Horticulture

It’s so much more than just looking at plants!

Horticulture is the art, science, technology and business of intensive plant cultivation for human use.   It’s also the fun of working in a garden and growing your own crops, which you can eat!!   It is practiced from the individual level in a garden up to the activities of a multinational corporation. It is very diverse in its activities, incorporating plants for food (fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, culinary herbs) and non-food crops (flowers, trees & shrubs, turf-grass, hops, grapes, medicinal herbs). It also includes related services in plant conservation, landscape restoration, landscape and garden design/construction/maintenance, horticultural therapy, tree surgery and much more. This wide range of food, medicinal, environmental, and social products and services are all fundamental to developing and maintaining human health and wellbeing.

What does BTEC Horticulture involve?

EXAM BOARD: Edexcel BTEC level 1 or 2

KEY TOPICS COVERED:  Theory;   Soil science (how soil is formed, different types of soil, improving soil etc), fertilisers, growing crops and looking after them, pests and diseases.  Practical; Soil preparation, seed sowing, pricking out, potting on, pruning, harvesting and preparation for sale, mowing and rotorvating, taking cuttings etc.

How many exams do I take and when?

There is currently no written exam in BTEC Horticulture. However, students have several written projects they need to complete and  need to be able to manage their workload, keep up with deadlines and be prepared to put in extra time during prep and in the evenings.

Extras: Students who study Horticulture will also have the opportunity to have their own plot, make use of our heated greenhouse to bring on their plants and also apply to become a Head of Department.

Also we have equipment for KS4 students to use in lessons and at other times when supervised.

This subject enables students to become familiar with working practices and ethics acceptable in industry and there will be an opportunity for students to visit other horticultural establishments during the course.

Have you ever wondered how a plant works, what a banana tree looks like, why some plants eat insects or how some plants grow from just one leaf? In our lessons, students learn all about that and much more! Boys mow the lawns, work on their own plot, plant seeds and pot them on, plant out, harvest and taste their own work! Boys sell their produce including flowers, fruit, vegetables and herbs and have the chance to learn outside as well as inside the classroom. What’s more, they receive a BTEC qualification in Year 11 – where else could they do that?

The BTEC in Horticulture at Brymore goes beyond the basic BTEC requirements. We pride ourselves on expecting boys to know and understand the science behind the practical work they do, studying a range of concepts, from soil composition to propagation, including hands of experience of grafting. The Distinction level certificate requires boys to conduct their own research into fertilisation and modern methods of maximising productivity, along with a deeper understanding of the economics behind plant rearing and how to grow plants for profit. We are one of very few schools to be accredited by the Royal Horticultural Society, in recognition of the work we do with boys and have firm links with the National Trust, who are currently working with us to develop a series of educational visits to gardens and nurseries, as well as natural areas managed by the Trust to further deepen the quality of the BTEC experience.

Boys are expected to complete Garden Duties after school, working in the school grounds to maintain borders and lawns. Thus, we expect them to learn the importance of reliability, diligence and dedication, not to mention physical effort. The BTEC in Horticulture has close links with the Environmental and Land Based GCSE, which boys currently have the opportunity to study as part of the science curriculum. The facilities at Brymore offer boys a chance to work in a genuine ‘workplace’ and learn the value of patience, attention to detail and skill when it comes to plant production.

A more detailed course breakdown for the BTEC can be found here

Head of Horticulture – Mr R Willcocks

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