Organising the annual TfS calendar

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With 2013 planting days over and the year heading towards its end, it’s a good time to review the operation of your TfS programme and be sure that all facets are running as smoothly as possible. It’s inevitable that with the pressure of the school year the odd aspect may be neglected. The following summary provides a valuable checklist and reminder of best practice.

The TfS Teacher may work with a grounds person, a parent or someone else involved with the school to:
• Take responsibility for the Plant Growing Unit (PGU) and ensure the plants are cared for and their growth properly managed. This includes ensuring a regular watering regime, especially during the holidays.

• Ensure a secure location for the PGU is established at the school, and that the school management arranges appropriate insurance against damage by vandalism. Consult with TfS over PGU repairs and maintenance resulting from normal wear and tear.

• Provide year-long learning opportunities and encourage environmental awareness which is an expected outcome of a school’s participation in the TfS programme.

• Liaise with the TfS Field Officer (FO) and the school sponsors to ensure the effective implementation of the TfS programme.

• Meet with the TfS FO assigned to the school in February, and undertake the PGU plant count for the upcoming planting season. This gives you an indication of the survival rate of the plants in your care, their potential suitability for planting out and an approximation of the number of plants available to plant on the landowner’s land.

• Enlist the help of students and experts, to provide appropriate care and grow the seedlings to a height suitable for planting (>30cm); also maximize the environmental educational opportunities for the students. Resources and information to assist in this are available from TfS and other sources.

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