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Outdoor and Practical Learning

Students are taught Outdoor & Practical Learning through these categories:

• Horticulture
• Construction & Landscaping
• Creative
• Being in the Garden

Horticulture, Construction and Landscaping form the practical section of the programme and are closely related. The Construction and Landscaping programmes support and enable the Horticulture projects to be engaging and ambitious. Creative activities complement all three, and Being in the Garden provides opportunities for those students who are unable to access the more practical activities.

Outdoor & Practical Learning also offers targeted support for teaching in other subject areas. There are ample opportunities and locations available for this purpose; for example, for speaking and listening skills in the storytelling beach hut, applied maths in construction and metalwork, science in horticulture and the Camera Obscura.

Outdoor and Practical Learning is a fully integrated part of the educational experience at Oak Grove College. The grounds are considered to be an important resource; students learn to design, alter, care for and respect their own environment. We recognise that contact with the natural world is essential to the human spirit, and our students, working with nature and its processes, with time, the seasons and their materials, are able to have many rich and meaningful learning experiences.

The Oak Grove College grounds are made up of different gardens and places for learning. Each year we extend the range of opportunities available to our students.
All of the activities, whether practical or creative, aim to promote participation and personal achievement. The opportunity to work outdoors encourages our students to develop a strong sense of place and of personal identity. Moreover, we believe that integration into the wider community and working alongside others is a vital aspect of preparing our students for adult life.

A range of accredited courses is available to enable us to acknowledge students’ achievements in Outdoor and Practical Learning and, where appropriate, prepare them for post-16 Further Education.