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Horticulture Skills in Schools

Our education team helps students grow on our horticulture course project. 

The team is making the most of Groundwork’s status as City & Guilds Registered Centre in delivering this course themselves. Not only do the projects teach the participants how to grow and nurture plants, it also encourages their personal growth. 

Below is information about the first cohorts we worked with, in 2014. You can also read about the Spring 2015 projects.

The two groups of 6 participating students, aged between 14 and 16 years, had been or were at risk of being excluded from school. These two groups attended Rivers Education Support Centre, Hoddesdon (project funded by Equitable Charitable Trust and the Rivers ESC), and The Bushey Academy, Bushey (funded by Equitable Charitable Trust and the Bushey Academy). The project was designed specially for each school so that it really suited their pupils.

As a result of this project, one young man secured a job with a landscaping company. He will also move on to study Level 2 at Capel Manor once his time with Groundwork has finished. The course made him realise that he really liked working outside, constructing new spaces, and gave him the confidence to consider new things – which is already paying off!The Rivers ESC students worked towards a City & Guilds Level 1 Certificate in Practical Horticulture Skills over 20 weeks. They designed the area they’re working on in the school grounds and then they brought it to life by staining and preserving wood, building raised growing beds and nurturing plants from seed – among other things!

In Bushey, students aimed for the City & Guilds Level 1 Award in Practical Horticulture Skills over 10 weeks. They redesigned the school’s memorial garden and will work on it in preparation for a memorial service to be held there at the end of July. They also layed a new path, stained benches and made bird boxes to put up in the school grounds.

As well as the qualification, the students picked up new skills, from team work to time management. They also relished the opportunity to work outside, which really suits those who don’t thrive in a classroom setting.

As of January 2015, the students at Bushey Academy had achieved 5 Level 1 Awards in Practical Horticulture between them. Those at Rivers ESC got 3 Level 1 Awards and 2 Level 1 Certificates in Practical Horticulture.

In addition Groundwork has secured further funding to improve and extend the growing area at Rivers ESC, including an outdoor classroom area to be used in the delivery of future courses. Rivers ESC is now delivering the Level 1 Practical Horticulture courses with assessment support from Groundwork.

If you'd like information about our City & Guilds offering for schools or other educational centres, please contact our Education team:

Charlotte Ball, Senior Environmental Education Officer: or 01707 255176
Philippa Statter, Environmental Education Officer (Hertfordshire): or 01707 255186
Vicky Duxbury, Environmental Education Officer (Luton & Bedfordshire): or 01582 720147