RHS collaboration with the IOE

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) has announce a new partnership with the teacher education provider the IOE, UCL’s Faculty of Education and Society.

IOE, UCL's Faculty of Education and Society campus

The partnership provides an opportunity to inspire and support student teachers at the start of their careers by demonstrating that gardening can be used as an effective and inspiring method to teach subjects across the primary curriculum.

Together, the Campaign for School Gardening (CFSG) and IOE are running a series of eight, half-day workshops for students enrolled on the primary PGCE programme. The workshops are hosted at CFSG schools where school gardening is an established part of the curriculum. Each workshop focuses on a different subject specialism but all aim to raise awareness of school gardening and its role in supporting children’s learning and its benefits and value as a teaching tool.

Activities linking plants, gardening and nature with curriculum subjects were delivered by Louise Mills Jay, RHS Horticultural Training Officer. Student teachers then had a chance to try teaching the activity straight away to small groups of children. Those specialising in teaching Music created a garden orchestra with children using natural materials such as sticks and pine cones, while PE specialists facilitated an energetic planting relay.

“We have designed each activity so it can be delivered indoors and out, whether a school has a garden or not. Each of the activities can be delivered to a class of 30 children in any school setting and don’t require teachers to have any prior horticultural knowledge. It is also vital that minimal resources are needed so that cost isn’t a barrier for schools” said Louise Mills Jay, RHS Horticultural Training Officer