New showhome opens with help from local school children

12 February 2018
Firpark Secondary School Horticulture Group at Motherwell Showhome

Green fingered pupils at Firpark Secondary School have been using their talents to maintain the garden at a new show home in Motherwell.

The vocational secondary school for pupils with varying needs, has teamed up with housing developer, Springfield Properties to give pupils real life working experience. 

Springfield Properties opened their four bedroom show home at their Motherwell development last month. Since then, the horticulture group have applied the skills they’ve learnt in class to maintain the garden.

The School adopts the Developing the Young Workforce curriculum which helps to prepare children for the world of work. They encourage students to be involved in a range of activities including beauty care, photography, business management and hospitality.

The Horticulture group has gone from strength to strength since it launched in 2014 as a lunchtime garden club. Sixth year Robbie Lynch expressed an interest in gardening and with support from Horticulture support worker, David Moonie, they founded the club. At the school they have beds for planting vegetables and herbs that are used in the All Star Bistro – also run by the pupils at the school.

Firpark Secondary School Head Teacher, John Morely, has said:

“The horticulture group is an integral aspect of the school. The bistro has proven massively successful and gives the students real life working experience. They learn how to speak to customers, cooking skills, business management and money handling.

“We wanted to give the horticulture group similar challenges and opportunities. They’ve worked at Springfield’s show home in Uddingston, carry out maintenance at Mount Ellen Golf Club and are now responsible for the upkeep of the new Springfield show home garden in Motherwell. 

“In 2016, the group won gold for their kitchen garden at the Royal Edinburgh Horticulture Show and a number of students in the group have been offered work placements in garden related positions since leaving the school demonstrating the strengths of the curriculum.

“Opportunities like this are great for the kids and they really enjoy it.”

Springfield Chief Exec. Innes Smith has said:

“Part of the Springfield ethos is to employee 20% of staff as apprentices or in further training and education. It’s great to be in a position to extend these training opportunities to the wider community in areas we build. The Horticulture team did a remarkable job at our show home and view homes in Uddingston, and the new Motherwell show home is already looking brilliant."