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Horticulture Skills in Schools

Our education and employment teams help students grow on our horticulture courses. 

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. 

Previously, we worked with two groups of six 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 especially for each school so that it really suited their pupils.

As a result of this project, one of the young people 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 worked towards 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.

The students at Bushey Academy had achieved five Level 1 Awards in Practical Horticulture between them. Those at Rivers ESC got three Level 1 Awards and 2 Level 1 Certificates in Practical Horticulture.

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

Chris Dungate for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, and Hertfordshire on 01707 260129 or

Anna Martin for Essex, Norfolk, and Suffolk on 01473 350370 or