The Apprentice Gardener will:
- Work alongside other members of the Gardens team, learning and carrying out the duties of a Gardener in accordance with recognised industry standards within the Kingswood School Estate – both Senior School and Prep School, as well as staff accommodation and sports facilities.
- Carry out duties in a manner befitting the environment and professional standards expected of all Kingswood School staff.
With support and coaching from the Gardens team, the Apprentice Gardener will learn and develop gardening skills in order to provide a high-quality gardening service for the maintenance and presentation of the School’s gardens and grounds as directed and led by the Head of Gardens, to cover:
- Maintaining, weeding, pruning and all regular gardening duties under a planned programme of maintenance to beds, borders, grass and woodland areas as allocated;
- Grass cutting, edging, aerating, treating and scarifying as set out under a planned programme of maintenance to formal lawns and other grassed areas as allocated;
Receiving and completing requests for reactive works to
- gardens, following damage or other issues, all to an acceptable and appropriate standard and to suit time constraints;
- Weed control within the gardens through chemical and mechanical operations;
- Assisting the Head/Deputy Head of Gardens in pro-actively updating and improving the gardens;
- Complying with tree preservation orders established around the site and to ensure that any damage is recorded and dealt with appropriately.
Equipment and Machinery
The post-holder will be trained to operate and maintain a range of machinery, tools and equipment. Duties will include:
- Set-up, operate and maintain powered hand tools, machinery, equipment and tools safely and professionally, following the set instructions, risk assessments, safe systems of work and in accordance with training received. This could include tractors with PTO driven implements;
- Flexibly working with and alongside other grounds staff as required, and as directed on tasks that are within the capability of the post-holder;
- Working alongside other tradespersons on larger clearance works, development projects or other grounds works as directed;
- Acting, on occasion, as a second pair of hands where two person work is essential;
- Following good practice and keep up to date with new products, tools and techniques;
- To liaise appropriately with school colleagues, including Grounds staff; Head of Estates, Head of Maintenance and other Estates staff, as appropriate, on matters concerning works schedule, materials, access, safety, allocation of duties, overtime, improvement projects, purchasing of goods, etc;
- To report any issues or matters of concern to the Head/Deputy Head of Gardens, or other member of staff as appropriate in a timely manner.
Health and Safety
To follow all health and safety guidelines, and policies and procedures, as stated within the School Health and Safety Policy.
- Ensure that the Gardens Department safe working practices are followed at all times, including complying with all issued health and safety instructions;
- Ensure that procedures for the safe disposal of waste – or hazardous waste – are followed;
- Follow risk assessments for the gardening team, and carry out all duties in the safest and tidiest manner. To include periodic review of risk assessments as necessary;
- Assist the Head of Gardens in meeting the legal obligations with regard to chemicals, fuel storage, and safe storage of equipment;
- Properly maintain personal protective equipment (PPE) as required for work. To include the purchase of new/replacement items and recording of same;
- Ensure that no excavations are dug without appropriate permits. All excavations require checks to establish presence of buried underground services, and further checks to ensure that no protected tree roots are affected;
- Have an overall awareness of health and safety issues within the school that might affect grounds and gardens staff, and to take appropriate actions to ensure safety is maintained;
- Be responsible for all issued equipment, tools and plant, ensuring tools and equipment are kept fully serviced and comply with health and safety standards. To include ensuring tools and equipment are not left unattended, but tidied away between work sessions
It should be noted that this is not a definitive list; your duties will be at least those listed above.
You will be expected to:
- Conduct yourself with professionalism, tact and diplomacy at all times as a representative of Kingswood
- Observe health and safety procedures and work safely at all times.
Personal Qualities :
- A strong work ethic
- A good communicator
- The ability to work efficiently and successfully within a small team
- Desire to learn new skills and to continually improve knowledge
- Commitment to equal opportunities and anti-discriminatory practice
- Flexible and with a ‘can do’ attitude
Skills Required :
- A passion for gardening and willingness to learn and develop professional skills in the field
- Attention to detail and excellent organisational skills
- Excellent interpersonal skills and an ability to interact appropriately and professionally with others within the School community
Future Prospects :
May lead to permanent employment for the right candidate on completion of the apprenticeship.