Horticulture is a practical activity introducing young people to the world of growing plants, fruit and vegetables, and how our environment affects the world around us. We consider how best to grow plants and vegetables and what they need to grow. The fruit and vegetables which we grow we cook, sell or take to the kitchens to be used in our school lunches.
We also run enterprise projects where we make and grow goods to sell. We look at our environment and how it affects us and we look at how we can support the wildlife in our school. We have a bird-cam set up where we can watch nesting birds which is always entertaining! We take part in the Big School’s Birdwatch and have seen many different birds including Buzzards, Robins and a Kestrel.
We are an approved teaching centre for the Royal Horticulture Society and older students can also participate in taking the Royal Horticultural Society Level 1 Introduction to Horticulture Award. This is a practical modular award which is recognised around the world where the students take four different modules: Sowing seeds, Vegetative propagation, Preparing soil for growing and planting and Assisting with planting and establishing plants. Attainment in Horticulture is also assessed using relevant modules of OCR Life & Living Skills, at Entry 1 to 3.
Horticulture supports the school curriculum through Science, English, Maths, ICT and RE. We also support mindfulness in the lessons and put therapeutic horticulture into practice using plants and gardens to improve physical and mental health, as well as communication and thinking skills.
We have a lovely area for horticulture consisting of kitchen gardens, poly tunnels, a greenhouse, a wildlife area and a well-equipped classroom. The students are encouraged to enjoy the area and if they come to horticulture with an idea we will try and put it into practice- one year this included taking DNA from strawberries and looking at it!