals as well as for its subsidised and affordable veg box scheme for all. Working with GROW, the Totteridge Academy has developed a unique programme that allows students living in urban areas, many of whom are from disadvantaged backgrounds, to learn sustainable food growing skills and to appreciate nature and the world around them.
The Totteridge Academy has a diverse student population, with 34% speaking English as second or third language and 46% coming from disadvantaged backgrounds. Grounded in a philosophy that takes inspiration from Kaizen – a Japanese term meaning ‘change for the better’ – the Totteridge Academy tries to instil the values of self-improvement and high ambition in its students and has seen results significantly improve in recent years.
Through its collaboration with GROW, students are able to develop knowledge of organic produce and that education model is incorporated alongside other subjects: in their science lessons, students learn about compost and decay; in food technology, the farm helps pupils understand about how seasonality impacts vegetation. The charity also has launched a 10-week early support programme designed to promote healthy living amongst vulnerable young people and over 100 Totteridge Academy students have participated to date. From timetabled mindfulness and yoga workshops, to an in-house forest school and ‘Mushroom Academy’, the opportunities that GROW has generated have become an integral part of the school’s fabric and have helped to improve student mental health.
Join us for our panel session on how we are teachinga urban students about the natural world
Moderator: Chris Fairbairn
Speaker 1: Chris Fairbairn
Speaker 2: Lucy Hollis
Speaker 3: James Fox