The green-fingered young people of Prior’s Court have been helping a nationwide project to make a royal society’s awards scheme more inclusive.

Prior’s Court was one of just 20 schools chosen from around 250 applicants to take part in a consultation event run by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) to explore greater inclusivity in its School Gardening Awards programme.

The programme encourages gardening within schools and community groups, and making use of gardens as a valuable learning resource.

The young people of Autumn House at Prior’s Court were supported to complete the pupil questionnaire as part of the consultation. The questionnaire was broken down in PECS with “Like/Dislike” response options used to elicit the young people’s opinions.

Prior’s Court will receive a £200 voucher to spend on gardening items for taking part in the initial consultation.

The benefits of horticulture

Wendy Moffatt, our Land-based vocational learning programme lead (which covers the areas of horticulture and animal care), said: “Gardening is a huge part of life at Prior’s Court – in addition to two specific horticultural learning areas within the School and the Young Adult Provision, each residential home has their own garden which young people are encouraged to manage.

“The benefits of gardening to our young people are huge – from learning motor skills via use of hand tools to understanding the difference between plants and weeds, and of course the reward aspect of seeing a plant that you have nurtured grow and bloom.

“It is important for programmes celebrating the power of gardening to be inclusive and so we are hugely proud to have been a part of this consultation run by the RHS with their school gardening programme. We are very excited to see how the programme develops and look forward to taking part in it again in its new format.”

Find out more about our vocational learning provision