Parramatta Marist Primary Industry students take their studs to the Show!

Parramatta Marist Primary Industry students

Parramatta Marist Primary Industries students have embraced the opportunity to take animals from the Marist La Valla Limousin stud to the Easter Show this year.

Exhibiting the studs is a first for Parramatta Marist students, as late last year the school sought to expand its Vocational Education and Training (VET) curriculum to accommodate student interests.

Assistant Principal Adam Hendry said they were able to introduce Primary Industries Certificate II in Agriculture this year.

This was made possible through a unique partnership with Brother Anthony Robertson at the Hermitage Marist Farm, Mittagong.

“Such an experiential learning opportunity was immediately embraced by school staff and Br Anthony who had spent several years teaching at Parramatta Marist,’’ Mr Hendry said.

Students visiting the show

The course is delivered online through the school’s learning management system, Canvas, with teacher and local co-ordinator of the Marist Association, James Sullivan, providing the face-to-face contact with students.

For the assessment of competencies, students travel to Mittagong for day trips, weekends and farm stays, which exceed the minimum two weeks work placement. Other time on the farm can be credited towards active volunteering as well (beyond helping our Marist Brothers).

While on the farm, students handle livestock, learn how to fence and safely apply chemicals, all the while being assessed by Br Anthony in what is described as “the most dynamic learning space they have ever entered’’.

“The benefit of this course is more than just the improvements that can be made to the Marist Farm, the acquisition of certifications or for city-dwellers to understand where their food comes, it is also an opportunity for students to engage more deeply with the Marist Charism,’’ Br Anthony said.

Additionally, the introduction of VET Active Volunteering in the Diocese means students who work on the farm to improve the facilities and processes could also qualify for Certificate II.

Students had the opportunity to visit the show and learn more

“Once established there will hopefully be greater scope for VET construction students to work on the farm and with the retreat centre at Mittagong to further improve the facilities and put into practice their building skills,’’ Br Anthony said.

“If students do both VET subjects, they can have both sets of competencies ticked off during the same work placement.’’

Parramatta Marist Principal, Mark Pauschmann said he is very excited about the introduction of this course into the school, especially since he previously spent seven years as Principal at James Sheahan Catholic College in Orange.

“Not only will it give our boys a greater understanding of the paddock-to-plate process, it will also provide them with skills that can be applied in many other areas,’’ Mr Pauschmann said.

Posted By CathEd Parra at 6/04/2018 4:17:48 PM

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