Working and learning powered by plants

Putney High School students started a 'Biophilic Classroom' research study – little did they know their findings would become so relevant

Students started a four-month project over winter to monitor the effects of bringing plants, natural materials and views of nature into the indoor learning environment. That study has taken on new relevance for all of us this spring as Coronavirus has confined so many of us to our homes.

It’s no secret that houseplants can improve indoor air quality. Equally interesting is the study’s other important finding – that plants, elements of nature, and even a natural colour palette can affect mood, focus and ability to learn in the classroom. Students found that caring for plants and simply having them around, made everyone happier, calmer and more able to focus on the task at hand.

The RHS relies on our members and donors so we can look after our Gardens, inspire children to have a passion for plants, train the next generation of gardeners and find solutions to the environmental problems facing our planet. Find out more

When school closures were announced in March, at the start of the virus outbreak, the school was full of plants, many of which were to form an exhibit in the Discovery Zone at Chelsea 2020. Quickly they had to be found a temporary home. The headmistress and her family volunteered for the challenge. The plants are thriving and giving them the attention they need has been a rewarding activity for her family during the weeks away from classmates, not to mention bringing lessons in plant biology quite literally to life! 

Although everyone’s ability to spend time outdoors has been radically curtailed, students have learnt that bringing nature inside provides a wonderful boost and that they don’t need a lot of plants to make a difference. Every workspace, whether it’s a desk or the kitchen table, can benefit from the inclusion of a plant.

Many growers will deliver plants to your homes and some simple propagation can be a brilliant challenge for everyone. Home school science lessons may take on a whole new dimension if you have a go.

Putney High School | 020 8788 4886

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The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.