The Land Based Studies course becomes a part of the curriculum in Year 9. It provides pupils with an introduction to Land Based Studies and provides them with the skills and independence needed to attain their BTEC Land Based Studies Certificate during Years 10 and 11. The school has a well-appointed poly tunnel and vegetable garden, as well as wooded areas and a sensory garden, in which pupils can hone their green fingers. The pupils also access The Out of Town Centre at Beaulieu, which is a small working farm and incorporates the Countryside Education Trust, as part of their assessment and qualification process.
- Off-site educational visits to The Out of Town Centre at Beaulieu, where pupils learn more about the course in a small farm setting
- Trips to local gardens and nurseries to learn about different aspects of Land Based Studies and career progression in this area.
In Year 10, pupils attend the Out of Town Centre for 5 weeks in every 15 as part of their Technology rotation. During these visits they continue to develop skills learned in Year 9, and begin to work towards their Edexcel BTEC Land Based Studies Certificate, a unit-based qualification, with instruction from teaching staff at the centre.
The five units pupils complete are:
- Plant Flower Bulbs for Naturalisation or Bedding
- Introduction to Pruning Trees and Shrubs
- Assist With Feedstuffs
- Assist With Maintaining Plants
- Prepare and Plant a Container for Display
Pupils continue to work for their certificate in Year 11, completing any remaining work and units not already covered in Year 10, in one 10-week block during the course of the academic year.
The assessment for this course follows criteria set out by the examining body, Edexcel. Assessments for all units are created on site and take into consideration the collective needs of students to allow for one assessment type across the subject. Most assessment is through tutor observations and witness statements, supported by photographic evidence, as this is a practical subject. This allows the pupils to write as much or as little as they are capable of.
Parental support is crucial to enhance pupil learning. Parents can help their child by:
- encouraging their child to help with gardening tasks at home, big or small
- discussing flowers and the use of colour in floral displays
- ensuring their child brings some clothes and wellies or boots for gardening in on the appropriate day