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Access 1 and 2




ugust 2000


Access 1 and 2

Support Materials


This pack is based on work done in a Special School in the lead up to the implementation year of Higher Still.

The school worked with draft copies of the Planning an Environmental area unit specification and National Assessment Bank pack in order to gauge whether well tried and tested student activities could be certificated using this Access 2 unit.
The student materials included in the pack do not have the original illustrations, as this would have led to copyright issues.
The co-operation of Highland Region and in particular Drummond School, Inverness is gratefully acknowledged.

Managing Environmental Resources
Access 1 and Access 2
Support Materials
Planning a Herb Garden

UNIT: D553 08 MER: Planning an Environmental Area (Access 2) and similar activities at level of Access 1
EXEMPLIFICATION: Planning a Herb Garden
For whom is the programme intended?

The programme is intended for students with a range of learning difficulties for whom programmes of work leading to credits at one or more of the Access levels is expected to be appropriate. The programme could equally well be used in a mainstream school or college catering for students of similar ability.

What does this pack offer?

This pack represents the first steps taken by a special school in the adaptation of their established and highly successful gardening programme to match the unit ‘MER: Planning an Environmental Area’, one of three Managing Environmental Resources, (MER) units available at Access 2. The pack focuses on a Herb Garden which is of course just one example of many environmental areas students could plan. The pack contains material necessary for students to start working on the ‘planning unit’, all three outcomes are covered. This may be a step towards achieving the unit and indeed the MER cluster of units at Access 2 for some students. Activities are also included at Access 1 level for other students in the group who may find the Access 2 unit unattainable.

Contents of the pack

The pack contains the following:

  • Part 1 Information for teachers, students and parents

  • Part 2 Student activities

  • Part 3 Examples of additional worksheets for some student activities.

What this pack offers, therefore, is a model for delivering the ‘planning unit’ for MER at Access 2, a unit which can be used to underpin the other two units in the cluster because these involve developing the area and then monitoring and maintaining it. The model in this pack can be applied to any well established gardening programme or it can be used to start-up a gardening programme.

Note on assessment

The programme is essentially practical so the students learn by contributing to planning activities. By the end of the programme students will have compiled a folio recording their contribution to the planning. This folio is likely to contain log entries, completed activity sheets, students’ evaluations of their activities, observational checklists and possibly photographs. The folio may also contain formative assessments.

This pack contains the following formative assessment records:

  • Student’s Activity Record

  • Student’s Personal Log

  • Teacher’s Assessment Log

  • Student’s Record of Achievement relating to Access 2

  • Student’s Record of Achievement relating to Access 1.

The above student materials may be completed by the student or the teacher and may be particularly useful for recording the achievements of students working at Access 1 level.

We recommend that summative assessment necessary for certification of this ‘planning unit’, i.e. MER: Planning an Environmental Area, is administered using the National Assessment Material: MER (Access 2): Planning an Environmental Area D553 08/NAB001.
Other features of interest

We have also included examples of links between the MER activities featured in the pack and other Access 1 and 2 provision, for example Art and Design, English and Communication, Mathematics, Personal and Social Education, Science, Social Subjects and the core skills.

At this stage in the programme, it is unlikely that the school will explore all the above links but about three other units at Access 2 or associated Access 1 curricular areas will be used. The selection will depend on the individual interests and progress shown by students in the group.
The contents of this preface are explained in more detail throughout the rest of the pack.

Managing Environmental Resources
Access 1 and Access 2
Planning a Herb Garden



Teachers, Students and Parents

Introduction for teachers and parents
This support material is designed to assist in the delivery of Access 2 and Access 1 national units and Access 1 curriculum descriptors relating to Managing Environmental Resources, (MER). The material is based on an implementation study taking place in a special school. The school is exploring ways of adjusting an established gardening programme to the delivery of MER provision at Access 2 and Access 1.
The school decided to focus on activities relevant to the Access 2 level unit D553 08 MER: Planning an Environmental Area (Access 2) and similar activities at the level of Access 1:
Some records of students’ work are also included with this support material, in the hope that sharing these experiences will be useful to those of you planning delivery and to parents of students who may be involved in future MER programmes at Access 1 or Access 2.

  • to involve students in planning, and eventually developing and maintaining an environmental area

  • to develop communication skills in real contexts

Student activities

During the summer and autumn terms, students plan, develop and maintain a small herb garden. The herbs are used in cooking and some may be sold to parents in order to fund future improvements to the herb garden.

Students work mainly on their own or in pairs, with some opportunities for small-group work. Various activities take place so there are opportunities to meet the interests and needs of individual students. Individual progress is recorded for every activity undertaken by a student.

Some students may produce written work which can be formatively or summatively assessed. However, the programme is essentially practical so that students learn by contributing to activities. Assessment of this practical work is by teacher observation with the help of various checklists. Students may also be involved in self and peer-assessment.

By the end of the programme, each student will have compiled a folio that tracks their experiences of planning a herb garden. The folio is likely to include completed logs, activity sheets, students’ evaluations of activities formative assessment records, observational checklists and photographs.

This support material contains the following aids to formative assessment that may be used to track and guide a student’s progress.

  • Student’s Activity Record which can be used as a summary briefly recording the student’s contribution to the whole activity. It may be completed by the student or scribed.(Page 6)

  • Student’s Personal Log, (contained in Part 2), for students to enter their personal views of contributing to the activities. The log may be used at Access 1 or Access 2 level. It may be completed by the student or scribed. (Pages 17, 22, 27)

  • Teacher’s Assessment Log for each student activity is an informal record which may be used to give guidance to the student on performance regarding learning targets, behaviour or attitude. It may be used at the level of Access 1 or Access 2. (Page 7)

  • Record of Achievement for the unit MER: Planning an Environmental Area (Access 2) (Page 8)

We recommend that summative assessment for certification of above unit is administered using the National Assessment Bank material

MER (Access 2): Planning an Environmental Area D553 08/NAB001

  • Records of Achievement relating to Access 1 are contained in Part 2 of this pack alongside the relevant student activities. (Pages 19, 24, 29)

  • While carrying out these activities video and audio-taped evidence of student’s activities may also be produced. If so this may be stored centrally within the school.

Planning a Herb Garden Student’s Activity Record
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