Year 10 Hand-Made Paper With Flower & Seed Implantation

Last week the Design and Technology Product Designers practiced making paper by hand while encasing seeds inside. This was something Mrs Barden first tried in the department last year after the lockdown with this years year 11s using dried pressed flowers inside. Below I will give you a step by step on how to do this process yourself and what tools and equipment you will need.

What you will need:

Elastic bands, a sponge, a frame and mesh of some kind, a an old food processor you no longer use for food, and finally, some items to encase into your paper for decoration. You will also need an absorbent towel as this can be a very messy process.

Here are some of our students outcomes:

Here is a photographic step by step of the process:

Updates On Our Growing!

Mrs Barden has brought in some of her crops that she began to plant throughout the Summer holidays for us to continue cultivating and we have begun to plant our radish this week using some old used paper cups as pots. Fingers crossed they will have progressed by next week for another update!

Welcome Back All, From the D&T Department!

Welcome back all!

I thought I would take this time to refresh your memory on where were were at with our little growing green project at the end of term.

Below are a few images taken on the last day of school. We are happy to announce that they are still going strong and coming to the end of their fruit producing season and were looked after by a member of staff while we were off for the summer break.

We are currently in the process of planning our next seasonal crops and we cant wait to share with you how it goes!

We think our winter crops will be mostly winter greens, Calvo Nero kale and possibly some bulbs to brighten up the food room.

Stay tuned for our next post on Year 10’s recent paper-making practical where they implanted seeds and pressed flowers into their own hand-made paper.

Have a great week everyone!

Hand-Made Insect Hotel + Weekly growing updates!

I thought I would end the year with a final post following on from last weeks discussion of Bees & Bee hotels where I promised to share a post on how you can attempt to make your own bee hotel from collected waste materials??!
As we are coming close to the summer holidays I thought I this would be a perfect time to provide you with an activities you can do over the summer break.

I found this activity on the RHS website so hopefully it works for you successfully.

What you’ll need:
You do not need to build it too large, you can simply use:
-Some kind of container or box with a base (9 – 15cm in size) A terracotta plant pot works well.
-Modelling clay
-Plastic straws, toilet roll or kitchen roll tubes or bamboo canes
-any other scraps of wood offcuts or tubing

I also added an additional few layers of ironed plastic bags to make the outside of my design a little more waterproof. if you are considering adding this to your design please make sure someone is at home to help you carry out this technique safely. you will need some plastic bags of your choice, an iron and some greaseproof or siloconised baking paper.

What to do:
-Cut the straws or bamboo canes to a length that fits the depth of your container. If you are using bamboo canes you might need someone to carry out this part as it’s tricky.

-Tie the bundle of straws or canes together with a piece of string.

-Place some modelling clay in the bottom of the container and stick the bundle of straws or canes in to the clay.

-Add any other bits of wood or tubing scraps if there is still a lot of space between the tubes. Place the container horizontally in your garden in a quiet place for the bees to move in.

You should also consider the placement it will sit in your garden, is it a covered sheltered location? Seeing as I have made my prototype from mostly card it will have to sit in a semi sheltered location.

If you are a St Marylebone student make sure to keep us posted on your progress and send in some images that we can share.

: Taken from the RHS website/ By Miss Dorman of her upcycled waste Bee hotel.

First Lego League (FLL) Robotics Competition – Core Values Winner 2021

Ms Barden ran her regular DT enrichment – ‘First Lego League Competition’ sponsored by Bechtel along with a group of students to put together this season’s Replay Project and Robot Mission! 

For the Project, students investigated alternative ways student activity could potentially power the school.  They were also delighted with the 140 points scored by successfully programming and completing their attempted robot missions.

Their teamwork paid off! They won the Core Values Trophy by showing the judges how effective they were at working together. 

Well done to Nikoo and Lea in Year 10 and Mia and Isabella in you 8 for their hard work and dedication making participation in the competition possible. 

We are hoping to welcome new Lego Roboteers in September to continue with our quest for the top prize!

The Final Growing Updates of This School Year!

As you can see below, our bell peppers are growing tremendously, our tomatoes are beginning to ripen on both types of tomato plants and we now have two aubergines coming in, and finally, our Basil and Rosemary plants that we planted in February 2020 just before the first Lockdown are still going strong!

Our urban cultivator has produced healthy green pea shoots, radish leaves and basil which some of the KS3 students have been using in their dishes. As we have come to the end of term, we have sent some basil plants home with some of the students so they can nurture them and reap their reward. Here’s Sala, Lexi & Ellie with their basil plants!

Unfortunately some of the plants will reach their peak during the Summer holidays, members of staff will be taking them home to look after during the summer holidays.

We cant wait to start our autumn crop! 

HAVE AN AMAZING AND RELAXING SUMMER HOLIDAY ALL! We will be back in September with more Growing tips, tricks and department updates!

Insect Hotels + Window-Box Growing Updates

Welcome back to school, I hope everyone had a lovely weekend!

‘Growing Green’ is not only about growing your own plants, although this is a large part of it, but it is also about transforming every part of your life to make it as sustainable as possible, this includes keeping our wildlife thriving. Today’s discussion is ‘Garden Companions’, with a focus on Bee & Insect Hotels.

Photos: 1) By Sian Dorman of a bee hotel in a local park 2) By Ms Spieler of her very own Bee hotel

I have been spotting a number of different bee hotels in my local area recently so I thought I’d share some of my findings in the photos above. These photographs show you different designs you can purchase from any garden centre/garden & hardware store or online.

Bee numbers are falling fast, so by giving them a home you’ll be encouraging nature into your garden and helping the bee population.

As part of the D&T KS3 Curriculum our year 9 students make their own bird and insect houses with Ms Barden within their Resistant Materials rotation.

As part of the D&T KS3 Curriculum our year 9 students make their own bird and insect houses with Ms Barden within their Resistant Materials rotation. The x2 insect houses above are very impressive products made by Year 9 students in Ms Barden’s class last year. These have been made from MDF, Plywood and bamboo, but you yourself can make one from waste items at home using minimal tools and equipment and to any scale your garden can hold!

Next week I hope to share with you a quick and simple way that you can make your own from waste, offcuts and bits found around the home!

Window-Box Growing Updates

Our upcycled scrap wood window boxes that Technician Mr Tao built us have really began to thrive! Here’s a photograph of Ms Spieler tending to the vine tomatoes.

If you’ve been following our weekly Growing Green blog updates then you’ll remember when these babies were first planted in early March by our lovely Year 10 Food & Nutrition students… I posted some photographs of them two weeks into growth not too far back. Look how far they have come!

You can see if you look closely that we have a couple of mini bell-peppers and tomatoes coming through! We have some flowers on our Aubergines and Cucumber but unfortunately they are not providing us with fruit yet. Our basil from before Lockdown-1 is growing tall despite us being away for two separate Lockdowns, working from home.

Check back in next Monday for more! Have a great week.

Lavender Facts and Activity + Progress Updates!

I thought Lavender would be the perfect next topic of discussing following on from our Sunflower tips and tricks post. Lavender is such a beautiful herb that many people select for their gardens, you can occasionally find it growing wild too! Todays focus will be facts and benefits of the Lavandula Angustifolia plant.

Photography by Miss Dorman at Hitchin Lavender Farm, Hertfordshire Aug 2019.

Lavender has many benefits for wildlife, especially pollinators. It is one of the best plants to grow for attracting bees. It’s flowers attract hummingbirds and many species of butterflies including painted ladies, woodland skippers and tiger swallowtails, all three of which are urban species.

Its colouring makes it a beautiful plant for borders while also repelling wild Deer and Rabbit (Although that’s not really a problem we tend to have here in London!!!).

I decided to select the Lavender plant for our next growing topic is because the fragrance from the flower and oils produced are believed to help promote calmness and wellness.

It is therefore, commonly used in aromatherapy to make medicine to tackle anxiety, stress, and insomnia. It is also sometimes used to help sooth certain symptoms for depression, dementia, pain after surgery, and many other conditions.

Preserving your Lavender for use at home:

Fresh, cut lavender bunches can be put in a vase of water for 2-3 days. They will last up to 10 days in water, but if you want to dry the bunches, remove from water after 3 days.

Steps to drying your lavender:

Cut off brown parts of the stem and hang to dry.

Tie the stems together with a rubber band and hang them in a fairly dark room with dry, moving air.

Sun will fade the colour and moisture will spoil the flowers. This process will take about 10 days to two weeks. As the bunches dry, the blossoms will drop onto the floor.

A brown paper bag can be tied around the flowers to prevent the buds from dropping onto the floor.

After you have dried the flowers, you can strip the lavender off the stem, store in a muslin bag for fragrance. These sachets will last for years. Squeeze them from time to time and more Lavender scent will be released.

The Oils can be used to make essential oils, in creams, soaps, syrups and drinks. the photo on the left shows some Lavender products available for purchase at the Lavender field.

Urban Cultivator Updates!

As mentioned in the bulletin last week as well as our last growing post having received a grant provided by Savoy Educational Trust (another huge thank you to Deborah Loades) we were able to purchase a new bit of kit. After just two weeks of setting up and planting into our Urban Cultivator progress has been made!

What Are Microgreens?

Microgreens are young vegetable greens that are approximately 2.5–7.5 cm tall. They have an aromatic flavour and concentrated nutrient content and come in a variety of colours and textures. Microgreens are considered baby plants, falling somewhere between a sprout and baby green.

We currently have a variety of Microgreens growing;

Wheatgrass: High in Nutrients and Antioxidants. May Reduce Cholesterol. Great for aiding the body in getting rid of impurities and stored toxins. May aid in good digestion, leading to reduced bloating, gas, and stomach upset.

Spicy Radish Microgreens: Radish microgreens contain a high concentration of Vitamin B3, Vit.B6, Vit. C, Folate, and traces of Manganese. They are also abundant in Vit A, K, and E, iron, potassium, phosphorus, beta carotenes, calcium, magnesium, pantothenic acid and zinc.

Split Peas: In fact, taking a small cup of split peas in your daily diet can provide approximately 65% of the daily recommended value of fibre in your diet. The high fibre content of split peas helps regulate blood sugar levels. 

Basil Microgreens: You can eat these in the same way as you would normally eat basil, as a garnish on food, in a salad, with your sandwich, or even as a snack by itself. Research shows that basil microgreens contain as much as 4-5 times the nutrients that mature basil does!

Next Mondays post will be looking at keeping your garden insects thriving plus your usual weekly update on the departments growing!

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.

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!

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