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The green-fingered young people

of Prior's Court have been helping a

nationwide project to make a royal

society's awards scheme more inclusive.

Prior's Court was one of just 20 schools chosen from

around 250 applicants to take part in a consultation

event run by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS)

to explore greater inclusivity in its School Gardening

Awards programme.

The programme encourages gardening within

schools and community groups, and making use of

gardens as a valuable learning resource.

The young people of Autumn House at Prior's Court

were supported to complete the pupil questionnaire

as part of the consultation. The questionnaire was

broken down in PECS with "Like/Dislike" response

options used to elicit opinions.

Prior's Court will receive a £200 voucher to spend on

gardening items for taking part in the consultation.

Wendy Moffatt, our Land-based vocational learning

programme lead (which covers the areas of

horticulture and animal care), said: "The benefits

of gardening to our young people are huge -

from learning motor skills via use of hand tools to

understanding the difference between plants and

weeds, and of course the reward aspect of seeing a

plant that you have nurtured grow and bloom.

"It is important for programmes celebrating

the power of gardening to be inclusive and so

we are hugely proud to have been a part of this

consultation run by the RHS with their school

gardening programme. We are very excited to see

how the programme develops and look forward to

taking part in it again in its new format."

Supporting gardening scheme to be more inclusive

This approach included

putting time limits on

Alfie's mealtimes and

snack times, with Alfie

encouraged to make

reference to a timer

and extend these

times using the timer's

dial if he wanted

to. Alfie's need for

reassurance when

anxious was also


During mealtimes, a

visual was provided to

Alfie outlining an eating

circle, demonstrating

the process of eating

(chew, swallow etc.).

The on-site Speech and

Language Therapists at Prior's

Court developed a social story

for Alfie that outlined the


A dietitian had an input into

ensuring Alfie's weight did

not become dangerously


From this approach, Alfie

regained a healthy weight,

the length of his meal

times reduced, and his

relationship with food

continues to improve.

There has been a marked

and sustained decrease in

Alfie asking for reassurance

during mealtimes.

Over a year period, Alfie's

Autumn House team has reported

an increase in average fruit and

veg consumption significantly,

and a reduction in salt, sugars and

fat intakes (see tables on facing


Prior Insight's role

Without the data collected

via Prior Insight, devising and

analysing strategies like those

featured in this case study become

more difficult.

There can be many factors at play

when analysing data, which means

different conclusions or reasons for

change can be put forward.

But there are demonstrable

impacts of Prior Insight in this

case study. The inputting of data

around Alfie's food and drink

intake - especially the specific

types of food - and diary entries

which outlined how long Alfie was

taking to eat meals allowed for

some conclusions to be drawn and

then the impact of interventions to

be measured.

Without easier data analysis, the

root cause of Alfie's problematic

relationship with food would be

more based in theory.

However, with Prior Insight, we can

demonstrate data positive trends

that support the implementation

of theories and an approach which

is now allowing Alfie to live a

healthier and happier life.

And, as with all success stories, it

has been about combining data

usage with the on-the-ground

knowledge of Alfie's staff members

and family.


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