The Trainee Gardener will report to the Head Gardener and work within the Estates Department. The Trainee Gardener is responsible for assisting the Head Gardener in the maintenance of the School estate’s gardens and flower beds (approx. 50 acres of high profile garden areas, which are seen by the general public as well as parents and visitors to the School). Although it is the intention that the Trainee Gardener will be dedicated to the Gardening Team, for the purposes of introducing variety into the role and to increase capacity within the Department there will be the occasional requirement for the Trainee Gardeners to assist the Grounds Team also. The Grounds Team are responsible for the preparation of the School’s playing fields, synthetic play areas, and sports pitches. The Trainee Gardeners therefore will typically be tasked with the setting up of goal mouths and sports equipment, leaf blowing, and the clearance of debris from from these areas in advance of sports tournaments and major events held on School Grounds. In this instance instructions will be issued directly by the Head Groundsman.
- Under the direction of the Head Gardener assisting in the maintenance of the gardens to the highest level.
- Cutting and stripping lawns using professional roller lawnmowers and ride-on mowers.
- Weeding beds and borders. Maintaining fine tilth and removing any unwanted debris.
- Pruning shrubs using correct methods.
- Trimming hedges and carrying out any topiary that requires any special care and attention.
- Dead-heading perennials at the appropriate time of year, aiding in re-flowering and rejuvenation.
- Sweeping and blowing the paths and hard standings.
- Working safely and effectively at all times having regard for the School’s Health and Safety policies.
- Fulfilling at all times the requirements for any formal training courses which are agreed as being appropriate and suitable for the trainee.
- Notifying the Grounds Manager or Head Gardener immediately of any problems with machinery.
- Carrying out any other gardening related jobs as requested by the Head Gardener or their representative.
- Provide assistance to the Grounds Keeping Team in the preparation and setting up of sports pitches in advance of sports matches and School tournaments and events.
These duties and responsibilities are intended as a guide. They are not exhaustive: the Trainee Gardener will be expected to undertake any reasonable task or responsibility as required by the Head Gardener or his appointee.
Qualifications/ Professional Bodies
- GCSE level (or equivalent) in Maths and English.
- Working towards a horticulture qualification.
- A demonstrable interest in horticulture.
- Previous experience of working in a horticultural environment.
- Previous experience of working outside.
- An aptitude for using machinery safely.
- Good communication skills, both oral and written, with the ability to use a range of techniques and style to ensure communication is timely, effective and clear.
- Ability to work in a methodical organised way to achieve goals and ensure maximum efficiency and effectiveness.
- Able to demonstrate a high level of customer service.
- Ability to adapt to a complex, ever- changing working environment including adopting a flexible approach and reacting positively to changing circumstances and different weather conditions.
- Able to ensure the successful completion of every task or activity with a positive ‘can do’ attitude.
- Ability to take responsibility as a team member and provide support and an active contribution to the team, including ensuring that team members are fully informed of matters that affect them.
- Ability to recognise the responsibility to develop oneself and proactively seek assistance to meet personal development needs.
This role will not normally involve unsupervised contact with pupils; however in the context of his/her employment the member of staff will frequently be in the presence of children and will therefore have to have appropriate levels of training in child protection.
All members of staff must comply with the School’s Safeguarding & Welfare Policy which is posted on the staff intranet. If in the course of carrying out the duties of the post the postholder becomes aware of any actual or potential risks to the safety and welfare of our pupils, these concerns must be reported immediately in accordance with the policy. A copy of this policy will accompany all offers of employment.