Gardening Club is just one of the many Co-Curricular Activities (CCAs) that the BSN offers. CCAs at the BSN can help students discover and develop new talents, as is evident in this piece written by Vojin Grujic, Concierge at Junior School Vlaskamp (JSV).
The beginnings of Gardening Club
Six years ago, Concierge Vojin Grujic had the opportunity to follow a gardening course through the school to brush up on his gardening skills. Since then, he has been Junior School Vlaskamp’s resident gardener and go-to person for all things green and leafy. He also fills another role: as Coordinator of JSV’s year-round gardening club, he teaches aspiring young gardeners about the ins and outs of growing various plants, flowers and vegetables! Thanks to Vojin’s contribution to the school, one student discovered the delights of gardening. It was the makings of The Hague’s resident superhero, ‘Super Gardener’.
Haven’t heard of her? Read on to learn about the origins of ‘Super Gardener’ as written by Mr Grujic.
In search of a Superhero
Everyone knows superheroes like the Hulk, the Green Lantern and Captain America – as well as the superpowers they’re famous for. However, there’s a new superhero to watch, with the powers to match. Her name is Eleanor – otherwise known as ‘Super Gardener’! Don’t let her BSN uniform and student alter ego fool you – tapping into her remarkable gardening skills and love of cultivation, she will solve the most difficult and dire plant problems.
Her superpowers developed a couple of years ago at Junior School Vlaskamp. She was intrigued by the school’s weekly gardening club, and while initially, she was not a member of the club, she was always present. After I noticed her watching the other students a couple of times, I asked her: “Would you like to join us and develop your green fingers?”
Developing Green Fingers
She was planting, weeding, growing, and nurturing plants with dedication and care from the moment she discovered gardening. A few months later, the results of her hard work appeared: potatoes, tomatoes, courgettes, beans, carrots and much more!
Eager to learn more and take on new gardening challenges, she began to plant seeds and garden ‘from scratch’ the following school year. This also meant digging, weeding, and of course, harvesting the fruits of her labour! More experience also meant better results. The harvest was more impressive, tastier and more plentiful than the year before. She even started gardening at home. The results were just the same: excellent!
By the time she moved to Senior School Voorschoten, she was no longer a budding gardener. She had officially grown into ‘Super Gardener’, equipped with her love of plants, renewed energy, and more knowledge about horticulture. You may find her quietly tending to the BSN Eco allotment and sharing her superpowers with other students at SSV’s Gardening Club.
(If you see ‘Super Gardener’ around, you can ask her for gardening advice and tips. She knows everything – but sssh – keep it a secret!)
“During the lunchtime outdoor playtime, our students are able to help look after the grounds of the Vlaskamp campus with the guidance of Mr Vojin. He also shows how to plant, care for and harvest produce from the campus allotments. I am delighted to see how many of our students take these skills and develop their gardening projects at home. Mr Vojin provides a calm and productive environment where students can engage with nature and work collectively to produce food and flowers from seed. What a wonderful way to spend this half hour each day.”
Sue Aspinall, Headteacher, Junior School Vlaskamp
Vojin is a Concierge at Junior School Vlaskamp (JSV), The British School in The Netherlands, in The Hague. Originally from Serbia, he joined the school 8 years ago. Through the BSN, he had the opportunity to follow a gardening course 6 years ago and since then, has been the resident gardener at Junior School Vlaskamp. He also coordinates Junior School Vlaskamp’s year-round Gardening Club for students in Year 2 and up. He is currently following a Teaching Assistant (TA) training course.