In the summer of 2016 ten students from Craigroyston Community High School, working towards National 4 Landscape Gardening (Rural Skills), took part in a two-day session, which focused on building practical skills.
Building on what the young people had been taught in school, the S5 and S6 pupils worked with Hopetoun Estate staff to replace broken slabs, re-tension wire fences, repair gates, fences and path edges and clean a blocked field drain outlet.
Aiming to build on the pupils’ employability skills, teachers and the Hopetoun Estate team worked in partnership to pass on practical skills, instil confidence and showcase the value of team working.
Commenting on the experience, Patricia McLeod, Craigroyston Community High School teacher said: “The Hopetoun Estate team are really encouraging, approachable and knowledgeable. The students really valued the experience and I know would welcome the chance to return to this beautiful and welcoming estate.”
Following the success of the summer sessions the Estate and the school are now working together on a new programme for two of the pupils who will be gaining additional rural skills working on the Hopetoun farm for one full day per month from October 2016 until June 2017.
It is hoped that through the combination of classroom learning and practical experience, the students will gain the skills and the qualifications to secure employment once they leave school.
Hopetoun Estate provides numerous opportunities for students to visit the estate to learn about food, farming and rural life including working with the Royal Highland Education Trust, a charity that aims to show children where their food comes from.