There was great excitement among students from Skillset Senior College earlier this week when two, seven week old jersey calves were delivered to our school.
The calves, belonging to a local farmer from Canowindra, are part of Dairy Australia’s innovative program ‘Cows Create Careers’Farm Module. Delivered across 23 dairying regions, the program aims to encourage young people to consider a career in the dairy industry.
Rearing the three-week-old calves at school is at the heart of the program. “Students will be required to feed the calves twice a day, as well as look after and monitor them to help instill an appreciation of what is required to keep livestock healthy” said Mark, Skillset Senior College’s Agriculture teacher. “It also hopes to showcase the Dairy industry as a real and potential career avenue” he added.
Students also complete theoretical modules, are introduced to vocational and university pathways and learn about the linkages between educational and employment sectors. The ‘Cow’s Create Careers’ program kicked off in 2004 and is now offered in over 200 schools, with nearly 12,000 students participating each year.
Abbey Barrett, Manager for Education at Skillset Senior College said “the students just light up when they come in contact with animals. This is such an innovative program and we are so pleased that our students are so keen to participate. One of the calves is already known as Princess. Not sure what the second calf will be called just yet but I’m sure we won’t have long to wait.”
Princess and her calf mate will call Skillset Senior College home for the next three weeks.
We like to say we focus on individual wellbeing and personal achievement, and to prove it we are celebrating our first group of students commencing Year 12, as the original year 10 of 2015 progress through to the commencement of their final year of schooling.
“It is a very exciting milestone, both for the school and the students” says Principal Craig Randazzo, “we are an innovative school set in an adult learning environment with small class sizes and this is clearly a model that really suits our students.”
The school now has 50 students and employs 8 staff, with the average class size no larger than 15. The Year 12 students are doing a range of HSC subjects including Ancient History, Information Processing Technology, Agriculture, Spanish, Legal and Community and Family Studies.
Next year the school will have Years 10, 11 & 12 students for the first time, with total student numbers of 75. The school has also recently been advised it has been successful in securing a federal government grant of $140,000 which will be used over the next few months to provide additional facilities for the increased student numbers next year.
“We are very excited to get this funding to support the work we are doing here at the College. We are fulfilling a real need in the community for a smaller, alternative school model and it is immensely gratifying to be able to help young people in this way. We are currently taking enrolments for Year 10 for next year and encourage anyone who thinks Skillset Senior College may be for them to get in touch with us,” said Manager of Skillset Education Abbey Barrett.