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District Schools in Bloom

St Albans City and District Council's Parks and Green Spaces Team are once again running the District Schools in Bloom competition for 2022!

This is now in its 9th year, and we are really pleased to be running the competition in partnership with Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust, Environment Agency, John O’Conner, Burston Garden Centre and Carpenters Nursery.

District Schools in Bloom 2022

Why take part in District Schools in Bloom 2022? Toggle accordion

The District Schools in Bloom competition is aimed at schools within St Albans City and District that are delivering the KS1 and KS2 Curriculum. The competition will complement elements of the Curriculum and will support children with their learning and development.

The competition provides an opportunity for pupils to learn about the principles of gardening and to develop their gardening skills. All the categories in this competition are based on the themes of wildlife gardening and sustainability. This will help pupils to understand the vital role that gardens play in providing habitats and refuge for nature and wildlife, as well as the importance of maintaining these in a sustainable way. These wildlife havens are essential, especially in the face of habitat loss and fragmentation in the wider landscape, and also as climate change becomes more evident.

District Schools in Bloom has been very successful over the last eight years, even despite the Covid-19 restrictions over the last two years. It has been thoroughly enjoyed by all the children and teachers who have taken part.

How will the competition be run this year? Toggle accordion

Due to the ongoing uncertainty with Covid-19, this year we have decided to run the competition in a hybrid format. This means that we will be offering a choice of in-person school visits to judge the entries at the beginning of July (depending on Government regulations and your school preference), as well as the option to submit digital entries only.

If in-person schools visits are possible, then we will be in contact later in the year to confirm dates / times.

Please continue to take photos of all your entries in the event that school visits cannot take place in July.

If submitting digital entries again this year, please collate and submit all entries, by the deadlines below. Please email all entries to greenspaces@stalbans.gov.uk

Please note, that the deadline for the Super Sunflowers category ONLY has been extended until September, to give the Sunflowers chance to grow to their tallest! Please send us your photos and measurements of your TALLEST Sunflowers as well, by the September deadline overleaf. Please also email these to greenspaces@stalbans.gov.uk

Please confirm your judging preferences (school visit or digital entries) when submitting your entry form.

Full competition details are outlined in the attached 'District Schools in Bloom 2022 - Information Leaflet'!

The categories! Toggle accordion

The Categories for 2022

 

There are SIX categories to choose from, and you can enter as many of these categories as you wish!

  • Crafting Nature: create a piece of artwork made entirely from natural materials.
  • Plant to Plate: try growing some fruit and / or vegetables in your garden, and demonstrate how this can be done in an environmentally friendly way. Show how the produce has been used and / or the techniques used to preserve it.
  • Scrapyard Scarecrow: use reused / recycled rubbish to make a scarecrow(s) which represent a current environmental theme / issue. The more creative the scarecrow(s) the better!
  • Super Sunflowers!: grow some Sunflowers and see if you can grow the TALLEST Sunflower!
  • The Wilder Award! (Part of the Wilder St. Albans Project) (*NEW!*): explore ways in which you can encourage wildlife to visit your garden, by helping to provide food, homes and habitats for a diversity of species. If you can, dedicate a small patch / area / pot or container in your garden that is just for wildlife! Leave it to go wild and see what grows! Carry out a wildlife survey too and see what species you can identify!
  • Water for Wildlife (*NEW!*): create and maintain features in a garden that can provide water for a diversity of wildlife, and demonstrate water saving techniques in your garden.

This year, we will also be awarding a new Sustainable School Award, to the school that can demonstrate use of the most sustainable practices overall!

Full details on each of these categories, and the Sustainable School Award, are outlined in the attached ‘District Schools in Bloom 2022 - Categories’ document!

Awards Ceremony Toggle accordion

We are hoping to hold our annual Awards Ceremony in September, depending on Government regulations.

The Awards Ceremony is an opportunity to thank all schools for taking part in the competition.

The Winners and Runners Up for each category will be announced, and certificates will be presented to these schools. Goodie bags will also be presented to all other schools taking part in the competition.

Prizes will be delivered to the winning schools shortly after the Awards Ceremony.

Please see Dates for your diary for further details!

How you can get involved Toggle accordion

For ideas on how you can get involved, and for possible activities, please see the attached 'District Schools in Bloom 2022 - Categories' document, and also the following links below on Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust website: 

Actions for WildlifeWildlife Gardening

Wildlife Watch

You may also wish to visit the Grebe House Wildlife Gardenwhich is located next to the Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust Head Office in Verulamium Park, St Albans. This is an excellent example of a wildlife garden. Please note that you will need to check the current opening times in line with the latest Government regulations.

Herts & Middlesex Wildlife Trust

The Winners of District Schools in Bloom 2021! Toggle accordion

The Winners of District Schools in Bloom 2021 were:

  • Crafting Nature: Bowmansgreen Primary School, London Colney
  • Going Wild!: Watling View School, St Albans
  • Plant to Plate: The Grove Infant and Nursery School, Harpenden
  • Potty for Wildlife: Crabtree Junior School, Harpenden
  • Super Sunflowers: Bernards Heath Infant and Nursery School, St Albans, with a Sunflower measuring 3.66m!

We really hope that you will be able to take part in District Schools in Bloom 2022. Please see below some important dates for your diary:

 

  • Confirm whether taking part by: Friday 1st April 2022
  • Judging (in-person school visits): Monday 4th July to Friday 8th July 2022  (depending on Government regulations and school preference).
  • Deadline for digital entries ONLY: Friday 8th July 2022. Please collate and email your digital entries to greenspaces@stalbans.gov.uk
  • Deadline for Super Sunflowers ONLY: Friday 16th September 2022. Please email your photos and measurements of your TALLEST Sunflowers to greenspaces@stalbans.gov.uk
  • Awards Ceremony: Provisional date - Friday 30th September 2022, 5:30pm to 7pm (to be confirmed later in the year, depending on Government regulations).

We're looking forward to receiving your entries!