A report by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), funded by the Growing Schools programme, reveals that teaching gardening to pupils with additional support for learning needs has a positive impact on their development.
One of the charity's visions is to give all young people a chance to garden as they develop, regardless of age and ability. The project was made possible by the legacy of Peter Rees, a member of the RHS for more than 30 years, along with his late wife Moya.
Pupils' ages ranged from four to 16 and they had conditions such as autism, behavioural, social and emotional difficulties, cystic fibrosis, hearing impairment and dyslexia.
Pupils showed an improved level of participation in activities and embraced new levels of responsibility for their own learning and progress. Those who had preferred to work independently developed improved team- working skills. Gains in confidence and self-esteem also made them more resilient and happy to persevere with challenging tasks.
The report, case studies and resources are available on the RHS Campaign for School Gardening website www.rhs.org.ukschoolgardeningSEN.