The Queen Elizabeth the Second Garden at The Leigh Academy

Three male Leigh Academy students painting together in an Art class.

Dear Parents/Carers,

Working in partnership with Dartford Friends of the Earth, Kent County Council and The Kent Tree and Pond Partnership, we are delighted to tell you that we are well under way with our plans to create a kitchen garden and orchard at The Leigh Academy to commemorate the platinum jubilee of Her Majesty the Queen.

A site has been chosen at the front of the academy, where we will be planting a kitchen garden this spring and an orchard this autumn. We are hoping to make this garden a productive site to grow produce that students can use as part of the food curriculum within Design & Technology. Students will be able to develop gardening skills in a new after school gardening club. Post-16 IBCP students will be designing, preparing and planting the site as part of the Service Learning strand of their Core Programme, wherein they will be developing their understanding of the IB Learner Profile Characteristic of being ‘Balanced’. This requires students to explore how interdependent they are on both one another and the world in which they live. We are also hoping that students from the Milestone@The Leigh satellite will be able to use the garden to broaden their horticultural experience. The garden will also feature a bench named in honour of Captain Sir Tom Moore, where members of The Leigh Academy community can enjoy a connection with nature and find a place for quiet reflection and improve their mental health. In addition, there will be a memorial to Mrs Sue Blackston, a long-standing member of staff in our kitchen, who tragically passed away during the Covid-19 pandemic.

How can you help?

Dartford Friends of the Earth have begun a campaign to raise funds for the project and are seeking donations of plants and materials from local gardening businesses, too. If you would like to make a financial donation towards the project, please visit the fundraising website here. If you would like to donate gardening equipment that you can spare, such as trowels, spades, forks, gloves, canes, etc, please drop them into the main reception – our students will be very grateful for any items you donate.

Yours faithfully,

Mrs Julia Collins

Mr Lee Forcella-Burton
Director of Post-16/IBCP Coordinator