Agricultural Science

2363

Year Plan 2015-2016

Outline of course offered:

Agricultural Science is a specially designed subject for the Transition Year class of 30 pupils.  The subject has been offered since 2012 and has been very successful in terms of participation and feedback from pupils, colleagues and parents/guardians.  The subject is not offered at Leaving Certificate level, yet on occasion pupils from the class will go on to study the subject outside of the school.

 

The initial aim of the programme was to introduce students based in an urban area to the country way of life.  The programme has grown and developed with the introduction of the Horticulture element in the last two years.

 

Students have experienced trips out of school, each year we travel to the National Ploughing Championships and we have also visited Ballyhaise Agricultural College.  Students are assessed with in class tests, formal and informal as well as with project work such as creating posters explaining different topics of the course.

 

This year we were honoured to receive funds from the Parent’s Association to purchase a polytunnel for growing our own crops/plants.  This will tie in greatly with other subjects such as Mini Company as we may have the opportunity to sell our produce and Science especially during experiments and ecological studies.

 

Term 1: September to Christmas

Preparation of polytunnel (weed killer to be put down and ground to be rotivated).  Students will participate in this exercise using the school’s gardening tools.  The caretaker will assist with the spraying of weeds.  Students will tidy and weed the indoor gardens.  They are in need of maintenance.

We will follow this by preparing the ground in the polytunnel for planting.  We will study the various crops/plants that may be planted and when.  The onus will be on the students to decide what they would like to plant and to water them and care for them accordingly.  The students participating in the Gaisce Award will tend to the gardens when necessary.

On rainy days students will research Horticulture and be introduced to Dairy Farming.

Topics included:

  • Dairy breeds.
  • Milk composition.
  • Production.
  • Husbandry.
  • Management principles of a dairy herd.

Websites and Youtube videos will be utilised in order to ensure students familiarise themselves with the different processes etc.

 

Term 2: Christmas to Summer

The gardening in the polytunnel will continue.  The hope is that students will be able to grow crops from beginning to end and sample their produce.  It is also hoped that students will have a better understanding of the planting process and maintenance requirements.

On rainy days students will research Horticulture and be introduced to other forms of Livestock Production and Management.

Topics included:

  • Animal Nutrition, feed and body condition.
  • Animal health and welfare.
  • Pig Production.
  • Pig Management.
  • Sheep breeds and production.

Emphasis will be placed on the production of animals from conception to slaughter, the care and maintenance required and the importance of tracing.

Group projects and oral presentations will be used to assess the student’s awareness of their new subject.