Friday, 29 March 2013

Taking Part in the RHS Benchmark Scheme

I chatted to the staff at the RHS stand in the Education Show earlier in the month and they were keen for us to sign up and work through the Benchmark Scheme. At first read through it appears VERY school orientated and it is, because it was designed for schools to encourage them to get children gardening. After reading the criteria for each level, I emailed them and double checked that we were OK to take part as a home educating family as the rewards for completing each level are fantastic. They replied that we were fine to continue on to level three which is about where we are at with our gardening, so we're off, I will ask about level four later. They understand that a family won't have the same evidence as a school and asked that I made it clear when I sent the evidence in that we were an HE family so they could review it accordingly! As I like to be an organised bod, I cut and pasted the information for level 3 into a table in a slightly adapted format to suit HE, and left space to jot down notes and plans for gathering the required evidence, most of which can be photographs at this stage. You can download the level three record sheet from google docs, you just need a google account to access it!
Today we re-potted the sunflower and pea seedlings that we planted at the beginning of March, (thinking that they would be out of doors by now). Unfortunately the continued snow and icy temperatures have meant that they are still on the lounge windowsill and struggling in the egg boxes and ice cream cones that they were sowed into. The girls handled the seedlings very carefully and gently and they were re-potted into recycled cardboard pots donated by Granny and Grandpa!

We also sowed some nasturtiums into the same pots, I have tried and failed to grow these edible flowers before but have wanted to bring some more flowers into our veg gardening for colour, variety and pest control purposes, so fingers crossed this time! the big raised bed that we have is perfect for nasturtiums to trail over the edge, they will look pretty.

I am collecting our photographic evidence here as we document our other home ed ventures here!! I am putting today's activities down against section one (raising funds through various channels) as I think donations of resources are in the same vein as fund raising, section two (gardening sustainably) as all our seedlings are housed in biodegradable and recycled/recyclable containers, and section three (skills progressing, and working together) as they repotted seedlings, handling them appropriately and worked as a team dividing jobs and resources to complete the task.

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