The idea of a garden on an Olympic theme came out of a discussion about finding different and perhaps more unusual ways of raising awareness of the forthcoming Games. The appeal of the garden was that it was something children could be involved with over three years and, as the plants grew, so the level of anticipation would rise. The site was chosen to enable all members of the school community to admire the garden.
The garden features the design of the five interlocking rings, symbolising harmony between the peoples of the five continents and was planned with the help of Diana Jones, a local garden designer. The rings are formed from box plants which will grow into circular hedges. Other plants will be added over the next three years, culminating in a floral Olympic flame in the summer of 2012.
Enthusiastic gardeners from Year 4 planted the box plants on 24th September 2009. These children will be in their final year at the school in 2012 and, with the assistance of others, will be reponsible for the garden over the intervening period.
The children were all keen to be involved and are committed to helping with the garden over the next three years. Some quotes are:
‘It will look really good because the shape of the rings shows it is dedicated to the Olympics.’
‘I really like it. I am looking forward to watching the rings grow as we move up to Year 6.’
‘The garden will always be a good memory for the Year 4 children who planted the rings.’
This is the first time children have been involved in working on the gardens in the ‘public’ areas of the school.
As well as raising the profile of the Games and reinforcing the Olympic values through the symbolism of the rings, the garden is an area which everyone in the school community can enjoy.