Horticulture classroom at Folkestone Academy

Newly built horticulture classroom stands promotes environmental awareness among school students and wider community.

Folkestone Academy Horticulture Classroom
credit:Folkestone Academy

Staff and students at Folkestone Academy, a comprehensive school catering for children of the ages 11-19, celebrated the grand opening of their new state-of-the-art Horticulture Classroom. The purpose-built facility will revolutionise the teaching of environmental science and horticulture at the school. The Classroom was officially opened by garden designer Tony Woods, Director of Garden Club London.

Students will be taught about the vital role plants play in ecosystems, grasp the significance of growing local and seasonal produce in combating climate change, and gain insights into the journey of food from farm to table. Lessons will be taught in mixed ability groups with numerous practical sessions where students will have access to a purpose-built horticulture area including an outdoor classroom, polytunnel, and raised beds.

The school has employed an experienced horticulturalist as lead teacher, as well as a support teacher. A series of talks and workshops led by industry specialists will be organised in the new facility, acting as a hugely valuable community space.

The Horticulture Classroom, raised beds and polytunnel was made possible by the generous £160,000 grant from Sir Roger De Haan, Chair of Friends of Folkestone Academy.

Steve Shaw, Principal at Turner Schools, said: “We believe in nurturing a profound appreciation for the natural world among our students. The Horticulture Classroom shows our commitment to providing hands-on learning experiences that not only empower our students with skills but also inspire a lifelong love for nature. We want to use this classroom to promote environmental issues and increase our students’ understanding of the challenges ahead, as well as highlighting careers and progression opportunities in the horticultural and environmental science industries.”

Seamus Murphy, Chief Executive at Turner Schools, said: “We are immensely grateful to Sir Roger De Haan for his unwavering support. His generous donation has allowed us to create a space that will not only enhance the learning experience of our students but also serve as a valuable community asset. We truly believe that this project will prove pivotal in our bid to establish Turner Schools as a local, and in time national, beacon of excellence for environmental science and horticulture teaching.”