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Students develop teamwork skills through school garden project

Aberdare Community School, Rhondda Cynon Taff, south Wales, delivers ASDAN’s Gardening Short Course to a group of Year 9 learners who have expressed an interest in working in horticulture. The course is timetabled for four hours a fortnight and serves to prepare learners for a horticulture qualification they will undertake in Years 10 and 11.


“All pupils in Years 9 to 11 undertake ASDAN’s Certificate of Personal Effectiveness qualification (CoPE),” said Rachel Ellis, Design and Technology Teacher.

“One of the things that drew us to the Gardening Short Course was that up to six ASDAN credits (one credit per 10 hours of activities) from this programme can be put towards CoPE (12 credits required). This arrangement means that learners can pursue an area they are interested in, while at the same time achieving a qualification for a substantial and distinct body of work.”

One of the learners’ projects was to create a garden on the school site. They transformed an unused area  by building a shed, a greenhouse, raised beds for plants and a herb garden. 


“The students like working outside,” said Rachel. “They found it fascinating to see the food they had planted grow. They also learn how to take ownership of projects and work as part of a team.

“The learners have enjoyed seeing their portfolio come together and they are proud of their achievements. One of the benefits of this flexible course is that it can be tailored to the needs of each student. We are hoping to continue it next year with our next Year 9 group.”