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VIP guests gather for Green Room opening

 A former student who has gone on to become a successful businesswoman returned to City of Lincoln to perform the official opening ceremony of the Academy's new Green Room.

Mrs Melanie Pollard (formerly Travis), who left City of Lincoln School at the end of the 1980s, is now a director at Cargill, the international food, agricultural and risk management company.

The Green Room space - allotments, greenhouse, shed and outdoor classroom - were funded by a £10,000 donation from Cargill,  whose European supply chain businesses are located in Witham St Hughs, near Lincoln.

Students in Years 7 to 10, as well as a number of Sixth Formers, came up with designs and ideas for the four allotment plots (one for each House at the academy).

Cargill staff finalised the plans with the students and then constructed the plots, together with the associated outbuildings (shed, greenhouse and outdoor classroom), in spring 2013.

Since then, students have grown vegetables (carrots, cabbages and onions), flowers and strawberries, while Year 9 Resistant Materials classes have worked on staging for the greenhouse. Click here to see a gallery of photos taken during the course of the year.

Future years will see students in Food Technology, Science, Maths, Design Technology and Art making use of the facility. Produce from the allotments has already been used in Food Tech lessons.

 The opening ceremony saw Academy students and staff joined by Cargill guests, Priory Trustees and Lincoln MP Mr Karl McCartney.

Mrs Miller, Food Studies & Catering teacher, co-ordinated the Green Room project for the Academy. She said: “The project arose from the Healthy Schools initiative. Our brief was to create, develop and sustain a garden.

“We wanted a landscape and outdoor learning space that could be integrated into the school curriculum. It’s good for children to be able to leave the classroom from time to time, and to see and do things in the flesh rather than solely in textbooks.”

Mr Penney, Deputy Head at the academy, said: “We cannot thank Cargill enough for their generosity in funding this project. They have given us a wonderful teaching and learning resource which will benefit generations of students to come.”

Mrs Pollard, UK Manager for Cargill’s Grain and Oilseeds business, studied agricultural economics at Reading University after finishing her A-Levels.

She said: “We are excited to be partnering with The Priory City of Lincoln Academy on this project and giving students the chance to delve into what makes a successful business, understand supply chains and gain valuable skills in agriculture and project management.

"We are looking forward to watching this partnership grow and potentially expanding this concept to other academies in Lincolnshire.

"The school has changed beyond recognition since I was here and, on the evidence of what I have seen, the future looks extremely bright."

    The Priory Federation of Academies, Lincoln