Faculty of Inclusion
Mr S Read
Ms R Maxwell
Whilst most people will be familiar with the notion of gardening being a pleasant and relaxing pastime, the concept of deliberately working with plants as an educational and transformational tool may not be so well known or understood. A high level of interest in this intervention has been generated at St Peter's due to our unique on-site facility. Given this 'natural attraction' for many pupils, the nurturing of plants can be deliberately used in a structured and planned way as part of a personalised curriculum.
In horticulture we aim to provide our young people with:
- a relaxing,"safe space" supporting emotional welfare
- opportunities to learn new skills through a practical, purposeful and nurturing activity
- a wide range of tasks involved in growing plants make it an ideal, practical medium to develop a wide range of physical, psychological and social skills
- opportunities to grow and eat their own fresh fruit and vegetables, and equipping them with the skills to continue doing so into later life.
KS3 & KS4 Curriculum 2021-2022
At St Peter's around 30 pupils currently access horticulture on a regular basis, 1:1 or in small groups. They work with highly skilled, qualified practitioners on the school grounds, including a large glasshouse and poly-tunnel.
Horticulture benefits these students on many different levels. Pupils are working on "greening" the whole school environment, for example by encouraging teachers to have plants in their classrooms, developing the school grounds with wildflower areas and quiet garden spaces, and starting a herb garden to provide fresh herbs for school meals. We are also hoping to start a gardening club to extend our provision to more pupils.
Research has shown that being around plants can reduce stress, so such developments are intended to benefit all staff and pupils at St Peter's.
The Horticulture unit is also used by the Science department and the Photography GCSE students.