A workers' cooperative growing food on London's edge in the Lea Valley

Current course opportunities

Courses in 2017: we offer a range of interesting and ‘applied’ learning opportunities at our urban food growing site – and support courses taking place elsewhere in Waltham Forest too. New courses will be added periodically so check back here for the latest details.

Courses coming up:

Starting Autumn 2017: City and Guilds accredited courses taking place at Hawkwood

The autumn courses are now full, there will be more courses running in February, March and May 2018. Sign up to our email list (see top right) to get our updates, or come along and volunteer with us to learn informally – see next induction dates here.

Important note on course administration: We run all our accredited training with Waltham Forest Adult Learning Service (WFALS) who manage course bookings. For the Level 2 courses and the work-based Level 1 option, before applying, it is necessary to get a pre-course assessment completion note from one of the tutors (based at Hawkwood). Details of these assessment procedures are below.
For all courses running with WFALS, the discount fee is subject to proof of working-tax credit paperwork.
At the time of writing (16 June), all the below fees include a 10% reduction which applies to courses booked before 18 September.

LEVEL 1 AWARDS AUTUMN 2017

Food Growing Skills Level 1 Award (City and Guilds)
Course code: HNG9164
Start date: Friday 22 September for 7 weeks, 10.30-4.30 (no class Friday 27 October – half term)
This course provides an opportunity to achieve an accredited gardening qualification through practical learning. It is designed to build basic and technical skills in the classroom then support this with demonstration practical tasks in Organiclea’s market garden at Hawkwood. It would suit anyone who is thinking about working as a gardener or who wants to enhance their food growing knowledge for the home environment.
COSTS : £148.40 (Standard fee) / £69.02 (Discounted fee) / FREE FOR THOSE ON JOBSEEKING BENEFITS
BOOKING CAN TAKE PLACE WITHOUT ASSESSMENT – CALL 020 8496 2971

Work-based Horticulture Level 1 Award (City and Guilds)
Course code: HNG8747
Start date: Wednesday 20 September for 12 weeks, 10am-4.15pm
This qualification involves minimal classroom time (45 minutes first thing, then 30 minutes end of day) and 9-12 weeks of guided horticultural practice. During this time you will practise food growing techniques and experience the realities of a productive horticultural work place. You will develop a work-book portfolio with reflective worksheets.
To enrol on this course you need a statement of entry from the course tutor following a conversation about course requirements. Details to be confirmed as above by 20/6/17.
COSTS: £172.70 (Standard fee) / £78.31 (Discounted fee) / FREE FOR THOSE ON JOBSEEKING BENEFITS
Assessment required before booking can take place: Contact Clare on clare[at]organiclea.org.uk or on 020 8524 4994.
LEVEL 1 AWARDS SPRING/SUMMER 2018
Both of the above courses repeat with February 2018 starts and the Food Growing skills, again in May 2018.

LEVEL 2 CERTIFICATES AUTUMN 2017

All of our Level 2 courses are Certificate or above, considered the employment standard for horticultural work, and also will interest those keen to commit more time to gardening work at a personal level.

Gardening, Level 2 Extended Certificate (City and Guilds)
Course code: HNG9087
Date: 31/10/17 – 3/7/18 (28 weeks, term time on Tuesdays 10.30-4.30)
This 28 week intensive and highly recommended course is for those who are already gardening and who want a more theoretical base to develop their gardening practice. It has been running in partnership with Organiclea since 2007. Learning includes units on understanding soil science, plant science, techniques in organic horticulture and fruit and vegetable production by organic methods. This course demands commitment to both learning and self-study; and delivers a lot in terms of academic learning and confidence in the detail of gardening practice. The theory learnt in the classroom and in home-study/research/essay writing, is backed up by practical assessments in the Hawkwood vegetable and fruit gardens.
COSTS: £480.60 (std) / £207.18 (Discounted fee) / FREE for Jobseekers
Assessment required before booking can take place. The first information and assessment date for this is Sunday 30 July at 12pm at Hawkwood Plant nursery. The second opportunity will be Friday 1 September, 4.30pm. Email ru[at]organiclea.org.uk to book an assessment place (booking a place is essential).
Note: Level 1 qualification is considered essential entry requirement for the Level 2 courses. While we can consider equivalent experience, priority does go to Level 1 holders. These courses fill up as they are considered an essential employment qualification in the horticultural sector.

Practical Horticulture Skills, Level 2 Certificate (City and Guilds)
Course code: HNG9149
Date: 16/11/17 – 21/6/18 (25 weeks, term time on Thursdays 10.30-1.30)
This popular ‘practice’ course equips the production horticulturalist with the essential know-how and techniques to assess, prepare and maintain gardens at a range of scales. Units may include: prepare for planting; techniques for plant care; training and pruning in fruit production; stem cutting propagation; pedestrian-controlled rotary cultivation; and identifying plants by botanical names. You will be assessed at the Hawkwood site during course hours and this includes practical assessment gardening tasks and accompanying written worksheets. Home study will support your gardening practice and worksheets.
COSTS: £267.75 (std) / £111.82 (Discounted fee) / FREE for Jobseekers
Assessment required before booking can take place. The first information and assessment date for this is Sunday 30 July at 12pm at Hawkwood Plant nursery. The second opportunity will be Friday 1 September, 4.30pm. Email ru[at]organiclea.org.uk to book an assessment place (booking a place is essential).
Note: Level 1 qualification is considered essential entry requirement for the Level 2 courses. While we can consider equivalent experience, priority does go to Level 1 holders. These courses fill up as they are considered an essential employment qualification in the horticultural sector.

The Level 1 is a core foundational course for both the Level 2 opportunities – and for both Level 2 courses you could achieve a provisional place on the Level 2 while completing the Level 1 (which completes just before the Thursday Level 2, and after 2 weeks of the Tuesday Level 2). There is also an AQA entry Level course being run by Organiclea (details below), which may be considered to meet entry requirements when linked to other experience you may have.

*Summer course: Gardening with food growing – AQA Unit Scheme Award (Awarding body: Assessment and Qualifications Alliance)
Starting Friday 28 July and ending Friday 15 September, 10am-4.15pm, for 8 weeks, this is an opportunity to achieve an AQA Award alongside weekly Friday volunteering. This will involve some introductory classroom time before the day’s volunteering, then an opportunity to review learning and progress at the day’s end. This Award offers a great opportunity to structure learning around volunteering.
The volunteer induction on 21 July is essential for those who have not been for the past 6 months and who would like to complete this Award. There is a £25 AQA certificate fee attached to this course, but this should not be a barrier for those who are unable to pay. Speak to Clare, or email clare[at]organiclea.org.uk if you are interested. There are 10 spaces available.

 

 

Course fee guide

We endeavour to make our courses as accessible as we can by offering a sliding scale. Applicability is described below (separate fee structure applies to accredited courses run with Adult Learning Service).

  • The highest fee is for those on an income over £15,000 per year
  • The second fee is for those on an income below £15,000 per year
  • The third fee is a full concession for anyone with savings less than £3000 and receiving any of the following benefits:
    • Income Support
    • Employment and Support Allowance (income related)
    • Employment and Support Allowance (contributions based) – IF there is no other household income
    • Jobseekers Allowance (income based)
    • Jobseekers Allowance (contributions based) – IF there is no other household income
    • Pension Credit with Guarantee Credit
    • FULL Housing Benefits /Council Tax Benefits
    • Asylum Support: People in receipt of asylum support or who have no recourse to public funds, and no other household income.

Course fees are used to cover tutor costs, materials used and premises running costs. Administration is carried out on a voluntary basis by a number of people.

Refund policy

In order to administer courses effectively we only make confirmed course bookings when we have received full payment (or deposit in the case of permaculture design course). We do understand that sometimes people’s plans change so we are able to offer refunds on the following basis, which helps us to ensure that the costs of putting on courses are covered and that opportunities to attend are maximised.

  • If you cancel a booking more than 2 weeks (one month for the permaculture design course) prior to the start of a course we will refund your fees, less a £10 administration charge. Refunds must be requested on cancellation, via courses[at]organiclea.org.uk or calling 020 8524 4994.

  • If you cancel your booking less than 2 weeks prior to the course/event we will not normally make refunds. However if the cancellation is due to a medical condition, bereavement or other exceptional circumstances we will normally refund fees provided that you let us know before the start of the course, again any refunds will be less a £10 administration charge.

  • If you do not attend the course without having contacted us beforehand, we are unable to make any refund.

  • We reserve the right to cancel courses – a full refund will be made in these circumstances.

Past courses

Course registration is through Organiclea (except where stated otherwise) – use our online registration form. For details of concessions see our course fee guide. Email courses[at]organiclea.org.uk for queries (this email is not checked daily).

City and Guilds Level 1 and 2 Certificate in Gardening: we run these courses regularly in conjunction with Waltham Forest Adult Learning service. Check their website for current gardening course dates and registration. If you require further information call 020 8524 4994 or email courses[at]organiclea.org.uk