The Agriculture course in Year 8 sets out to develop the students' knowledge and understanding of agricultural enterprises and the practices and skills required in producing plant and animal products. Everything studied in theory is backed up with practical exercises. Students, for example, will grow their own crops, examine animal production industries and eat the honey extracted from the school's beehives.
Agriculture in Years 9 and 10 involves time being allocated to practical aspects after theory has been studied. Studying plants and animals is the main goal of the course. To meet this end students are encouraged to develop attitudes relating to personal achievement, a critical approach to agricultural problems and an interest in conservation of resources, with an edible product at the end.
Four agricultural perspectives are considered in this course:
- Plant, animal and environmental interactions
- Management of these interactions
- Patterns in Agriculture
- Farming for the future
Practical experience in raising plants and animals is required specifically by the syllabus. Observation, analysis and interpretations are skills to be developed. Specific areas that may be included in Year 9 and 10 are:
- Sheep, beef, cattle, pigs and dairy cattle
- Herbs, potatoes, hydroponics and vegetables
- Experimenting and problem solving
A study of each industry may involve a historical/geographical perspective, problems particular to the industry and methods of solving these problems. Skills involved in producing the end product are taught where facilities are available. Excursions and farm visits are proving a popular part of this course.
Assessment of Agriculture subject
Assessment is based on practical skills tests, topic tests and homework tasks.