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Dunedin school joins appetite for food-focused teaching

Dunedin school joins growing appetite for NZ Young Farmers food-focused teaching resources

A range of new teaching resources are giving secondary school students a taste of the opportunities and challenges facing New Zealand’s food producers.

The material is helping teachers inject “real-world examples” into their maths, english, business studies, science, technology and economics classes.

“More than 170 secondary schools have already registered to download the free resources, which is exciting,” said Leeann Morgan, who heads the educational engagement unit at NZ Young Farmers.

“Consumers in the United States eat 100 million burgers every day.”

“Thejunior business studiesresourceexamines alternative proteins and the impact plant-based proteinsor cultured meatcould have on the red meat sector,” said Leeann.

The teaching and learning resources give students a full paddock to plate experience.

One of the NZQA-accredited internal assessments provides Year12maths students with a large database of birth and growth data fromtwo separate flocksof sheep for statistical analysis.

“The junior physics unit looks at technology and innovation and advances in everything from tractors, to quad bikes and even drench guns,” saidLeeann.

“It’s really making their learning come alive and making it meaningful.”

The resources, which have been written andtrialledby teachersunder contract to CORE Education, were developed with funding from the Red Meat Profit Partnership (RMPP).

There are four cross-curricular junior school resources and three internal achievement standards in maths, english and science for Year 11-12 students.

“The great thing is we’ve now got teachers who’re telling other teachers about the resources, which is fantastic,” said Leeann.

“I wish these resources had been around when I was teaching because I would have used them.”

One of the schools using the learning resources is Kavanagh College in Dunedin, which has a roll of 850 students between Years 7-13.

They’re being incorporated into the curriculum of three Year 10 economics classes.

“It’s great material,” said teacher Jill Armstrong. “The data’s fantastic, the resources are colourful, and it can be printed into booklets for students.”

The school also introduced agribusiness as a subject at NCEA Level 2 this year. “We’re the first Dunedin school to offer the subject on one site,” said Jill.

Kavanagh College hopes using the resources offered by NZ Young Farmers will help entice more students to take agribusiness next year.

“The agri-food sector is important and needs talented people. My aim is to harness NZ Young Farmers’ expertise to grow the number of classes studying the subject.”

Teachers can download the learning material by visiting and creating a log in.

“Once they’ve downloaded the resources, the NZ Young Farmers field team is available to help answer any questions or arrange guest speakers,” said Leeann.

“Six members of our team are all trained teachers, so in some cases we go into the classroom and help teach the resource.”

NZ Young Farmers’ growing reach into schools means it can also connect teachers who’re using the resources at different schools.

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