April 2024

Mayor of Bexley opens innovative science garden at Lessness Heath Primary School

A newly refurbished Science Garden, crafted to be a hub of natural life that inspires children, has recently been opened by the Mayor of Bexley at Lessness Heath Primary School.

The school began the project to create a new Science Garden in the summer of 2023 after one of the school’s governors contacted Neil Moakes, a local freemason and green-fingered gardening enthusiast. Together, Moakes worked with the school and utilised his connections to raise funds and gather like-minded friends to help. Work continued into the new year, with the grand opening taking place this Spring.

The Science Garden was created so that pupils could experience an elevated immersive curriculum. For example, pupils can now witness and take part in the entire process of growing a plant, from planting to seeding to nurturing it. Embedding the Science Garden into the curriculum will also be an important way to teach pupils about sustainability and to improve their wellbeing, as shown by their enthusiasm already for spending lesson time in the green space.

The Garden now includes a revamped green space with new flower beds and a whole array of exciting plants, a re-built space for pupils to sit and learn together, and a ‘bug hotel’ which attracts wildlife to the garden and facilitates various habitats developing.

The school celebrated the garden opening by welcoming the Mayor of Bexley, Councillor Ahmet Dourmoush, to cut the ceremonial ribbon and officially open the garden to the children. This was preceded by an all-school assembly where pupils took part in presentations celebrating the new garden, followed by a beautiful performance of ‘A Wonderful World’, using Makaton – a sign language that enables people with disabilities to communicate.

The entire school community is very excited by the opening of the Science Garden. Teachers at the school are already delivering lessons that involve exploring the outdoor area and connecting the natural world with the curriculum, helping pupils strengthen their knowledge and encourage their curiosity.

Ann-Marie Bolton, Headteacher at Lessness Heath Primary School, said:

I want to say a huge thank you to the Mayor for coming down to open our new Science Garden. I also want to extend my sincere gratitude to the Sons of Soil: Kevin Hewitt, Phil Gray, Pete Sullivan, Bob Wilson, Roger Lewis and Adam Theobald, as well as Mark Estaugh, Adam Theobald, Gordon Rollo, Matt Hewitt, without whom we could not have created the garden. Their work over the summer holidays to raise money, and design and create the garden has brought our green space alive. In particular, I want to thank Neil Moakes, without whom none of this would have been possible.

“This state-of-the-art space has already been having a brilliant impact on our pupil’s learning and wellbeing. Lessons are being delivered in the garden to help pupils connect their learning to the world around them. The garden helps bring to the fore our school values of Creativity, Aspiration and Nurture.”

Neil Moakes, Gardening Project Lead, said:

It was a pleasure to spend time over the summer volunteering at Lessness Heath Primary School and help them rejuvenate their green space. Working together with the Sons of Soil, the West Kent Freemasons and the Bexley allotment community members we rewilded the area and have created a beautiful Science Garden that will allow pupils to explore the outside world and get involved in nature.

“I want to thank everyone who dedicated time over the summer to create this garden at Lessness Heath Primary School, for their brilliant contributions.”


Notes to Editors:

  1. For more information on Lessness Heath Primary School, please visit their website.
  2. For more information on The Primary First Trust, please visit their website.