We are the Quad Squad!

Quad Squad is the gardening club of Hawthorne’s Free School in Bootle, Merseyside.

About the Club

We meet twice a week – one lunchtime and once after school to tend our garden and grow a variety of plants and vegetables. Our aim is to make the Hawthorne’s Free school garden a fantastic place at the heart of our school where we can learn valuable skills, relax, play and invite the community. We also intend to use the quad as an outdoor classroom and performance space for our annual ‘Off by Heart Shakespeare’ competition. Part of the quad has been reclaimed as a remembrance garden which is very special to us.

About the school

Hawthorne’s is a new school which opened in September 2012. We inherited an old school building and also a huge abandoned garden! The garden – or the Quad as we call it – is right in the middle of the school surrounded on all sides by classrooms. Unfortunately, with the masses of work to get our new school up and running, the Quad wasn’t top priority – which is where Quad Squad comes in!

Reclaiming the Quad

Led by one of our governors, some of our teachers and with support from Ykidz, a local young people’s charity, we decided to do something about it.

The space is 50 metres by 11 metres and had a huge over grown willow classroom which looked like a forest, a beat up greenhouse and giant shrubs that resembled the Triffids from the scary old film, Day of the Triffids (a film about giant plants that came alive and ate people!) It was hard to do anything to make a difference.

First we pruned the willow – and opened up the space, but there was still so much to do just to make it usable again!

Next we held a school competition for designs for the new garden to get everyone excited about making a difference, and we joined the RHS Schools Gardening Campaign. We knew, however, that it was going to be a very long journey.


Thankfully, Redrow came to our rescue! Redrow Homes have a group of apprentices and trainees – young people who are learning the building trade. Each year Redrow allows them to do a number of community projects. We applied to Redrow and were selected! At last we could really make a difference to our Quad– as they were going to help us to do all of the work we were finding impossible. We could start planning for the future!

Explore our website – and see what we have achieved by working together with our local community!

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