The farm program provides hands-on, real life experiences for our students. Science, Technology and Design are integrated curriculum areas that are taught at the farm. In future, it is planned to continue to integrate the farm with further areas of the curriculum. Strong Beginnings Two and a combined group of Year 3-5 students and teachers are already leading the way.
Setting up the farm in 2004 was an interesting experience. Danial Kelly, the first farm teacher and Sharon Reeves, the Principal led the school community to solve problems and situations as they went along. The farm has been a major focus for the community involving parents, students and teachers. In 2005, Marg Ross became the Farm teacher and is continuing to teach about the animals, their needs and specialised care, environmental education, design, technology and construction.
In 2006 a major focus has been Sustainable Schools Project and this has influenced the program in semester one 2006. Students are encouraged to use lateral thinking to problem solve.
Program and Activities
Students have been involved in a variety of projects this semester:
- plant needs and propergationsee link
- mini beasts see link
- native garden/bush tucker garden
- setting up an egg business
- "There's a Frog in My Toilet"
- revegetation at the farm
- creating a wildcare area at the farm
- flora and fauna audit of the local area
During the course of the year we have had to prepare for Cyclone Monica at the farm. The students worked hard throughout the day to remove furniture, look for items that may become projectiles, and basically batten down the hatches. Mr Finch our Maintenance Officer then went around and tied down the "Big Stuff". We prepared extremely well and were lucky the cyclone took a different path. see link
Mr Finch the school Maintenance Officer has been busily improving the housing for the poultry at the farm. The animals now have a fenced and covered area. This can now be cane toad proofed. The students need to wash their hands and now have a sink with running water to complete this. The collected water is bucketed out onto the plants to reuse this valuable resource. We also have a brilliant bike powered pump that drains the duck ponds on the farm. Again this water is used for watering. see link
There have been some new additions to the farm in 2006. Rainbow the rabbit has arrived at school and she makes regular visits to classrooms. The male goose makes a great watch dog at the farm and loves to be hand fed lettuce. Some baby chickens have made their home in the new chicken coop at the farm. The blue tongue lizard will be making a permanent stay at the farm soon. He is having a great big enclosure built for him, Lawson will love this. see link
Bellamy's Organic Apples
In March of 2006, Alawa Farm was successful in adopting a tree from Bellamy’s Organic Orchards in Tasmania. The apples come from a Fuji apple tree that was planted in 1989. These apples tasted so yummy they were literally gobbled up in two weeks by staff and students. We will have four deliveries from our tree in Tasmania over the course of the year. We have already enjoyed a box of fresh organic apples and two cartons of Apple Snacks. see link
Rentokil Initial Grant
In April 2006 Alawa Farm was successful in a grant application to Rentokil Initial. Rentokil Initial is sponsoring Alawa Farm to re-create it’s worm farm and improve recycling at the school. The grant for 2000 dollars will help buy new worms, worm farms, sorting buckets and weighing machine. The students are looking forward to the overall benefits, which include: decreased food bill for poultry, less waste in landfill at Shoal Bay Waste Station, less rats or other vermin around the school (they are attracted by waste left around), increased ownership of issues at the school with resolutions, a cleaner and greener school. Thanks Rentokil Initial. see link