Letter: Compost on the curriculum

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The Independent Online
I WAS delighted to read about Tenterden junior school in 'Seeds of the future' (Review, 6 March). School gardening has a long history. The Kent Association of Teachers of Gardening was formed in 1950, representing some 50 schools. In 1963 there was a national survey called Rural Studies in which I gave the total of 1,370 schools maintaining teaching gardens; 1,282 of them had greenhouses.

Gardening started in schools in 1914-18 and grew in 1939-45, after that it became less utilitarian and included fruit, flowers, shrubs and vegetables. The title 'gardening' was used for a subject in 494 schools; rural studies or rural science in 722 others.

In the 1970s the emphasis moved to 'Environmental Studies' but only last year a 'gardening' teacher retired from our local school. The subject was then dropped.

S McB Carson

Wells next the Sea, Norfolk