A fantastic partnership has grown between Solana UK and with schools across Norfolk. In 2017 Northgate High School won the trophy presented by Mr Craig Stephens, Managing Director of Solana UK. It was with the encouragement of Mr MacDonald, who supervises the External Learning Facility (ELF), that students across other schools would get involved.

The Competition is now into its 3rd year and once again, Northgate High School have won the competition, for a second year. The planting and growing aspect of the competition was the easy part. The intervention and additional learning of Science and Maths along with Food Technology were important factors. Earlier in the year, students met with an agronomist to learn the scientific approach about potatoes, taking soil samples and planting the seeds mathematically with the exact measurements, resulting in the best overall crop of potatoes for 2019.

The team of students representing Northgate are passionate about outdoor learning. This has improved their social skills and confidence immensely and they were beaming with pride at their success. Winning the trophy means more to the boys as they demonstrate how they care and raise awareness around school and look after the environment. Mr MacDonald, Alternative Provision Coordinator, and Mrs Beasley, Director of Teaching and Support for Learners, are both extremely proud of Northgate’s team and how they hosted the other Schools and the Solana Team.

Mrs Beasley said, ‘It’s been great to see the boys grow in confidence and learn new skills that they can put into practice. They have demonstrated great leadership skills, preparing the area for visits, showing guests around and talking to them about the project. ’

Mr Craig Stephens, from Solana UK commented, ‘We really appreciate all the effort that Northgate puts into growing the potatoes and coordinating and hosting the event at the school. Such a wonderful warm welcome is given to the Solana team and competing schools.’

Mr MacDonald aims to involve Primary schools in the 2020 competition. Produce grown will go straight to the school kitchens for some very appetising and healthy options for lunch.