Girvan Community Garden


Royal Caledonian Horticlutural Society




Download The Royal Caledonian Horticlutural Society information leaflet.



Girvan Community Garden.

Royal Caledonian Horticlutural Society


Grow and Learn, Recognition of Individual Achievement in Horticulture Award.



Through its work with Oatridge College at Suntrap Garden, the Royal Caledonian Horticultural Society (the Caley) became aware of a need to recognise the achievements of people with complex learning needs who work in garden or horticultural settings.


Existing courses were not considered suitable for this group so a number of interested people devised a pilot scheme that was flexible in approach and that would suit projects and organisations working with people with complex learning needs. It was piloted by three organisations in 2006/2007 and reviewed in the autumn of 2008, when the new Award was launched.


The Recognition of Individual Achievement in Horticulture Award is centered on the learner and based on personal learning plans tailored to individual needs, including giving opportunities for making progress or maintaining current achievement. The Caley’s Award offers a programme of core horticultural activities and a menu of further optional activities linked to gardening and horticulture.


Achievement is assessed through compiling a portfolio and recording progress. Although not a qualification it recognises the achievements and progress made over the year.


The structure of the Award is designed to recognise and fit in with participating organisations existing structures and programmes. To date thirteen organisations across Scotland have registered learners with the Recognition Award programme.



The award will normally only be made after a minimum of 12 months, or an academic year attending the garden project.


Minimum Attendance

The student must attend the garden for at least 80 hours during that period. The remaining activities can either be from these seven groups of activities or be other horticultural or related activities such as building , woodwork, crafts, planting hanging baskets, glasshouse maintenance, weather observations, seed collecting, learning to drive a tractor, collect and press dried flowers, tool maintenance, painting structures, cooking from produce grown in the garden etc.


Individual Goals

Towards the beginning of the year, each student should, in conjunction with his/her carers and the garden team, choose a number of personal goals and record these in a Personal Learning Plan. These can be horticultural or more general such as timekeeping, working as part of a group, learning a social skill, improving a motor skill etc. Goals must represent something the student is currently unable to achieve.


The student must achieve three personal goals, which are challenging but achievable.


The goals will be reviewed every three months, and can be changed or added to.


Horticultural and Related Activities

The student must be involved, according to their abilities and the facilities at the project, in at least twenty different activities. The involvement in each must be for a minimum of two hours but not necessarily in one block. These must include at least one from each of the following seven core activities:

1. Cultivation e.g. digging, raking, cultivating, preparing the ground for planting (including measuring), preparing pots etc

2. Composting e.g. collecting, turning, sieving compost etc

3. Seed sowing e.g. in drills, broadcast, seed trays, pots, modules etc

4. Propagation e.g. taking cuttings, dividing etc

5. Potting on e.g. pricking out, potting on, planting out etc

6. Plant care e.g. watering, weeding, mulching, netting etc

7. Harvesting e.g. harvesting vegetables, picking flowers etc


Portfolio Each student must assemble, or have assembled on their behalf, a portfolio of evidence of their achievement at their Project. This will include as appropriate:

• Timesheets

• Testimonials

• Personal Statements

• Descriptions of activities undertaken

• Photographs

• Videos

• Records of personal goals achieved



Towards the end of the 12 month period, following verification of a completed Portfolio demonstrating that the student has:

• completed the minimum required hours

• participated in seven core horticultural activities

• participated in thirteen other horticulturally related activities

• achieved at least three personal goals


the student will be awarded a Recognition of Individual Achievement in Horticulture Award from the Royal Caledonian Horticultural Society.


Download The Royal Caledonian Horticlutural Society information leaflet.