PUPILS at Sandymoor School are learning how to grow fruit and vegetables as they embark on launching their own market garden business.

They are preparing to plan their first seeds and plants in their custom built allotment.

It was incorporated into the design of the new £12 million school in Wharford Lane which opened last September.

An eco-friendly greenhouse and compost area have been developed.

Students are working in partnership with the Natural Veg Men, who specialise in organic produce.

They presented a healthy eating demonstration last week to inspire the young gardeners.

Head teacher Andy Green-Howard said:”We are ensuring the allotment is entirely natural, with no chemical fertilisers.

“The students are involved in planning maintaining the space, so they know where the produce comes from.

“They are forming a company and planning a business strategy to market and sell the produce, to make a profit that they can keep.”

Pupils watched a healthy cooking demonstration

It is one of several enterprises pupils are pursuing.

Halton’s first freeschool, founded by five Runcorn parents, is rapidly expanding.

Mr Green-Howard said: “We recently advertised for eight posts and had over 150 applications.

“It enabled us to shortlist the very best, interviewing over 30 people.

“We are excited by the calibre of candidates we have appointed. They will add enormously to our amazing team.

“We will have almost 300 students in September and over 50 staff.”

He said a significant number of teachers live in Halton, keeping with their vision of being a source of employment for residents.