On our recent trip to the Garden Centre students enjoyed the visit. The staff were very knowledgeable and friendly and couldn’t have been more helpful. We had lots of fun and learnt lots that will help us with our ‘Plants’ topic and our Science experiment.
We learned that the Garden Centre does not just sell flowers and plants. We had a look at garden tools, pet supplies, bird feeders, gifts, books, toys, ornaments and much, much more. We couldn’t believe our eyes when we saw all the packets of seeds. There were thousands. We learned that some plants can only be planted during certain months and that some need to be planted in different areas of your garden. We bought sunflower seeds and some plants to grow back in school and at the allotment.
Getting our students involved with growing plants opens them up to a host of new environments, experiences and relationships.
Outdoor environment is the incredible potential they give for sensory stimulus. Thinking creatively about how to maximise this sensory potential is key to working with SEN students, particularly those with sensory impairments. This is well illustrated by recent work with our students. They experiencing the sounds, smells and touch of the plants, this is just an important as doing things in the gardens.
Working outdoors also provides opportunities for new types of conversations and relationships with staff and peers. There’s a more relaxed atmosphere than in the classroom and we can chat more like friends.
The freedom to experience new activities and situations is another significant feature of growing-related activities. Simple things like the chance to dig and plant, to get dirty or to jump in a pile of leaves can b e completely novel experiences for students.