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Sopley Primary School

Sopley Primary School

Sopley's Secret Garden

We have created a Secret Garden that all children can access and learn in every day.

Since March 2023 we've achieved so much:-

  • We've cleared the site and laid woodchip.
  • We've fenced the garden and the pond to make it safe.
  • We've built wooden raised beds for vegetable patches.
  • We have a runner bean tee pee.
  • We have a sunflower house.
  • We've fixed our poly tunnel and are growing vegetables.
  • We've cleared the orchard and our fruit trees are blossoming.
  • We've planted 80 trees from The Woodland Trust!
  • We've created a strawberry planter.
  • We're growing a herb garden for our school cooks.
  • We've created a pollinator patch and planted wild flowers to attract bees, butterflies and insects.
  • We've built the most amazing bug hotel!
  • We've created a log circle.
  • Brought the pond back to life and had decking installed

There is still so much to do!

  • We want to create a covered outdoor classroom/s suitable for year-round outdoor lessons for the whole school.
  • We want to build a shed to store our gardening equipment inside.
  • We want to have our very own bee hives – so the children can become beekeepers and produce their own honey, beeswax soaps, candles and lip balms.
  • We need gardening equipment – we need wheelbarrows, spades, trowels, rakes, watering cans, bamboo canes, pots, secateurs, gardening gloves, string, scissors, water butts and guttering for the poly tunnel.
  • We want to build a covered seating area for learning around our pond.
  • We want to creat a hibernarium.
  • We want to buy night vision cameras.

We have given ourselves a HUGE fundraising target to transform this space and our school into the wonderful outdoor learning environment the children deserve.


If you have any ideas, contacts, knowledge or time you can lend us, please contact Abi, our school gardener, at or pop in and chat to us.

Follow our journey from the beginning to now on Facebook and on Instagram sopleyssecretgarden


Our RHS School Gardening Awards

We have joined the RHS Campaign for School Gardening and are working towards Level 3 (of 5) awards.

Level 1: The children created plans for our garden and listed everything they would like to grow. They know that seeds need soil, water and sunlight to grow. We took part in the RHS Big Seed Sow and planted sunflower and runner bean seeds. The children plan to create a sunflower house and a runner bean tee pee.

Award: We received a growing calendar, a certificate and lots of seeds!

Level 2: The children sprinkled 1000's of wildflower seeds in our garden and watered them. The children know that to help the flowers grow they need plenty of water. We planted onions, potatoes, carrots, lettuce, herbs and strawberries. We learned about the gardening equipment needed to prepare the soil and care for the plants. We also planted our pants to check the health of our soil as part of the Plant your Pants Campaign!

Award: We received a beautiful RHS Gardening book and a certificate!

Level 3: The children worked hard on a mini project which involved the design and building of a glorious bug hotel. The children are monitoring and recording the types of bugs and insects that live in the hotel.

Award: We received a £50 garden centre voucher and a certificate!

Level 4: This level involved learning about eating healthily and leading a healthy lifestyle.  Our children regularly pick herbs which are then used in the school kitchen for lunchtime cooking and tasting. So far the children have tried fresh mint, basil and parsley from our herb garden.

Award: We received a wonderful selection of fruit, flower and vegetable seeds to start are next year's growing project as well as a certificate.

Level 5: We are currently working towards the final level!