A group of local volunteers have improved the outdoor area at Woodfield School, whilst improving their own job prospects.
The volunteers took part in the Green Team, an employment and skills project run by community charity Groundwork Hertfordshire and funded by Woodfield School, Awards for All and Oaklands College.
Over the last 14 weeks, the Green Teamers have learnt new hard and soft landscaping skills, which they have put to good use by creating a new outdoor classroom at Woodfield School. The new areas boasts several new raised beds to grow vegetables in – creating the community kitchen garden – giving the pupils a space to learn and enjoy outdoors. Plus, the Green Team have also created a range of fully inclusive allotments with a covered outdoor classroom, that was once an overgrown area.
Pupils aged 3 – 19 with severe learning difficulties many of whom have additional complex needs will be able to use the new outdoor area. These improvements to the area outside will create educational and recreational spaces that support Learning Outside the Classroom (LOtC) activities and improve the attainment and engagement of pupils through an enriched learning environment. Due to the pupils’ complex needs, the opportunity to learn in non-traditional outdoor settings has a significant positive impact. This supports the development of skills for life and transition to adulthood, helping pupils to reach their greatest potential.
On top of all the valuable practical experience, the participants have worked towards qualifications to help boost their job prospects: City & Guilds Level 1 Diploma in Practical Horticulture and City & Guilds Level 1 Award in Employability Skills.
Woodfield School has previously benefitted from a Green Team in 2017, where they created a patio area that the Woodfield School coffee shop opens up on to. The new kitchen garden will provide further opportunities for the community to be part of Woodfield School’s work; alongside improving pupil attainment and achievement through the creation of an enriched learning environment. These spaces promote physical and mental health complementing well-being and personal development.
Matt Sutcliffe, Groundwork’s Employment Project Tutor, said: “This is the second Green Team project we’ve done at Woodfield School, so it’s great to be back with another team to continue the project and create something really wonderful for the students.”
On 29 April 2019 the participants were presented with their certificates by Steve Harvey, Executive Director for Groundwork East.