Dormers Wells school introduced Horticulture 13 years ago as a self-esteem project for pupils who were struggling in main stream education. It enabled them to take pride in what they grew and to practice skills not usually offered in a school environment. Popularity grew to such an extent that they offered Horticulture as a subject option for pupils to study.
They built raised beds, a polytunnel, and purchased tools and safety equipment. The school quickly gained status to offer level 1 and 2 horticultural courses from City and Guilds, providing a career path for pupils to follow. Several pupils have decided to carry on studying Horticulture at a higher level and have found themselves employment within the industry. One alumni pupil is completing an apprenticeship at Kew gardens. The pupils also started a small enterprise; selling plants to parents and staff at parent evenings.
Jerry said: “A new fruit area is being planned by students to encourage healthy eating and give them the chance to appreciate their surroundings and nature. We are also starting to promote horticulture to the local community by offering a growing space to a neighbouring school. We hope this will continue to offer new students an alternative educational route and a step into a future career they are passionate about.”
David said: “The teachers and team have gone a long way to support these children, gardening is a great inclusive activity, which can create a long term interest and passion which could also be a career for these kids.”