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Gardening Club

Why is important to learn to grow?

Gardening has been shown to  improve both your physical and mental wellbeing and we are all about that here at Orchard Training.

Working as part of a team, taking part in the garden challenges helps you build life skills such as confidence, teamwork and communication skills.

We use the club to enhance and enrich our english, maths, speaking and listening skills and the food grown going in to the kitchen provides us with Design and Technology skills as we cook and preserve the produce.

We can also enrich our knowledge in the following curriculums from science, maths, geography, art, design and languages. We us our time to learn about environments in general and ours in particular. We also cover sustainability of food and materials. Growing things helps us engage with our surroundings and nature and develop a sense of responsibility and patience. We also learn acceptance as not everything goes to plan in a garden.    


Homeschool Cookery Club


We started the Homeschool Garden Club at Orchard Training during Lockdown to add to our learning opportunities. As the fruit and vegetables started being ready for harvest, we started needing recipes to make best use of the food we had grown. This has then lead directly to launching the Homeschooling Cookery Club, I have devised a recipe for every week we are learning, a different dish for every year group. These will be tied in to national, international and religious days of celebration, tied in to the harvests coming in from our study buddies who are in the Garden Club and tied in to our health curriculum of learning.

Where you see the green tree symbol, you will know that this is a Healthy Recipe. The healthy recipes will be there to help you cook nutritious food for your family, prepare nourishing meals ahead of time so you can have an easy meal already prepared in the freeze for those busy days. As young learners, you don’t need to focus too much on counting the calories which is why the information sheet that comes with the recipe is all about the ingredients and where appropriate the benefits of eating it. 


Where you see the pink tree symbol, you will know that this is a Treat Recipe. Whilst we make every effort to make the treat as healthy as possible we will be recommending that you should try to limit your treat eating. Occasionally, is good! Every day - is not so good!


Where you see the red tree symbol, you will know that this is a 50/50 Recipe. This is a recipe made up of approximately 50% sugar and 50% fat. Often celebratory foods like cakes, pavlova and ice cream are 50/50 foods. Our brains love these foods - BUT they are really not good for our bodies. We recommend that you only make this once a year – this is a mega treat food. Make it, eat it, enjoy it but do restrict the amount eaten and how often you make it. 


You can grade the recipe too by colouring in the apples at the end of the recipe.


Any recipe with only one or two apples coloured in will be ones you didn’t like so much so don’t cook them again.  Any recipe with four or five apples coloured in are going to be the ones you will continue to cook. Once you have made the recipe once and you like it - you can then adapt it for yourself, using different ingredients. If you do adapt the recipe write this up in your evidence diary, re-write the recipe out, noting where you made the changes and keep it with the original in your recipe folder. Don’t forget to take photographs and add them, too!


Exercise For Free

Exercise For Free

Links Between the Garden Club and Being a Diabetes Community Champion

What is a Diabetes Community Champion?


Community Champions educate and raise awareness of diabetes and Diabetes UK by organising stalls, talks, presentations and healthy living days at community centres, health fairs and local festivals. As a Community Champion, I raise awareness by talking about diabetes in the Cookery Club and in the Health and Wellbeing Club. 


We now have a number of Type 1 learners homeschooling with us, because managing in school had become problematic. We are also aware that a small number of our families have diabetes. Our aim is to educate the next generation of learners so they are fully aware and informed about the condition and accordingly be inclusive of their Study Buddies; able to prepare and cook food that will support the management of the condition within the family setting, to help prevent Type 2 developing later on for themselves and able to take action in order to reverse pre-diabetes wherever possible.  


If You Would Like to Join the Community Champions

  • You are passionate to spread the word about diabetes.

  • You have strong ties within your local community.

  • You are committed to improve the health and wellbeing of your community.

  • You are able to attend a 2-day training session organised in your local area.


If you are interested in applying, please email and tell Diabetes UK a bit more about yourself and the community you want to help.

Link Between All Three Clubs

Garden Club

Working outside and in the garden is recognised now as a great link to good mental health. Growing your own food helps you understand where your food comes from and the choices you have. There is a lot of knowledge to learn about environments, pollinators and plants. Whilst all that gardening counts as part the movement and exercise you need to do each day. Potting around growing things also counts as part of your homeschool education so don't forget to record this in you evidence diary.


Cookery Club

Knowing how to prepare and cook healthy food is a life long skill and knowledge and therefore a fantastic reason for joining the Cooker Club. Eating the food is the second best reason ever. Knowing about food and how to cook helps you lose and maintain your weight but showing you ways to reduce salt, sugar and fat. You will be able to make better choice when eating out by spotting those 50/50 foods and balancing out how many you eat never the course of the week.

Once you know how to knock a great tasty snack quicker than it would to go and fetch the junk food - you will save money your hard earned pocket money. Planning menus, understanding how to make the best purchases in the shop counts as money management another area of learning - just whilst learning how to grown some foods and shopping seasonally also counts as part of your homeschooling education, so don't forget to record this in you evidence diary. 

Health and Wellbeing Club

Covers both your mental wellbeing but also your physical health. Knowing what to eat, when to eat and the all important why to eat this and not eat that, contributes to you weight, healthy, sleep, mobility and mood. The games you play in the garden and the work you do in the garden all goes towards your movement for the day. 

You can do all three and reap the benefits from all three as they touch on the biology, P.E., PSHE and Design and Technology curriculums. All this without really trying too hard!

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