Research Question: Working with small groups of children on the allotment.

Researcher(s):  Luci Gorell Barnes and Sarah Hampson

Setting(s):  Speedwell Nursery



Speedwell Nursery School and Children’s Centre rent a Bristol City Council allotment site about 5 minutes’ walk from the setting. The allotment offers a peaceful environment, opportunities for sensory explorations, the chance to be in nature and a purposeful way of working alongside each other. It is a particularly effective place to work with children who are particularly vulnerable or have additional needs. This report describes sessions developed by Sarah and Luci, which aim to build children’s confidence, language, empathy and engagement in learning.

Luci Gorell Barnes and Sarah Hampson have worked together at Speedwell Nursery School and Children’s Centre for 12 years. In that time they have collaborated on many creative projects and wild interventions together. Sarah is a Specialist Nursery Nurse and Luci works as Artist and Gardener in Residence.

Sarah is a very experienced practitioner who specialises in supporting children to develop their speech and language. She works extensively with story telling and mapping, encouraging children to go deep into their imaginations and create their own stories.

Luci’s work uses a range of art forms to explore themes of childhood, isolation and belonging. She develops flexible and responsive processes to enable people to think imaginatively and her practice contributes to a community of disciplines including family support and education.