Swap the classroom for the garden and watch students blossom, says learning mentor

The TES is reporting how a secondary school in West Sussex is using gardening to support students who struggle to manage their behaviour…

The Imberhorne School has been using gardening as a behaviour strategy since 2007, when learning mentor Noreen Daw applied to her local authority for a grant to plant trees on school grounds. Assisted by students, Ms Daw has since spearheaded the expansion of the Imberhorne Eco School project to include maintaining fruit and vegetable gardens and constructing raised flower beds.

Students who struggle to manage their behaviour are allocated time in the garden in place of certain lessons. As a result, these students are coming to school more regularly and doing better in the lessons that they do attend, Daw says.

“In the garden, students are able to complete work that is achievable for them. They can see the benefits pretty quickly and regularly feel a sense of achievement.”

Students also have the opportunity to pick up practical skills that can be applied in later life…

But for those learners who are facing difficulties in school or in their personal lives, the emotional benefits of gardening are almost as great as the practical gains, Daw suggests…

More at: Swap the classroom for the garden and watch students blossom, says learning mentor


Find out more about the Campaign for School Gardening at the Royal Horticultural Society’s dedicated schools website


Sounds like a very interesting approach and it is easy to see why the impact of being able to grow things out of nothing might help foster a sense of achievement.

Is anyone else involved in the Campaign for School Gardening or doing something similar with their students?

Please let us know how well you think it works and any tips or insights you are able to share…


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Categories: Secondary.


  1. Lovely idea.  Can’t see it catching on, though.  There’s no kudos in high-stakes accountability for gardening.  Sad state of affairs.

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