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National award-winners: the school that took over a hotel and ran it for a day - plus case studies of the six other winners

Category:

Special Educational Needs

Winning Company:

Thorntons

Entry:

The Delves School Greenhouse Project

The success:

All children at the 5-16 day special school in Derby involved in renovating the greenhouse achieved passes in the City and Guilds Diploma of Vocational Education course. It gave a crucial boost to self-esteem and delighted parents.

The project:

The idea came from 15-year-olds who wanted to repair a timber and brick greenhouse. They linked it to the CG course, designed to develop independent learning self-confidence and team work, whilst improving basic skills.

Staff could measure the impact of the project on learning. Thorntons sponsored the projects and provided an outlet for the plants produced by pupils through the Thornton Park grounds. This park in turn gave volunteer work to handicapped adults at the nearby Parkwood Centre. Close attention is paid by pupils to the plants they grow - to ensure they are "butterfly" friendly.

Relevance to the curriculum: Broad applications to subjects from maths to natural science.

What Ian Snodin, head of The Delves School said: "The students involved in these initial stages have now left the school with a much greater understanding of their own ability to transform their own lives and the lives of others. "

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