Agri-food learning resources used to engage all-boys English class in Motueka

Posted by on 29 May 2019 | Comments

A unique project is using the agri-food sector to help improve the literary skills of a boys’ English class in Motueka.

Motueka High School, which has 700 pupils, was looking for a way to inspire and engage a Year 10 English class of 15 boys.

David Highsted works with teachers to provide schools with agri-food focused learning resources and offered to help.

“A big part of my job at NZ Young Farmers is helping teachers weave the food and fibre sector into their subjects,” said David.

“Our resources are a way to inject real-world farming and food production into statistics classes or the science lab.”

David Highsted.David met with the school’s head of technology Peter Allan, who offered to share the learning modules among his teaching colleagues.

“The best thing about the units is their flexibility. They can be modified quite easily to suit the learning level of a class,” said Peter.

The school’s English department was after a more practical-based resource for an all-boys class of Year 10 students.

The resource was designed to teach younger students about the importance of science and genetics in the red meat sector.

“We’ve altered it slightly and started teaching it this term. It will hopefully make English more relevant for the boys,” said Peter.

“I have lined up a highly-skilled local farmer who we plan to visit. It will keep the students engaged and expose them to the wide variety of career opportunities in the primary industries.”

“It can often be hard getting boys to develop a real interest in something and hopefully this will help achieve that,” he said.

It’s not the only learning resource, which can be downloaded for free from the Agrication website, being used by Motueka High School.

Students in Years 9-10 are studying a unit called Predicting Progeny and a Year 12 class is using a statistics resource.

The learning resources are funded by the Red Meat Profit Partnership (RMPP) and have been a hit with students.

The school also has a TeenAg club which recently visited a sheep and beef farm that has diversified into growing hops.