Our students come from Swindon and the surrounding districts. They are bused to and from the centre each day in our own mini-bus, that runs a collection and drop-off service.
In addition to the full-time staff of 3, the project employs a specialist 3 mornings a week to teach numeracy and literacy skills and a cook. We also use the services of several volunteers to work with the students in various forms of general education, including cookery, art, and craft.
Horticulture is a good learning medium, because you need everyday skills like literacy, numeracy, colour recognition and the concept of time.
Students learn all aspects of cultivation, plant care and of course the dreaded weeding. They make hanging baskets and containers using the plants they’ve grown ready for sale to the public.
We use the vegetables we grow in our midday meals – the students gain great satisfaction from eating their own produce!
Literacy/Numeracy/Topic and Art
This takes place 3 days a week. All work is individual and involves incorporating student choice through discussion and the groups aim to practise skills learnt and develop student experience within the classroom.
The work in the literacy group includes pre-reading and reading skills (eg letter recognition, word matching, reading illustrated books, writing and verbal expression).
Numeracy gives the student opportunities to practise practical skills (eg use of money, measurement or telling the time) and also to develop concepts relating to space, number and time.
Topic group subjects are suggested and discussed by the students. They have included other countries, famous paintings and sport. Information is collected and expressed in written, verbal or visual form.
Art gives the opportunity for very individual work, and students are encouraged to express their own ideas using any chosen medium such as pencil, paint, collage, modelling clay or materia