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Winthorpe Primary School

Learning together, growing together

Sunflower Competition

June Update


It is now well over two months since our junior gardeners planted their sunflower seeds – how are your plants coming along? They should be outside now, with canes to support them as they grow. Keep an eye out for the tiny flower bud forming and growing as we head towards the summer holidays.


We are lucky to have had some excellent sunny and warm weather recently, so make sure that you are keeping your plants well watered. Keep thinking about the winner’s trophy you could be bringing home in September!


Remember that your sunflowers will also benefit from some extra ‘food’ – the liquid feed you buy for tomatoes is the right stuff, and many of our past winners have said they gave their sunflowers a weekly dose.


If you’re lucky enough to be going away during the summer holidays, now is the time to think about friends or neighbours who can look after your plants for you. What ‘good turn’ could you do for them to say “thank you”?

It finally feels like spring is here, and we will soon be making a start on the 2017 Giant Sunflower Competition.


For anyone not familiar with this Winthorpe institution, this is the annual children’s competition to see who can grow the tallest sunflower. The competition was started over 20 years ago by local resident Pat Finn, and has been going (or growing?) strong ever since. Our thanks go to Pat, who continues to grow truly impressive sunflowers, and kindly harvests the seeds for us to use in the following year’s competition.


All children at Winthorpe Primary School can enter, as well as non-pupils (of primary school age) living in Winthorpe, Langford and Holme. Charlie and I will be visiting the school on Wednesday 29th March to deliver a “sunflower assembly” and give out a packet of seeds to each child. Mr Cook has already expressed his enthusiasm for taking part in his very first sunflower competition, and we hope that the other staff and children will feel equally excited!


If your children don’t attend Winthorpe Primary you can buy “Giant Sunflower” seeds from a garden centre or shop. The children plant their seeds on Easter Sunday (16th April) and need to nurture them through the spring and summer until the competition ends on Sunday 10th September. We return to school shortly after that that to announce the winners and present certificates and trophies!


Charlie and I had a lovely time visiting school and delivering our assembly to start this year’s Giant Sunflower Competition. The assembly was themed around ‘how to grow sunflowers’ and the children showed that they know all the essentials about caring for their plants (or at least telling Mum/Dad/Granny/Granddad what they should be doing!).


Hopefully everyone has planted their seeds and by the time you read this should have some healthy young seedlings. The seedlings will need to be rotated every day as they will lean towards the light. If they’re in a sunny spot take care that the soil doesn’t dry out. Let’s hope for some nice sunny weather, for all of us and the sunflowers too!


We can’t wait to see the towering giants that you grow from your 10 tiny seeds…..
Why not send us a photo at
If you share your photos with us we can put them on the school website or in the Focal Point (with your permission of course).

Liz & Charlie Ferreira 

2016 Winners!

2016 Winners! 1

Last year, our competition winners were:


  1. Samantha and Abigail Jones with a sunflower 3m 63cm high!
  2. Anna Clarke with a sunflower 3m 43cm high, and 
  3. Alfie Everatt-Lamb with a sunflower measuring 3m 40cm.


The staff competition was won by Mrs Cobb who grew a sunflower that was 3m 32cm in height.  


Well done to everyone who entered the competition and many thanks to the competition organisers - Liz and Charlie Ferreira.