From education to employment

New courses help secondary students engage with nature and horticulture

RHS Garden Harlow Carr are offering new half-day workshops which support and enhance the curriculum and offer students the opportunity to get hands-on in the gardens.

The five new workshops will teach pupils about areas of the gardens, such as food-growing, and the wide range of benefits plants provide for people, including capturing carbon and boosting wellbeing. The courses support the secondary school curriculum, particularly the sciences, and pupils will gain additional skills in subjects such as practical fieldwork and mathematical working as they learn. 

Since opening in 2010, Bramall Learning Centre at Harlow Carr has welcomed over 110,000 students on educational visits. Dedicated equipment at the Centre means pupils can carry out scientific experiments and look closely at specimens from the gardens, while the Montague Burton Teaching Garden and Glasshouse give an outdoor space for learners to explore and get hands-on.

The new workshops are the first designed for secondary pupils, and the specialist knowledge of the teachers will help inspire attendees to pursue careers in the rapidly-growing horticultural sector.

Kirstie Blything, Education and Learning Manager at RHS Harlow Carr says:

We are thrilled to be able to offer a new programme of educational activity to help support secondary school pupils and teachers. Our vision is to enhance their learning experience by applying knowledge to real life ‘hands on’ experiences in an environment that will develop their well-being. We hope these new courses will help inspire the next generation of horticulturists!”

The new courses are:

Planting for the planet – soil health and food security (workshop). All about the importance of soil and the ways humans impact on the environment, linking to the chemistry, biology and geography curriculum.

Capturing carbon and keeping cool (workshop). Investigating the various adaptations plants have to allow them to survive and thrive in different habitats, working with the chemistry and biology curriculum.

Blooming botanists (workshop).  How we classify and identify plants, and why no two look exactly the same, closely covering the biology curriculum.

Plants for the plate (workshop). Looking at why plants are so vital in our diets and how eating plants can help the planet, following the biology curriculum.

Inspirational nature (supported self-guided). Students use the array of colours, shapes and textures found in the garden to inspire their next art project.

Self-guided field studies. Apply classroom learning to the variety of habitats and microclimates to investigate, explore and measure in the gardens, ideal for geography or ecology fieldwork.

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