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Meadowbank School

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Orchard Club

Our first fruits are appearing!

Plums for the 1st time. The tree is full of them!
One or two cherries.
Look apples too.
The pear tree has gone mad!
We had to do a bit of lopping after the wind
We found a fallen tree.
Radish and strawberries from our raised beds too.

We came back to school to find lots of blossom on our trees. The hard work of pruning was worth it.

Apple blossom
Lots of blossom
But the weeds are growing too!
We all like to join in.
We don't want the weeds to strangle our trees.
It's hard work carrying water to the trees.

Pruning with Ceridwen January 2017

Ceridwen explains what we need to do.
It's cold work out here!
Learning how to 'tie in'
Making sure we don't leave too much twine hanging.

Autumn 2016


Gardening In The Orchard Club now meets on a Tuesday lunchtime.

All children are welcome to attend.

We now have a number of children who have been coming regularly for a few years. They have developed knowledge and understanding of how to care for our well stocked school orchard throughout the year. They can use these excellent horticultural skills to support adults and children back in their own class when working on their class garden beds.

When we returned to school there was a bumper crop of apples for us to pick this year.

Harvesting our apples.

Each class has been using our harvest of apples to make delicious products. Look out for some of these on sale at our Harvest Festival!
As well as apples there were lots of weeds that had grown too. The whole school were helped by our resourceful parents in repairing some of the broken posts and getting rid of the unwanted growth! Thank you to everyone who helped. Our orchard is now in better shape to face the cold winter ahead.
We also disturbed a visitor that was hibernating for the Winter! Don't worry we put Mr Toad back safely in his cwtchy bed.

A Year in Meadowbank Orchard

September 2015 to July 2016

Some changes in the orchard this week, good and bad. The weeds are growing very quickly and it is hard to keep up with them. We have lots of apples on the trees and cherries too. No plums or pears yet though. We found problems with the pear leaves and some of the apples, so we are hoping that Ceredwin will be able to advise us. 

Changes good and bad

Lots of apples
Curled leaves
Ladybirds to eat the aphids
Problems with pear leaves
Where do we start with all these weeds?!
This cherry tree is getting very tall!
More weeds!
Speech and language therapy visitors came to visit

Spring has arrived in the Orchard! Blossom has grown on the trees and there is lots of work to be done!

17.2.15 - Ceridwen helps us with Winter prune 2015

Who has been in the Orchard this week?

We found evidence of a dead seagull.
Who done it? A gruffalo or a fox?

Winter is here and it's time for the winter prune!



We telephoned Ceridwen for her expert advice.

We discussed who would do what.
We checked the school diary.
We dialed the number.
We left a message on Ceridwen's answer 'phone.
Then she texted to ask us to ring again,
so we did.
We arranged the visit for Friday 13th February.

19.10.14 Autumn prune with Ceridwen

The Orchard Family
We pruned back the long shoots.
We loped off the thick branches.
We tied in the main long stems.
Some trees have the full three tiers now.
One tree is looking poorly but it is still alive.
We need to check this out on the internet.
Still plenty of weeding needs doing.
We have been doing a lot of weeding in the orchard. The trees have grown so much that it is time for us to call on Ceridwen again for help and advise with pruning.

Telephoning Ceridwen

We asked Ceridwen when she can come. We arranged the date and time and put the appointment in the school diary.

Ceridwen is coming to work with us on Friday 17th October!

Welcome Back to a new Academic Year in Orchard Club!

Autumn is a very busy time for Orchard Club. We came back to find lots of our apples were ready to be picked.

Dosbarth Coch make apple pie.
And apple crumble.

Harvest Time, September 2014

The Bardsey apples are green and ripe.
The Red Russet are too.
Our first bumper crop from our Orchard
We shared apples between the classes for tasting.

We use our books to find out information.

We check out the correct information.
We can upload it on to the Orchard Club page.

Thinning the blossom

The blossom at the start.
The petals open into flowers to be fertilised.
The petals fall off.
The bees fertilise the blossom to make apples.

May 2014

Lots of blossom which will grow into apples
We will have lots of cherries too.
We took off the traps to check for codling moth.
What insects can we see?
No moths.
Can you spot the earwigs?
A large white slug - yugh!
More visitors.
Who's been eating my leaves?

It was a very sad

‘Gardening In The Orchard Club’ session today because it is the last time that Che and Seth will be with us on a regular basis.

Che’s Dad built the beds in which our trees are planted three years ago. Then the whole family helped move some very smelly manure to prepare the beds for the planting of the trees. So we all want to say a huge

thank you!!

Seth and Che have been coming to the club since it started all those years ago. They have listened carefully to Ceridwen every time she has been to teach us new skills and they have become excellent gardeners. They have promised that they will come back to help and advise us when it is time for the big pruning in the Summer and Winter next year.

It is now the season to move on and our loss will be another school’s gain!

All the best boys!

Goodbye to Two Prize Pruners!

You can run but you cannot hide!
We want you back for advise please.

Today we fitted the traps.

First we measured the cardboard.
It has to fit around the trunk of the tree.
Then we cut it to the right length.
Next we asked our friend for sticky tape.
Voila! Look out codling moths!
Cherry blossom
Buds on the plum tree
Growth on the pear tree

Making codling moth traps 27.3.14

Winter Pruning with Ceridwen.

all hard at work
measuring the canes
our espalier trees have to be equal
working in pairs
composting the cuttings
candelabra pear
has to look just right
we welcome visitors
we still need to weed
and dig over the soil

January in The Orchard

Organising Ceriwen
Like our new gloves?
Tidying the stray branches

Winter in the orchard.

All the leaves have fallen off.
Miss Rimell showed us where the new buds will be.
We found a trick rat!!!
We pretended to be scared!

Ceridwen's Autumn Prune

What a lot of work needs doing!
Count 3 buds before cutting.
1, 2, 3.
Some branches are tough to cut.
Change the height of the canes.
Good team work.
Tie the string carefully.
Train the branches to grow as an espalier.

Pudsey came to help us on Children In Need Day!

Orchard Club with Pudsey on 15.11.13
He's good at weeding!
He checks for bugs.
He tries to hide in the tree.
He's exhausted and needs a nap in Kath's Corner.

We telephoned and arranged for Ceridwen to come and help again on 20th November.

More important visitors on Wednesday 15th October!

We spotted a ladybird.
She will eat all the bugs that hurt the trees.

Special visitors to our Orchard this first week in October.

We don't want this caterpillar eating our leaves!
Toad is helping us out. He was well camouflaged.

We all learn together!

hoe, hoe, hoe!

Orchard club is open to all and children can come along to help if they choose to on the day.


     This Autumn Term we have a lot of tidying up to do and we will be doing our winter prune with the help of Ceridwen.




We have already made a start!



These weeds are a nuisance.


Ah ha got you!


Here's another one.


Not for long!


Our involvement in a two year project called Tyfu Orchards meant that children and staff had the opportunity to be involved in the research, designs and planting of our own orchard

in the school grounds.

Our case study can be seen on the 'Fruitfull schools' website @



We have 12 apple trees, a pear tree, a plum tree and a cherry tree.



Ceridwen is in charge of the walled garden in Dyffryn Gardens and gave us advise and help in preparing the soil and planting the trees. We invited her along for the official opening

on 15th of June 2012.



We are very lucky that Ceridwen enjoys working with us and that the National Trust have agreed to her continuing to support us with her expert knowledge.


Every Wednesday at 1pm (weather permitting) the Orchard club meets to:


Keep up to date information on the trees










Check that the trees are healthy





Measure the growth





Read books from our Orchard chest





Come and join us

Ms. James and Miss Rimell