Agriculture is offered at Barker from Years 9 - 12
Agriculture at Barker has continued to increase in popularity over the past decade, from four classes in 2007 to 15 classes in 2017 across Years 9-12. Barker’s Year 12 2017 cohort of 68 students across four classes is the largest group of HSC Agriculture candidates from any school in NSW. They make up approximately 5% of the total HSC Agriculture students in NSW this year. Students find the course relevant to their lives and many see a future in it. With the world needing to roughly double food production by 2050 and more than six jobs available for every Agriculture graduate out of university, many Barker students continue their Agricultural studies as they progress to University.
The course in Year 9 combines both theory and practice and as such it can be considered an Applied Science. It aims to provide students with a wide range of experiences and life skills that relate to plant and animal production. They participate in a vegetable production unit and harvest crops early in the year. They also raise broiler chickens, learning about the production chain of this important animal enterprise.
Students may study Agriculture in year 10 without having previously taken the Year 9 course. The course aims to provide a variety of practical and ‘hands-on’ experiences in a wide range of important agricultural enterprises. It involves working in the school vineyard along with a study of the Australian sheep and beef industries. This course is not a prerequisite for senior Agriculture in Years 11 and 12, but provides a foundation for students considering Agriculture in their HSC program.
The year 11 and 12 course has been designed to allow students to develop knowledge and understanding of the interaction between the component parts of agriculture. It caters for a diverse range of students and ability levels. It has the facility to challenge students academically as well as providing them with a wide range of practical skills and an awareness of technologies associated with agriculture.
The year 12 course is designed to increase student understanding and capabilities in a continuum from the farm level through to the international markets in which agricultural commodities are traded. Because it includes the study of a farm and an agricultural product of particular interest to the student, the relevance of the course is greatly enhanced.
Mr Scott Graham
Head of Department