St John’s Church of England Primary School

The school moved to its present site in 1960 and now caters for over 240 pupils. Once known as Keynsham Parochial School, the school was founded in 1857, making it the oldest educational institution in Keynsham.

In April, the school applied to the Trust for a grant towards the creation of a Spiritual Garden designed by the pupils around a Friendship Bench. Both the bench and the gardens were in memory of a former pupil who died in the Malaysian Airlines crash in 2014.

The pupils wanted the space to be a peaceful, tranquil place where they could appreciate colourful flowers, fragrant herbs and edible plants such as strawberries. Plans for the garden show it will contain three wooden planters, a trellis and an arch for climbing plants, a log seating area, all surrounded by a picket fence with gates. Birds and insects will be provided for with the inclusion of bird feeders, bird table and a bug ‘hotel’.

Avon Gardens Trust were delighted to award the school £250 which will be used towards the purchase compost, seeds, plants and gardening tools. The pupils recently sent us pictures of what they would like their new garden to look like. It was a hard choice deciding which ones to put on our website but the three selected give a good impression of their ideas.

In a recent letter, the Headteacher wrote how ‘we can already see how all the children respect and appreciate this new peaceful space. We have pupil leaders who are looking after the garden and all the children grasp the need to use the garden appropriately’.

At the end of the summer term, the school had a Church Inspection and the Lead Inspector was extremely impressed with the Spiritual Garden and the positive views about it from the children.