Students and staff at Medina College are eagerly preparing for the introduction of the Cambridge IGCSE in Agriculture this September.
The school will be one of just three providers offering this exciting course, meaning that Island students have a fantastic opportunity to get a head start on a career in agriculture, an industry with a vast range of exciting opportunities for young people.
In preparation for the course beginning, a farm plot has been established on site and a club runs twice a week for students to get involved in setting up the area. Plans are underway for an outside classroom to be built before the autumn, and an impressive 12ft x 20ft glasshouse has recently been constructed.
National companies with a strong Isle of Wight presence, APS Produce Group and P3P Partners, have donated the glasshouse and arranged for it to be constructed by industry leaders, Cambridge HOK. The specialist and impressive structure allows students to grow plants in a protected area where specific conditions can be maintained to ensure the highest efficiency. Students will be able to grow plants in the glasshouse all year round, which will hugely support them throughout the IGCSE course and potentially future further education studies. They are already using it to grow a variety of tomatoes, peppers, squashes and herbs.
Executive Headteacher for the Isle of Wight Education Federation and Head of School at Medina College, Matthew Parr-Burman, said: “We are incredibly grateful for the generosity of APS Produce Group and P3P Partners. Without their financial support and technical skills and experience, we would not have been able to provide this resource for the students. It will make such a difference to their studies and will provide them with experiences that will enhance their learning massively.
“It has been fantastic to see how excited the students are to get involved with using the glasshouse already. We can’t wait to literally taste the fruits of their labour this summer!”