Alumni at Royal Drawing Foundation Show.

Congratulations to Temi and Tom for graduating from the Royal Drawing School’s Foundation Year, 2021. Both students studied Art A Level with us during 2018-2020, and their ambitious final foundation works were given the premier spot at the Drawing School’s recent end of year show. We are incredibly proud of both students, with Temi winning the Drawing School’s overall ‘Drawing Award’ and Tom winning the ‘Painting Award.’ In addition to receiving these prestigious awards, they were the only two students from the entire Drawing School Foundation Year to gain places at Oxford, to study Art at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art. We believe that this is the first instance in the history of the Ruskin that two students from the same state school sixth form will be studying in the same year.

Sunflower Tips and Tricks! +How our Growing Journey Began

As we are in the last term before the summer holidays I have been thinking about what activities we could be doing which are healthy, sustainable and nutritious. With the weather (hopefully) improving we will see temperatures adequate enough to begin growing sunflowers in the garden.

Depending on the variety, they can take 11-18 weeks to flower from seed sowing. It’s a good idea to sow sunflower seed every couple of weeks, so you’ll have a constant supply of cheerful sunflowers throughout summer.

You need a sunny, sheltered spot and a good soil – add plenty of well-rotted manure or garden compost before planting, if you can.

This is a great rewarding family activity and you can also harvest the seeds to eat if the insects don’t get there first! When I was a child I used to do this with my mum and little brother, every summer we would stand next to our Sunflower each week and take a photo to measure the progression in growth.

Top Tip: For your big sunflowers, use bamboo cane to help stabilise them whilst they grow to avoid snapping.

Loves: The sunshine, the hint is in the name.

Hates: Slugs and snails! You will need to plant outside once the Sunflower has grown to about a foot tall but best pop something in the garden to stop them getting snacked on.

Sunflowers seeds are extremely nutritious; naturally cholesterol free, gluten free, low in saturated fat and are a low glycaemic-index food.

They are good sources of fibre, full of antioxidants, phytosterols and heart healthy fats. They are high in plant protein and rich in vitamins and minerals, including; Vitamin E, B1, B6, Iron, Copper, Selenium, Manganese, Zinc & Potassium.

There are three types of commonly used sunflower seeds: linoleic, high oleic, and sunflower oil seeds. Each variety has its own unique levels of monounsaturated, saturated, and polyunsaturated fats.

What including up to 30g of sunflower seeds in your diet each day could look like: Roast them in the oven and sprinkle over breakfast cereals, salads or soups to add texture. Salt them and munch on them for a small snack Add them to your smoothie mix and grind to give it some protein Put them in homemade pesto and breads or make your own protein snack bars

Photography by Sian Dorman at Hitchin Lavender Farm, Hertfordshire Aug 2019 (Yes they also have sunflowers at the Lavender fields!)

How our ‘Growing Green’ Journey Began…

Back in September of 2020 our Technician Mr Tao created x5 long window troughs from scrap wood that we had in the department. These can be seen in the images below.

In December 2020, the lovely Deborah Loads of the Finance Department helped us to successfully apply for the Savoy Educational Trust which helped us to purchase some key pieces of equipment that we are now using within the Design and Technology – Food and Nutrition KS3 & KS4 Curriculum.

Mid March 2021 Ms Speiler and the GCSE Year 10 Food & Nutrition Students began planting up some fruit, vegetable and herb seeds in some old recycled plastic containers that we had been collecting. The seeds planted include beetroot, squash, lettuce, radish, carrots, tomatoes… Here are a few photos from 18th March student planting day 1.

Late March 2021, we received our urban cultivator (a hydroponic indoor growing machine) and Bortollo installed it for us after the Easter break. We are very excited about using it during food lessons!

Just one week after planting our seedlings with the GCSE students this is the progress they have made!

During the 3rd Lockdown, whilst working from home, the Design & Technology Department supported the Gardening Club. We would love to hear about any gardening or growing you have been doing at home!   Email your photos to Mrs Barden or Ms Spieler

Here are some of Ms Spielers first attempts at growing garlic from a clove and Avocado from its centre seed.

Changing Lives

Students in Y10 (now y11) participated in the St Marylebone church changing lives project. They painted portraits of people associated with the church- it had now been put up for all to see! well done all!

Introducing the DT Department

So now that we have fully introduced the project to you, It’s time to introduce the teaching staff in the department.

Meet Mrs Barden our Head of Department in Design & Technology!

Mrs Barden specialises in the areas of Graphics, Resistant Materials & Product Design but has experience in all areas of design! Also a qualified Architect, and has seen how sustainability and design have progressed over recent years.

Mrs Barden has a great passion for growing and using design creatively to promote sustainable living. Here is a photo of her tending to her food waste bin!

Meet Mrs Griffifths, our trainee teacher in the department. Ms Griffiths has a background in Set Design with 20+ years experience working for famous set company, Jago Designs.

Ms Griffiths is teaching all rotations within the D&T department here at St Marylebone School.

Ms Griffiths enjoys looking after her houseplants that decorate the conservatory and balcony of her London home.

This is Ms Spieler. Ms Spieler is our Textiles, and Food & Nutrition Teacher at St Marylebone, she has great love for home grown and home cooked with a passion to grow plants of all varieties.

Together with Ms Barden, Ms Spieler leads our current project ‘Growing Green’.

Above are some photographs of Ms Spieler’s home cooked pasta with fresh basil


Now that we have met all of the D&T teaching Staff, its times time to meet the Technicians working behind the scenes.

This is Simon Tao, Mr Tao is our Resistant Materials Technician, He spends time preparing and cutting materials using the large table saws and drills.

Mr Tao’s roll in this Project has been to build some of the window baskets we have been using to begin the growing process within the school.

We try to stay as sustainable a possible as a department so Simon has been using a mixture of scrap and recycled wood to build these planters.

Time to meet ME! My name is Miss Dorman and I am the second Technician in the St Marylebone D&T Department. I am based mostly in the Food and Textiles area but you will often see me floating around the department carrying out my tasks. I will be the person in charge of posting the information and keeping you informed on our progress.

My background is Textiles Design but since leaving university I have focused my brand on the development of sustainable products by using waste materials. My favourite waste to use within my designs are plastic products. I tend to use mostly, disposable straws, bottles, containers and carrier bags. To make the work shown behind me, I cut up and transformed plastic bottles and washing liquid containers.

For next weeks post I will be focusing on my favourite flower and some nutritional benefits of its seeds! Plus I’ll be sharing with you a little update on some of the departments growing progress!

The Design and Technology subject area introduce our current Departmental aim. ‘Growing Green’


Hello viewers & welcome to the St Marylebone Design & Technology Section of the blog!

We have decided to use this platform to share with you all, our progress with our current & new department development goals to go greener. We are calling this project ‘Growing Green’ and we plan to use this week to introduce it to you. Our aim is to post new each week. The next few weeks are all about introductions before we move onto the juicy stuff!

So the project as a whole intends to create a greener and more sustainable school environment as well as developing students’ understanding of the farm to fork process, scientific principles, environmental considerations and existing and emerging technologies.

The aim of the project is to create a greener, and more inspiring learning environment for ALL students. become more sustainable and environmentally friendly as a department, and later, a whole school community. Involve students in the growing process to not only support their learning, but mental health also.

Lemon tree from a Lemon seed.
Avocado grown from pip as seen below!

Stage 1- Greening classrooms Stage 1 of our project will involve making use of our classrooms to grow produce. Create hanging systems by windows and use of window sills for sowing seeds and growing produce. Purchase of an urban cultivator to demonstrate hydroponics and growing produce in an alternative way. Introduction of a wormery to dispose of food waste produced during lessons.

Stage 2- Use of Blandford Street roof space Use of roof space for growing produce and learning space subject to relevant permissions. Raised beds, water butt, small storage shed and potting area.

The photos are Ms Spielers potted Lemon and Avocado grown from seeds of food waste last spring, swipe for the process. The Last photo is Ms Bardens Lemon tree grown in a Banana! I will keep you informed on its progress every so often in our stories and highlights!

2021 RA Young Artists’ Summer Show.

We are delighted to announce that the work of three Marylebone sixth form students has been selected for the 2021 RA Young Artists’ Summer Show.

Taking inspiration from the annual Summer Exhibition, the Young Artists’ Summer Show is an opportunity for young artists aged 5 – 19 years to exhibit their work online and on-site at the Royal Academy.  This year’s judges included Phyllida Barlow RA and Brian Griffiths.  Two of the students’ works will also be displayed in the RA gallery itself – which is an incredible achievement. Well done to all our students who entered artworks for this prestigious competition.

The online and onsite exhibitions open on 13 July 2021.

If you want to see all the works in last year’s exhibition, press this link!

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