The Foundation Learning Department at Carmel helps around forty students with moderate learning difficulties to gain qualifications and useful future employment skills. Lower Sixth A Level student, Sam Puxley, interviewed Foundation Learning Tutor, Lauren Molyneux, for the inside scoop on their recycling workshop and ‘Sensory Garden’.

“The recycling workshops are completely free”, Lauren explains, “teaching all attendees the importance of recycling and its impact on our environment”. This recycling course has a direct link to a new development in the Foundation Learning Department: the ‘Sensory Garden’, which was made┬ápossible through a generous grant from Veolia and MRWA’s (Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority) Community Fund for 2017-18. Lauren commented “due to the wide range of learning needs, including autism spectrum condition, the sensory garden allows all of our students to have a place to escape and enjoy some peace and quiet”. The garden is also available to everyone else at Carmel; staff and students alike.

The students in Foundation Learning will be in charge of maintaining the garden’s growth, whilst also having the task of preserving and renewing the recycled material displays when necessary.

During the upcoming recycling workshops, the Foundation Learning students will be learning new skills as well as assisting staff with tasks such as greeting guests and preparing and serving refreshments; giving them hands-on work experience in a realistic setting.

In the future, the department may apply for another grant from MRWA and Veolia to possibly develop a meadow next to the pond at the far-end of college, however the garden is their priority right now. In March students will visit Veolia’s Discovery Centre to attend one of the free sessions and tours that they offer.

If you would like to support our Foundation Learning’s ‘Sensory Garden’ and observe its growth or attend a workshop, you can follow them on Instagram: @carmelcollegesensorygarden, or Facebook: Carmel College Sensory Garden.

Written by: Lower Sixth student and budding journalist, Sam Puxley