Young people from Fox Hollies School, who have been studying the City & Guilds Level 1 in Practical Horticulture, finished off the summer term with a full-on final day of gardening at our King’s Heath Park gardens in Birmingham.
A healthy crop of potatoes was harvested, stones painted for bee watering stations and a series of miniature gardens in stone sinks were created.
Comments from the students, who have special educational needs and disabilities, showed how positively they enjoyed their term: ‘It makes me happy.’ ‘I like planting food.’ ‘It’s lovely.’
The busy last day reflected a busy term where the students learnt about watering, tool maintenance and caring for the plants in the garden.
Various vegetable crops were sown and grown in purpose-built raised beds, complimented with studies into the principles of horticulture, for example the growing habits of plants and the importance of positioning to ensure their growth.
‘The students have an abundance of enthusiasm and a fantastic work ethic, they support each other but also work with incredible independence,’ said Thrive Social and Therapeutic Horticulture Practitioner Rachel Jeyes.
‘They understand the needs of the plants in the garden and care for them brilliantly. On hot days, we gather to discuss which plants need watering, then off the students go using all the watering equipment safely, taking turns at the tap and moving around the garden sensibly.’
Selecting plants to grow has helped the students’ cognitive skills, such as their ability to make choices, while preparing and trying new foods they have grown has provided extra learning opportunities.
Rachel added: ‘We look forward to them returning in September for their second academic year as we are certain they are all going to pass their qualifications with flying colours.’