bringing out the best in boys

Wellacre Students ‘Go Green’ for RHS Challenge

Posted at 3:00 pm on 3rd January, 2018

Wellacre students win award in RHS competition 

Wellacre Academy’s green-fingered students have won the ‘Most Innovative Garden Design’ Award in a RHS (Royal Horticultural Society) Green Plan-It Challenge regional competition.

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The ten-week STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) challenge in the Autumn term tasked the group of students to imagine and design a green space for the school, exploring community needs and environmental issues.  

Year 7 Wellacre student, Daniel Craven, said:

"We had so much fun building our garden and we won because we were very creative in our design. The judges loved our student hamster wheel energy generator and the maze we designed for students to wander around and reflect. When I told my family they thought it was brilliant and amazing - it was a really great experience and so good that we won!"

The project began with a visit to the Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester so that the Key Stage 3 students could learn more about garden design and the use of plants for texture, space definition, structure and mood.

Year 7 students Niall, Shaun and Daniel, alongside Year 9s Joe, James  and Luke decided to design a space for Year 7 and 8 in the lower school yard area of school; creating a calming zone as well as a fun area.  

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Each school worked alongside an industry mentor. Landscape gardener Rebecca Knowles visited the academy regularly to support the students’ plan and bring their ideas to life with a scale model of the garden.  They learnt how different plants could be utilised for varying spaces and uses, as well first hand experience of the design process, from mood boards and A-maps to model building and presentations.

Mr Asha, Teacher of Science, said:

“The judges really loved the fact we had renewable energy resources built into the design as well as a rain capture system; they were blown away by the model and the level of detail in it.  Our Wellacre students impressed the judges with their design, presentation and articulate delivery; their passion for the challenge clearly shone through.”   

The competition culminated on 8th December at the Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester, with Wellacre’s design winning the innovation award.  Wellacre competed against 11 other North West schools in presenting their model designs to judges from the horticultural industry and the RHS.

Mr Asha, added:

“I was so proud to see our students win this award after all their hard work.  It was fantastic to see them engaging with our industry mentor, Rebecca.  As well as building on their teamwork, creative and presentation skills, they enjoyed learning more about horticulture as a profession.  We’d like to thank Rebecca for volunteering to support Wellacre students in this competition; the experience of working with a leading landscape architect was invaluable.”