Welcome to Oak Grove College Gardens
Learning through making is a fully integrated part of the students’ educational experience at Oak Grove College.
Working alongside staff and volunteers, students have developed, landscaped and planted the grounds themselves. By using the outdoors as a resource for all subjects, be it literacy and numeracy, science or art, students are able to have many rich and meaningful experiences. Working with nature and its processes, with time, with seasons and their materials, they learn to understand what it means to design and alter, to care for and to respect their own environment.
Groups from other schools and local businesses, young adult mentors, parents and carers, all come and work with us to make learning in the outdoors a real community project. Twice this year, next June and September, we will host Concordia, a group of international volunteers, who support our students with the various projects in the grounds. This is a particularly valuable experience for us.
In June we will open the grounds as part of the National Garden Scheme; in February we host Transition Worthing’s Seed Swap event and in August Worthing Allotment Society’s Annual Show. We believe the integration into the wider community and working alongside others is a vital aspect of preparing our students for adult life.
Each year we extend the range of opportunities and learning experiences available to our students:
- Throughout autumn and winter, we will develop our horticultural programme and propagate perennials for sale in the spring.
- Older students are involved in making a traditional oak framed building to house an outdoor cooking centre.
- We are landscaping a wildflower meadow bank near the camera obscura.
- We are finishing groundwork in a new play area.
- During the year, B.A. Students from Northbrook College will support our pupils in creative activities, and from October through to February, Worthing Museum Garden Space will be exhibiting a series of sculptures by our students.
All of the activities, whether practical or creative, aim to promote participation and personal achievement. We are particularly pleased that many of the projects our students are working on lead to accreditation by the R.H.S. and The Prince’s Trust.