Supported Learning - Gardening & Horticulture at Weavers

Ref: C3740995

At Weavers we expose supported learners to hands on environmental learning through plant knowledge and propagation skills and gentle garden maintenance programmes, enhancing everyday experiences by connecting with the natural world. This provides an opportunity to improve both physical and mental health and promote a healthier lifestyle.

Additional information about this course

This course is run by the WEA, working in partnership with East Surrey College delivering Adult Learning across the East Surrey area. This is a fee paying course. If you are in receipt of an income related benefit you may be entitled to free tuition. You will need to provide evidence of your benefit status at the first session.

Course aim

In order to promote health and well-being students will take opportunities to work outside as much as possible and enhance everyday experiences by connecting with the natural world through plants and wildlife. To expose learner gardeners by hands on environmental learning through plant knowledge, propagation skills and garden maintenance programmes at their own pace and at a level which suits the individual's ability. Also to provide learners with opportunities for gentle exercise and through friendships and gardening experience a feeling of well being helping improve mental health and promoting a healthier life style. This longer 4 hour session allows us to explore individual maintenance and gardening projects in depth and further examine how to work successfully as a team. This longer session allows some supported gardeners an opportunity to improve stamina ready for work experience or other accredited courses.

Who is the course for?

This is a part time leisure course for students who require Supported learning.With the correct level of support all levels of ability and fitness would benefit.

What topics will this course cover

Welcoming both men and women wanting to learn at Supported Learning beginner level all types of plant care and propagation while having opportunities to work with a range of tools on garden maintenance projects suitable to the individual's ability. Learning with support to become a good all round gardener. Occasionally when possible we hope to cook simple dishes or make salads with ingredients from the garden.

What will it be like?

WEA classes are friendly and supportive. You will be encouraged to work together with your fellow students and tutor. You will be asked to share your ideas and views in the class and work with the group to give and accept feedback in a supportive environment. The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you to be actively involved in your learning. You may be asked to undertake work to support your course outside of your class.

By the end of the course I should be able to:

1 Create a number of plants from cuttings and from division 2 Monitor their growth and care 3 Identify a range of seasonal plants used to create summer planting schemes 4 Take part in a number of seasonal garden maintenance programmes 5 Use a variety of tools and equipment safely, cleaning and putting away after use.

How will I know I'm making progress?

Through Q&A. By observation and discussion on the outcome of a task with each individual and support staff if appropriate. Occasional informal practical tests.

What else do I need to know, do or bring?

In order that the gardeners can take part in garden maintenance tasks and connect with the natural world BOTH GARDENER AND STAFF are asked to wear suitable shoes and clothing for HOT, WET or COLD weather. Personal gardening gloves WHICH FIT THE INDIVIDUAL i.e not too BIG. NB Support staff should also be equipped with gloves. There is always a range of books and magazines available on site for the gardeners to use for ideas and inspiration. There may be an occasional small charge to cover the cost of ingredients for cooking sessions. Written notice will be sent home with the gardener when required and if they choose to partake.

Reading and information sources

No reading or preparation needed. We have a range of books and magazines available to encourage learners interests and ask support staff and managers to continue interest through gardening and wild life TV programmes and web sites if IT is available. Visits to local gardens through the open garden schemes would be inspirational and informative.

What could the course lead to?

Occasionally more able gardeners may gain work experience in nurseries specialising in propagation. Supported learning courses in related subjects such as IT or photography would be beneficial for some. Supported volunteer work could be considered for some.

Download full course outline

Supported Learning - Gardening & Horticulture at Weavers Course Outline


You can if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2016
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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