Continuing professional development (CPD) courses at the National Botanic Garden of Wales help teachers to get to grips with plant-based learning.
The National Botanic Garden of Wales offers a wide range of one-day workshops for primary and secondary school teachers. The courses are designed to equip teachers with knowledge, practical skills and creative ideas for using plant-based learning across the curriculum.
The CPD workshops cover topics including growing vegetables and sensory plants; using ponds as an educational resource; wildlife gardening growing; and working with willow. “We want to help teachers discover the enormous potential for using plants and the natural environment to support learning – and to start using plants in more adventurous and creative ways,” explains Jane Richmond, Head of Learning and Interpretation.
Plant physiology for primary teachers
One popular new addition in 2010 was ‘Plants for Primaries’, which focuses on plant physiology and growth. The course covers plant science to just beyond GCSE level, so teachers can be confident that they’ll be able to answer any questions that their pupils have. During the day the teachers get to practice experiments in areas such as cell biology and seed germination, and explore curriculum links with areas including sustainability and global citizenship.
“Many primary school teachers won’t have studied science since their own school days, so they may feel a little unsure about introducing experiments with plants into their lessons,” says Jane. “Running through the experiments gives them the confidence to try them out back at school, and gives them a chance to see where things might go wrong.”
CPD at National Botanic Garden of Wales