Our Garden Project students getting real work experience

Southlands School’s EPICC Unit, which stands for the Extended Provision for the Inclusion of Challenging Children, is designed to support students that have additional social, emotional and behavioural difficulties or other more complex needs. Sarah Carrie, Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) North East Schools Advisor, has been working with the students since September, when this pioneering project was extended into this school.

The project aims to enrich the curriculum by learning through gardening, and to provide students with unique learning experiences and the opportunity to gain social skills, practice working collaboratively with others and to engage students who at times are difficult to reach. The project is funded the Children’s Foundation and is designed to give vulnerable learners a chance to build an independent future through horticulture.

Mandy Morrison, RHS Schools Regions Manager, said: “We’re delighted to be supporting this brilliant initiative. Although gardening is hugely beneficial to any child of any ability and age, our research has proven that it can be a really effective way of helping young people with special educational needs build the sort of confidence and skills needed to really blossom in any working environment.”