Nescot students won ‘overall good’ in a countryside competition for young people.
A group of Foundation Learning students travelled to the South of England Agricultural Society’s ground in West Sussex on Wednesday last week (March 13) for the annual Jim Green challenge.
They brought work they had completed at college with them, and also took part in a series of challenges on the day.
“The students really enjoyed the experience and they did a brilliant job,” said Lisa Moyniham, interim Director of Learning Support and Foundation Learning.
“They learnt a lot about horticulture, but the competition was also an opportunity for them to use their teamwork skills, their communication and to work on their independence.”
The students have been working towards the competition since the autumn term. They planted bulbs in November and kept a diary of what they had done and when the flowers started to emerge.
They also made a scarecrow, with the staff creating the frame and the students stuffing and decorating it, and built two houses for hedgehogs.
On the day of the competition the students had to work in pairs to dig over a flowerbed, and then fill a window box with plants which they had to space out correctly.
They also had to correctly identify a number of rural items, such as trees, ivy and a woolly hat.
The Jim Green challenge has been held annually since 1999 and is designed for students with mild or moderate learning difficulties who attend a land-based or Further Education college.
Students and staff from across Foundation Learning contributed to the competition, but those on the Building Blocks course travelled to Ardingly for the big event.
“It was a real team effort, and the students should all be very proud of what they achieved,” said Horticulture tutor Caroline Knight.
“Many of our students in Building Blocks have autism or moderate learning difficulties, so the experience of going to the competition was a challenge for them. They did brilliantly.”
Foundation Learning offers courses for students with no formal qualifications and/or with mild to moderate learning difficulties or disabilities.