Grow & Learn Awards 2017

Grow & Learn

Grow and Learn is a horticultural award scheme that recognises individual progress and achievement through experiential learning and personal development. The award offers the learner a structured framework to work within, but is also flexible enough to ensure a person-centred approach at all times.

The award is ideally suited to those who, for a variety of reasons, may find more formal education challenging. Grow and Learn participants tend to be people with a learning disability, complex learning need, physical or mental health disability. Participants also include people who may have been excluded from mainstream society, marginalised or excluded from mainstream education.

The award is open to anyone over the age of 13, with little or no practical horticultural or gardening experience.

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Grow and Learn ‘Roots’ is the starting point of the learning and introduces the learner to core horticultural tasks.  Learners can then choose which additional horticultural related activities they wish to undertake as well as setting themselves personal goals too. In order to achieve the Award, learners must undertake a minimum of:

  • 7 core activities
  • 13 additional activities
  • 3 personal goals
  • 80hrs of practical gardening activity
  • A personal portfolio that evidences achievement and progress made

Once the coursework has been verified, participants are awarded a Caley Grow and Learn ‘Roots’ certificate.

‘Grow and Learn has made a huge difference to our residents knowledge. Portfolios are great as they help our residents retain the information when completing their task.’

Lynn Dunnachie (Staff, Richmond Fellowship, Glasgow)


After learners have completed Grow and Learn ‘Roots’, they can if they wish, progress to Grow and Learn ‘Nurture’.  This allows the learner to develop their skills further and build upon knowledge gained previously. In order to achieve the Award, learners must undertake a minimum of:

  • 7 core activities
  • 6 additional project, group or individual activities
  • 3 personal goals
  • 80hrs of practical gardening activity
  • A personal portfolio that evidences achievement and progress made

Participants are then awarded a Caley Grow and Learn ‘Nurture’ certificate at the end of the learning to celebrate their success.

‘I’m weeding my way to happiness!’ (Richmond Fellowship resident, Glasgow)


Resources for both awards are available from the Caley website for a registration fee.  This includes: Tutors Info Zone Here you will find some examples and handy tips and ideas of how and what to record to get you started. 7 core activities for both Roots and Nurture Here you will find activity guidelines and flashcards to reinforce the learning for each gardening activity. 13 additional activities Roots Here you will find an extensive list of various ideas and suggestions to inspire the learner. 6 additional activities Nurture Here you will find some ideas and suggestions on seasonal project, group or individual activities. Personal portfolio template Here you will find a portfolio template to download and record electronically if you wish. Please remember the resources are there for you to use or adapt as necessary to your specific project or individual learner’s needs. We simply ask that you record evidence of all the key outcomes of each award.

‘Goals give you something important to work towards.’

(Grow and Learn participant, Parklea, Branching Out, Port Glasgow)

Registration and Support

If you are keen to find out more or want to register learners please contact us: Email: As part of your registration, the Caley will assign you an Award verifier who will be able to support your project at various stages throughout the award, making sure you are on track before final verification and certification of the award.

  • We have recently changed our login procedures.  If you are an existing Grow & Learn project, you will have received an email giving you new login details.  If you haven’t received this information, please contact us:

Project Gallery

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Ellon Academy – Grow & Learn Award Ceremony

On Friday 21st September, pupils at Ellon Academy were excited to welcome Jim McColl, former Caley Honorary President and presenter of Beechgrove Garden, to their memorial community garden.  Jim [...]

Oatridge Pathways Project

Team Oatridge  An enthusiastic team of gardeners in West Lothian are working on their Grow & Learn award at Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) Oatridge campus and the Pathways service garden. [...]

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