Alexandra Park School nominates student for Royal Horticultural Society Young School Gardener of the Year 2017
Monday 19 June 2017
Ivanira Dos Santos (pictured), 16, who attends Alexandra Park School in Haringey, is competing in the 14-16 year-old age category of the national competition, which aims to unearth the next generation of star gardeners.
Ivanira is battling against three other youngsters to win her age category and be put forward to compete for the ultimate title in school gardening. Both the category and the overall winner will be announced at a special awards ceremony at Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Garden Wisley, in Surrey in July.
Lead Teaching Assistant and Land Studies Teacher, Lisa Clarke, who nominated Ivanira for the award, said:
Ivanira has only been a student at Alexandra Park School for about a year and arrived speaking very little English as Portuguese is her first language. Understandably, at first Ivanira was very reserved and unable to communicate verbally. However, very early on, as we began work on our allotment she explained, via a translation website, that she was brought up on a farm in Africa and that gardening was something she was familiar with and enjoyed.
Ivanira has immersed herself in the planting and maintenance we do in the school grounds and on our school allotment plot. She has demonstrated a tireless enthusiasm and energy for all practical gardening, from soil preparation to planting. Ivanira’s command of English has improved significantly over the past year, as has her confidence. She has a sunny and positive demeanour and has been a major force in transforming and maintaining borders and raised beds in the school grounds.
In June a panel of gardening experts including BBC Gardeners’ World and ITV’s Love Your Garden presenter Frances Tophill will judge the entries and pick the category winners.
As part of the judging process Ivanira and the other finalists will create a five-minute video showcasing their passion for gardening. The film will include supportive statements from teachers and fellow pupils about the finalists’ love of gardening. Ivanira will receive a digital camera to make her short film which she can keep.
To mark Ivanira’s progress to the final she will be presented with a specially engraved hand trowel and framed certificate. Her school will receive gardening equipment worth £475, donated by greenhouse manufacturer and competition supporter Gabriel Ash, together with a £10 National Garden Gift voucher.
On top of the finalist prizes, the category winner will receive an engraved hand trowel, a set of gardening tools and £250 worth of National Garden Gift vouchers for their school.
Should Ivanira win the overall title and be crowned RHS Young School Gardener of the Year 2017 she will have the opportunity to spend the day working with RHS gardeners, receive tickets for either the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2018, or RHS Tatton Park Flower Show 2018. Her school will receive £100 worth of seeds and an additional £250 in National Garden Gift vouchers – making a total of £500 in vouchers.