Agricultural Studies is a high profile area of study at St. Paul’s. The curriculum provides pathways for students who wish to equip themselves for a wide range of careers within the rural sector – whether working or managing a farm, or accessing post-secondary study or training that leads to careers such as marketing, agronomy, veterinary science or agricultural research.
Students’ theoretical learning is supported by practical activities on the College’s farms (totalling 92 ha) that are used for livestock, cropping and pasture production. The White Suffolk stud provides experiences in the production of sheep and wool; the preparation and showing of sheep; and the techniques of modern studwork. The College also runs a small commercial herd of cows, along with steers that are prepared for showing and carcase competitions.
Students are also exposed to many aspects of leading edge technology through farm tours and conferences.
The Agricultural Studies strand involves:
• Years 7 & 8 Technology (Introduction to plant production; vegetable gardens and plant propagation; chicken growth trials; farm animals and farm safety).
• Years 9 & 10 Agriculture Technology (stud sheep and cattle production; prime lamb, merino and beef cattle production; winter crop production; Landcare and land management; alternative agricultural enterprises).
• Years 11 & 12 Agriculture (case studies on a farm and an agricultural product; an emphasis on livestock and plant production; land and water management).
• Years 11 & 12 Primary Industries (a practically based course involving tractor driving, OH&S, farm chemicals users certificate, first aid, livestock handling, fencing, crop management and work placements).
Additional opportunities exist for students to complete agriculturally-related courses outside of school hours in small engines, chainsaw use, fire fighting and wool classing.