Royal Horticultural Society launches new website to encourage gardening in schools

Wednesday 29 April 2015

RHS Campaign for School Gardening website goes live 28 April 2015 as 19,000 schools participate in UK’s largest school gardening campaign
















Over 19,000 schools currently participate in RHS scheme (Image: RHS)

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) has announced the launch of a pioneering new website to encourage horticulture in schools as part of their RHS Campaign for School Gardening, to go live on 28 April. The new site will offer an enhanced resource for both teachers and students, to engage with and support schools to develop and actively use a school garden.

As the UK’s largest school gardening campaign, with over 19,000 schools and groups currently participating – representing 59% of all UK primary schools and 47% of secondary schools - it’s hoped that the new website will allow even more schools and youth groups to get stuck in, creating their own gardens and inspiring gardeners and botanists of the future.

Developed in house, the new site is the Society’s first to use responsive design, providing an improved user experience along with lesson-ready resources from lesson plans to tips on what to grow when, and even access to RHS advice - all for free. Registered users can also bookmark their favourite resources and events tailored to their learning needs, and monitor the progress of their class by uploading evidence to an online portfolio of achievement, which can then in turn build towards earning the school a prestigious School Gardening Award. For those hoping to develop their newfound passion further, a new dedicated careers section will give advice and information to young people considering a career in horticulture. As a result of the new site, the RHS hopes to see 8,000 schools taking part in the awards scheme by January 2016.

RHS Digital Director, Matt Rooke, said: “The new RHS Campaign for School Gardening site sets the bar for where we, as an organisation, want to go next digitally, and is our first using responsive design. We’ve also integrated it with our new in house developed CRM solution to offer a far more personalised service to users, the learnings from which will massively assist in informing our future plans for the society’s wider online presence.”

Claire Custance, RHS Skills Development Manager, said: “We’re incredibly proud of the existing success of the RHS Campaign for School Gardening, which shares our passion for horticulture with millions of pupils up and down the country through high quality educational resources. The new site not only makes these easier to find, but by streamlining some of the processes will hopefully encourage even greater engagement."

In line with its charitable aims, increasing engagement with young people in diverse communities is at the very core of the Royal Horticultural Society’s ambitions for the future, as is a determination to give every child in the UK the opportunity to garden to ensure they develop essential life skills and robust physical and emotional health through connecting with their local environment. By uniting the best in horticultural skill with the latest in digital technology, the re-launch of the RHS Campaign for School Gardening website is key to this vision.

The RHS Campaign for School Gardening was started in 2007 with four important aims; to encourage all schools to use gardening as a teaching and learning tool; to show how gardening can enrich the curriculum; to teach children life skills and contribute to their emotional and physical health; and to the demonstrate gardening’s pivotal role in developing active citizens of the future.

For more information on the RHS Campaign for School Gardening visit www.rhs.org.uk/schoolgardening

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Notes to editors

For more information, please contact Adam Budhram in the RHS Press Office on 020 7821 3366 or email adambudhram@rhs.org.uk  

Images are available from PhotoShelter at www.rhs.photoshelter.com. Registration is a simple process and free of charge. Please contact pressoffice@rhs.org.uk to gain access.

About the RHS Campaign for School Gardening
The RHS has actively involved more than 19,000 schools across the UK in growing and gardening through its Campaign for School Gardening. Children are taught about plants and gardening and their environment. Through gardening they learn about healthy fruit and vegetables, wildlife, and important life skills such as teamwork, social skills and co-operation. Huge benefits are to be had from using an outdoor classroom where children can learn in a fun, engaging way. Information, lesson plans and advice for schools is provided online and is backed up by support from the RHS education team.

About the RHS
The Royal Horticultural Society was founded in 1804 by Sir Joseph Banks and John Wedgwood for the encouragement and improvement of the science, art and practice of horticulture. We held our first flower shows in 1820, were granted a Royal Charter in 1861 and acquired RHS Garden Wisley, our flagship garden, in 1903. From our first meetings in a small room off London’s Piccadilly, we have grown to become the world’s largest gardening charity.

 

Today the RHS is committed to providing a voice for all gardeners. We are driven by a simple love of plants and a belief that gardeners make the world a better place. 211 years on we continue to safeguard and advance the science, art and practice of horticulture, creating displays that inspire people to garden. In all aspects of our work we help gardeners develop by sharing our knowledge of plants, gardens and the environment.

RHS Registered Charity No. 222879/SC038262

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About the RHS

The RHS believes that gardening improves the quality of life and that everyone should have access to great garden experiences. As a charity we help to bring gardening into people's lives and support gardeners of all levels and abilities; whether they are expert horticulturists or children who are planting seeds for the very first time.

RHS membership is for anyone with an interest in gardening. Support the RHS and secure a healthy future for gardening. For more information call: 0845 130 4646, or visit www.rhs.org.uk

RHS Registered Charity No. 222879/SC038262