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Redwood Park Academy

Horticulture

Objectives

The objectives of Horticulture are to develop a curiosity about, love for and sense of belonging in the outdoor environment through the care for and ownership of our outdoor spaces at Redwood Park

At its most basic level the National Curriculum supports teaching gardening by stating: ‘to cultivate plants for practical purposes such as for food or for decorative displays’. However, we believe that learning and working outside supports all subjects and more importantly promotes positive wellbeing, health and self-esteem for our leaners. The increasingly wide evidence base for this has been picked up by the House of Lords report into integration of horticulture into the National Curriculum more widely “Sowing the Seeds: A Blooming English Horticultural Sector

By the time they leave we want our pupils to have the skills to be able to carry on learning in the horticulture sector, to be able to look after their own green spaces, to be able to volunteer these skills in the community and to have a sense of the outdoors as being accessible and belonging to them.

We teach gardening because we know that the benefits of working outdoors are wide reaching and powerful. We know that young people in Portsmouth suffer from a lack of access to green spaces and safe outdoor leisure and that the resulting “nature deficit disorder” has a profound negative impact on their wellbeing. Our focus on high quality and innovate outdoor education aims to counter this, giving every child time, experience, and ownership of the outdoors.

We want our pupils to develop confidence outdoors, to have a range of gardening skills, to recognise the importance of being outside and to value the environment around them.

It is very possible for our pupils to develop a carrier in the horticultural sector, our future focus is to give them the opportunity to move into this sector of the economy, which produces £9billion to the UK economy and provides in the range of 300,000 jobs across the country

Horticulture broadens horizons both metaphorical and actual; evidence suggests working inside is more stressful than outdoor working, humans evolved in open spaces and our brains respond positively to the colour green. Nature Restoration Theory (Kaplin & Kaplin) showed how cognition improve with just 3 x 20 mins in green outdoor spaces a day. The weight of evidence shows that outdoor learning and alternative learning environments provides the opportunity to use energy, gives a varied sensory stimulus, develops ownership of place, supports relaxation, resilience & readiness for learning and encourages environmental understanding. It also helps to develop confidence, concentration, supports independence and to helps to practice motor skills (fine and gross), social skills and promotes healthy lifestyles.

Horticulture

 

 

Implementation

Our curriculum provides a wide range of high quality and innovative horticultural and outdoor experiences. Pupils develop, maintain, and cultivate our gardens throughout their time at Redwood Park. They develop their skills and independence as they progress through school.

Progress is mapped in terms of increasing confidence, independence, and skillful practical work across our garden spaces, with accredited outcomes in plant care, animal care and site maintenance available for year 11s.

All KS3 pupils have rotational access to our horticulture provision with years 10 and 11 accessing it via our options programme.

Also available are garden intervention sessions and readiness for learning activities.

Our key resource is our award winning and internationally regarded outdoor spaces. Twice recognised as the best school gardens in the UK and listed as being in the top 10 inspirational schools with outdoor spaces that promote positive mental health and wellbeing. As a 5-Star RHS gardening school and Tree Council Beacon school we are well resourced to teach all aspects of horticulture, forestry, and small animal care. We have a series of growing areas, flower and vegetable gardens, a whole grounds orchard with over 50 fruit trees, developing native hedges and living classroom, two polytunnels, wet weather teaching space and chicken palace!

Our long-term plans set out the sequence of learning throughout the year, around which we build in seasonal and weather reflecting opportunities

Long Term Plans