Introducing Garden Schools

Introducing Garden Schools

Welcome to the Garden Schools Training Resource. This introductory section describes:

  1. What the Garden Schools programme is
  2. Who this training resource is aimed at
  3. The benefits of using the resource
  4. How the resource works
  5. The resource content
  6. The Garden Schools Awards

Short Film: Introducing Garden Schools

1. About the Garden Schools programme

The OSF Garden Schools (GS) programme was developed by Aberdeen University School of Education in partnership with the voluntary organisation ONE SEED FORWARD.

“A garden school is one which promotes children’s learning and well-being, focusing on the activity of growing food in the school garden.”

The GS programme aims to support and encourage the establishment of gardens for food growing in schools with a view to:

  • Encouraging children and teachers to learn about growing
  • Introducing discussions around fresh food and healthy eating
  • Promoting community engagement in food growing initiatives
  • Providing educational materials linked to curricular areas, using the school garden as a focus for learning and well-being
2. Who should use the Garden School Training Resource?

The resource is aimed at anyone who has a role in helping school pupils set up and/or maintain a flourishing school garden - this includes student teachers, teachers, and Pupil Support Assistants.

Additionally, although designed primarily for schools, use of the GS programme in alternative community settings is entirely possible. For that reason, community workers with this type of role and remit will also benefit from its use.

3. Why use this resource

Although the Garden Schools programme materials are already freely available for self-directed use, this training resource gives added support and guidance by:

  • Taking users through the GS programme and materials in a stepwise and timely manner
  • Highlighting useful additional reading and resources
  • Helping achieve rewarding delivery of the programme and a productive school garden

Participation in the training will benefit Professional Development, and on successful completion, One Seed Forward will email users a Certificate of Completion.

4. How it works

This resource is available 24/7.  Learning is at your own pace and is done entirely on-line.

The training can be undertaken solely on a theoretical basis if preferred, however for maximum benefit, we recommend, ideally, that users work through the training at the same time as practically delivering the GS programme. Users with a school role may find it best to start training and delivery near to the start of a new school year, but this is entirely your own choice.

Materials include:

  • Short films
  • Reading materials
  • GS programme materials
  • Related website links – these include links to activities. More ideas can be found by visiting Countryside Classroom, our partner website. Remember that some activities may be Region specific, so always check what is suitable to grow in your garden where you live.
5. Topics covered

There are 8 main sections featuring all elements of the GS programme.  The suggested order shown is as a guide only, based on the academic year starting in August/September – it can easily be adapted for different situations:

Section Topics Suggested month
1 From School Grounds to School Gardens August/ September
2 The mystery of growth October
3 The secrets of the soil November/ December
4 Crazy compost January
5 From small to big: big seeds and germination February
6 From planting to growing March
7 Tending to the gardens April
8 Harvesting and cooking May/ June


6. The Garden Schools Awards

There are 5 recognised stages to the Garden Schools programme – described in the Garden Schools Framework. On completion of a stage, schools can apply to One Seed Forward, describing what has been achieved and which award they are applying for, complete with photographs if possible. Following evaluation, successful schools will be sent an Award Certificate via email, and gardening gift vouchers in the post.