“Gardening is not a preserve of anyone. Lords, Dukes and Duchesses can talk about it on a level playing field with ordinary people”Alan Titchmarsh.
What takes place before teaching in the classroom?
Land Based Studies encourages pupils to develop their practical skills and have an interest in gardening and the world outside of the classroom. It provides an opportunity for pupils to learn about their communities so they know what is available to them, how to find it and how to make the most of it.
Gardening helps to extend pupils numeracy and literacy skills for example in numeracy by measuring, estimating, calculating, space and shapes, areas and dimensions. And Literacy with reading labels and packets, researching different types of vegetables, fruit and flowers.
Gardening allows pupils to see a whole process from beginning (growing) to end (harvesting). This gives them a sense of purpose and responsibility of seeing their hard work coming to fruition. They have been involved in the planning, nurturing and harvesting of produce and then taking it home to eat. This will encourage discussion at home and a sense of achievement.
LBS is not only a fun activity it also allows pupils to develop their creativity, perseverance, listening skills and patience. They can either work on their own or as part of a group. They get the benefits of being outside in the fresh air and getting exercise. This will contribute to their wellbeing. The health benefits of gardening also contribute to raising self-esteem as harvesting brings a sense of accomplishment. Outdoor exercise is good for the heart, reduces stress and can help with a better sleep pattern. The use of tools helps improve hand strength and fine and gross motor skills.
People of all ages can enjoy gardening, but young people in particular will have lots of fun and gain special benefits. Gardening is educational and develops new skills including:
- Responsibility– from caring for plants
- Understanding– as they learn about cause and effect (for example, plants die without water, weeds compete with plants)
- Self-confidence – from achieving their goals and enjoying the food they have grown
- Love of nature – a chance to learn about the outdoor environment in a safe and pleasant place
- Reasoning and discovery – learning about the science of plants, animals, weather, the environment, nutrition and simple construction
- Physical activity – doing something fun and productive
- Cooperation– including shared play activity and teamwork
- Creativity– finding new and exciting ways to grow food
- Nutrition – learning about where fresh food comes from.
- Gardening is a healthy, fun activity for children.
- Children develop new skills and learn about science and nature from growing their own food.
- There is a variety of interesting activities children can be involved in, such as planting, mulching, weeding and cooking.
- Learn about how to stay safe in an outdoor environment using suitable equipment and tools.
The Senior Leadership Team will:
- Lead the school staff to develop a clear overarching curriculum intent which drives the ongoing development and improvement of all curriculum subjects
- Ensure that the curriculum leaders have appropriate time to develop their specific curriculum intent through careful research and professional development.
- Provide sufficient funding to ensure that implementation is high quality.
The LBS Curriculum Leader will work closely with the subject teachers to:
- Understand and articulate the expectations of the Humanities Department to the Headteacher and Governing Body.
- Support teaching and support staff.
- Ensure an appropriate progression of knowledge is in place
- Ensure an appropriate progression of LBS skills and knowledge is in place over time so that pupils are supported to be the best gardeners they can be, and challenge teachers to support struggling gardeners and extend more competent ones.
- Ensure an appropriate progression for vocabulary is in place for each phase of learning, which builds on prior learning.
What does this look like in the classroom?
- Secondary LBS provision is overseen by a qualified Teacher who specialises within the subject and has the relevant qualifications.
- In year 10 and 11 KS4 pupils have 3 lessons each week.
- Pupils work towards a WJEC qualification. They will achieve: WJEC Entry Pathway in Independent Living. The units they will study are: Introduction to Plant Care (Entry 2/3 Criteria) Year 1 and Introduction to Land Maintenance and Myself in the Community (Entry 2/3 Criteria) Year 2.
- The Humanities department has detailed planning which links with our curriculum progression document and assessment opportunities.
- The Curriculum Progression document is a skills based overview showing how we plan for progression in LBS and develop competence in a range of skills including weeding, soil testing, land maintenance, growing seeds, harvesting, transferring seeds and maintaining healthy grow and understanding the community.
- Lessons are engaging and pupils are challenged by the curriculum they are provided with. The pupils time in lessons is divided into 1 lesson of course work and the other 2 lessons are spent outside gardening (weather permitting).
- Pupils work in a whole class, small groups or individually to support pupils in their development of their skills.
- Differentiation and personalisation are planned for within activities and allowance is made for ability and experience.
- We provide appropriate quality equipment including safety boots, gloves and all gardening tools. They also have their own LBS green hoodies to wear.
- Some work takes place in the classroom and some in the greenhouse, shed or outside on the plots of land.
- Support staff are deployed effectively to enhance learning.
How is success in Land Based Studies Measured?
LBS contributes to broader curriculum aims by educating the emotional, intellectual and physical development of children. The teaching of gardening enables personal expression, reflection and emotional development. It also increases self-discipline, confidence, sensitivity and fulfilment as well as helping children to forge links between home, school and the wider world.
Our pupils are:
- Engaged because they are challenged by the curriculum which they are provided with.
- Resilient learners who are learning to overcome barriers and understand their own strengths and areas for development.
- Safe and happy to be active participants in LBS lessons (having been given opportunities to explore their own creative development in a supportive and nurturing environment).
- Showing progression of knowledge and understanding, with appropriate vocabulary and technical skills which support and extend learning.
- Becoming confident in discussing LBS, their own work and identifying their own strengths and areas for development
- Pupils are provided with personalised progress trackers showing their subject targets. These are linked to the requirements of the WJEC exam board criteria to gain a qualification. They allow pupils to discover areas of strength, as well as areas they might like to improve upon.
- Our Progress Trackers are in place in pupil’s subject folders.
- Pupils are encouraged and nurtured to overcome any barriers to their learning or self-confidence because feedback is positive and focuses on LBS skills and knowledge.
- Assessment shows that pupils develop their gardening skills and confidence over time because of careful planning, focused delivery and time to practice and hone skills.
- Observation, listening, questioning, discussing and photographic evidence of involvement in the activities are used to make assessments.
- Assessment in gardening takes account of the practical nature of the subject in which information is collected and stored while pupils are involved in acquiring and applying gardening skills.
- We monitor the impact of our gardening provision through termly assessments, lesson observations, learning walks, performances and work scrutiny.
- In addition to academic achievement, social emotional progress including self-confidence, interaction with and awareness of others and self-reflection may be discussed during Annual Reviews, in EOY reports, parent consultation evenings, open evenings and in postcards home to parents.
For more curriculum information about what pupils study in this subject please visit our curriculum and exams provision page .