A POLYTUNNEL has been created as Widnes pupils break new ground by launching land based studies.

Bankfield is one of the first schools in the country investing £12,000 to teach students horticultural skills in gardening and landscaping.

Teaching assistant Lisa Moran said: “With this being a new subject we are starting from scratch and have to build up our supplies of items the students will use to get the most from the course.

“I have set up the school as part of Morrisons supermarket incentive to receive free gardening equipment by collecting vouchers in store.”

Course leader Mel Lowe, of Mellowe Landscapes of Warrington, is looking forward to sharing his knowledge with 14 pupils.

Students will grow shrubs and plants to develop the school’s new eco garden, created in memory of teacher Celia Ross, who died last year.

They will also be nurturing their own crops as 75 per cent of the course, accredited by Reeseheath College in Nantwich, is practical.

Theory lessons will teach them about plants, trees and practical horticulture.

They will also examine how the countryside is managed from forestry to farming.

Bankfield became a member of the eco schools group in 2007.

Clr Tom McInerney, board member for children and young people, said: “The pupils, teachers, senior leadership team and governors are working together to make the school more eco-friendly.”

Parents and members of the local community are invited to donate Morrison’s ‘Let’s Grow’ vouchers in a box at the school’s reception.