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Florists Excel on Master Diploma

Su Whale revels in the high quality skills of students at The Floristry School Sheffield

It may have been a blustery early September day, laced with unpredictable rain showers, but that didn’t deter the Level 5 students at The Floristry School Sheffield from maximising their outside space to display floral installations, created as part of their final presentation of their Master Diploma course.

Sheffield's Floristry School is on the ground floor of the Eagle Works, a Victorian industrial brick-built site that oozes character, the perfect backdrop for the students’ dramatic and colourful designs with canopies, columns and table settings utilising every area, even the metal stairwell.

Run by Jo Biddle and Abigail McGuire, The Floristry School opened in 2020 and was immediately hit by the pandemic. Classes moved online, with teaching carried out remotely, which, Jo commented, actually benefited the School. "We future-proofed ourselves, and we still continue to teach on-line as well as in the School itself."

That commitment to the students’ training was immediately obvious as the place was buzzing on the day I visited! Ahead of the open evening, which was also the official opening of the School, both the stone courtyard and industrial interior were a hive of activity, with students putting the final touches to their designs, adding props, sweeping up, and, naturally, discussing what they were going to wear later on.

Just as impressive as the floristry was the excitement, confidence and sheer enthusiasm of the students. Drawn from Sheffield as well as further afield, the majority were either business owners or worked as apprentices in the industry, and all were completely committed to what they were doing, in fact they were bubbling over with excitement and unanimous about the benefits that doing the course had brought them, in developing both their floral and their business skills.

This is what floristry training should be all about, teaching the mechanics and the basics of course, as you can’t break the rules if you don’t know them, but then letting students run with it and be able to experience the joy of designing creatively and freely.

And the result? A group of talented florists that were not only capable of producing amazing work, but also had an enviable support network, studying together, helping each other out, bouncing ideas of each other and, within the walls of the school, able to talk about almost anything.

As one student put it, ‘Not just florists, but friends for life’

To find our more about the training courses offered by The Floristry School Sheffield, go to


Su Whale


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