Gunnedah High School's students are taking ownership of their learning.
Agriculture and primary industries’ students are developing the school’s new ag plot in a bid to expand their skills and create new educational opportunities.
The 11-acre plot on Torrens Road was offered to the school in early 2017 by Whitehaven Coal and will enable the school to offer a more diverse agriculture program.
The Department of Education and Training signed off on the new plot in June and the school is slowly getting it into shape.
With the help of agriculture teacher Nicole Dwyer and farm assistant Philip Tydd, the students have marked out four paddocks and are working to clear them of noxious weeds and install fencing and gates.
Last week, students were installing fencing and the week before they installed all the pipework for animal troughs.
A lot of the students are learning skills for the first time.
“They can see the value in it,” Ms Dwyer said.
The ongoing drought has seen the plot get off to a bumpy start, with little feed for livestock or soil moisture for cropping. However, Ms Dwyer is hopeful that the plot will be ready by the end of term one in 2019.
“It’s going to be a work in progress,” she said.
“We couldn’t have got as far as we are now without Phil coming out here.”
The school has already purchased some merinos, which have lambs at foot. They are being cared for at the school until the ag plot is ready.
“That will start the livestock out here,” Ms Dwyer said.
The teacher said they would like to plant forage crops in winter and look at what else the area can be used for.
Year 11 students has been instrumental in planning the infrastructure and suggesting enterprises such as bees, which could be established in the space.
“They had some really good ideas,” Ms Dwyer said.
More than 100 students will use the plot as part of their agriculture and primary industries studies in 2019.
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