A new state-of-the-art Horticulture Classroom has opened at Folkestone Academy.
The classroom, which was opened by patron Tony Woods, will provide a space for environmental science and garden teaching for Academy students and the wider community, in all weathers.
It is hoped that the classroom will help to form a template for the formal introduction of horticulture across the UK.
Horticulture is part of the Academy alternative education provision for year 10 and 11 students, with key stage 3 also having one lesson per week.
Students will study the significant role of plants in the ecosystem, the value of growing local and seasonal produce, and gain insights into the journey of food from farm to table.
“The positive impact of being able to enjoy nurturing plants and growing food has proven benefits to the mental and physical health of young people as well as building personal confidence and engagement in the school environment,” says Tony Woods, director of Garden Club London and Academy patron.
“This project will also help to promote opportunities in horticultural, environmental and landscaping careers to pupils to help provide the workforce required to implement green initiatives and future projects to combat climate change.”
Plans have been made to create a training centre for wider Turner Schools staff, and the team have been supported by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) School Gardening Scheme.
Additional plans include a series of talks and workshops led by industry specialists.