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The Apple Tree Initiative

at Appledore Primary School
About us

A few years ago, Appledore Primary School began the process of developing a centre for enrichment and empowerment. Set within the school grounds, it would offer alternative learning spaces to meet the unique needs of every learner, whilst also promoting community spirit, sustainability and eco-awareness.  An experimental space for teachers, pupils, trainee educators and community members to come together, to develop innovative ways to exchange knowledge and share interests.

This website is an invitation to explore the initiative we are developing, and to find out how you can become a part of this great adventure.

The seven generations project

Find out more about our new heritage project, exploring the life experiences of seven generations of a local family with strong ties to Appledore's maritime history.

Our outdoor timetable

A primary aim of this initiative is to give all pupils, from Turtles to Year 6, many more opportunities to explore various aspects of their curriculum-based topics outdoors. The goal is to make these sessions available throughout the year and on a regular basis. Find out more about the topics we are currently covering.

What animals have been visiting our school grounds at night?

Click below to see photos of some of the animals that have been visiting when we have all gone home.

A whole-systems design approach

Permaculture principles inform how we develop our outdoor activities and resources in this initiative. If you would like to learn more about permaculture methods and maybe make some practical changes in your garden, life or community, the Freepermaculture Project, created by Heather Jo Flores, offers a very informative, free online course. It provides a simple overview of all aspects of permaculture and suggests some positive changes you can make.

We would like (after covid restrictions) to set up an informal social group, that will meet regularly in the art studio at the school - to explore this course together and to share knowledge of, or just an enthusiasm for, gardening in general. We can also look at inviting experts to give talks or demonstrations. If you feel you might be interested in joining this group, please contact lucy@appletreeinitative.co.uk

The planning team

In taking a fresh look at outdoor learning, it seemed obvious that we should start the process by listening to children, and that is what we did. We invited every child in the school to contribute ideas on playing and learning outdoors. The response was amazing. The children wrote about what they enjoy and how they feel when outdoors. Some gave us illustrated lesson plans, others expressed deep, emotional responses to being in nature. Their words and pictures, together with discussions, offered a clear road-map for how to make our outdoor learning relevant and responsive. Their ideas are woven into every aspect of this initiative.

Our projects

Click below to access information on our individual projects and larger initiatives, and find out how you can get involved.

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