Grow & Learn

A person-centred award, recognising individual progress and achievement in horticulture. Our awards are inclusive, individualised and offer life skills based education for all.

Do you work with people that….

  • find mainstream learning challenging?
  • enjoy the benefits of gardening and learning new things?
  • want to develop a range of life skills and employability skills?
  • deserve to be recognised for all they achieve?

Then perhaps The Caley’s Grow & Learn award is ideally suited for you or someone that you work with. 

Grow & Learn aims to address a large gap in provision in the world of horticulture by offering an alternative learning opportunity for those who find mainstream learning challenging.

‘In all my years of involvement in Horticulture and gardening I have not met a scheme that encourages, supports and rewards it’s student in the way the Grow & Learn does’.  George Anderson, Honorary President, The Caley

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Grow & Learn Awards

Scott Green Interview

The awards


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:  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: 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 also offer new projects an initial virtual ‘train the trainer’ session as well as monthly virtual support sessions with our development officer.

Project Gallery

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Uppertunity, Dundee

Despite the current Covid-19 restrictions, which have resulted in many gardens and training opportunities being temporarily closed, we have some good news to share with you. A team of nine […]

Ellon Academy – Award Ceremony 2019

Pupils at Ellon Academy worked hard to have the garden looking its best and prepare for an Award Ceremony.  They were thrilled to welcome Jim McColl from the BBC “Beechgrove” […]

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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Grow & Learn enquiry form

If you would like further information about Grow & Learn, please complete the form below.

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