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The horticulture qualification that is currently followed is the City and Guilds 7573-11 Level 1 Award or Certificate in Practical Horticulture Skills, which consists of practical modules in traditional gardening skills such as digging and seed sowing, as well as modules in machinery such as lawn mowers. 

These are taught by our experienced members of staff.

Our school is a Level 1 approved site, with a large greenhouse, many growing beds, an indoor planting room and a fleet of lawn mowers, strimmers and leaf litter blowers.

All pupils must learn how to handle garden tools, machinery and equipment safely and appropriately, as well as learning good housekeeping habits. Pupils are made aware of health and safety considerations, particularly with regard to lifting, bending, carrying and using tools and machinery.

During the 2-year course, it is likely that pupils will experience and practise the following practical skills:

  • Preparing beds (digging and weeding)
  • Mulching
  • Sowing and planting
  • Pricking out seedlings
  • Pruning
  • Raking
  • Composting
  • Making Summer and Winter planters
  • Lawn mowing
  • Strimming
  • Leaf litter blowing

Assessment is by means of simple practical gardening tasks that demonstrate competence – these must be completed independently and to the required standard, although pupils may attempt them as many times as they like. Verification is performed by an External Quality Assurer who visits the centre regularly throughout the year. The Horticulture course provides a rich environment for outdoor learning which enables pupils to learn about use of the land, about a variety of plants and shrubs, and about the maintenance of gardens and grounds. This course is suitable for any pupil who is attracted to the Land Industries and loves the outdoors, or who thinks they may be interested in becoming a gardener.

This course leads into the Sixth Form Horticulture pathway, where a Level 1 Diploma or Level 2 in Practical Horticulture Skills is offered.