Gosford High School
Teaching and learning program
Year 12 HSC course
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Agriculture at Gosford High School provides opportunities for students to extend their knowledge, skills and appreciation for plants and animals and the food and fibre they produce. The course is relevant to the needs of students in both urban and semi-rural communities. Further, it provides a basis for which to seek employment or pursue further studies in Agriculture after completion of the HSC, e.g. Agricultural Science, Horticulture, Rural Science, Agricultural Economics etc. at Universities/TAFE Colleges throughout Australasia. School situation
Gosford High School is a selective high school on the Central Coast of NSW with a school population of 1080 students. Agricultural production lies on the perimeter of the urban fringe. Most agriculture/horticulture is performed in intensive and semi-intensive systems. The major plant enterprises include hydroponic greenhouse lettuce, tomato and flower production, carried out in the Somersby – Kulnura – Warnervale areas. There has been a marked increase in greenhouse horticulture (including hydroponics) since 1990. The major animal enterprise is broiler production carried out in the Kulnura – Peats Ridge area. Beef cattle and Alpacas are also raised on smaller holdings in the area. The school has a teaching staff of 70, with 1–2 Agriculture teachers. A farm assistant is employed for 22 hrs 48 mins/week over 3 days. Resources
The 3 hectare school farm provides an outstanding resource for teaching and learning, with areas designated for growing fruit, vegetable crops and pasture production for the school’s cattle, sheep and alpacas. Other animal enterprises include a new two sow piggery and a poultry (broilers and layers)
production unit. In addition, a poly tunnel and a shade house are used for plant propagation. Students use these facilities to develop skills and knowledge relevant to many aspects of their agricultural studies. The positive school/community interaction also enables students to experience a wide range of activities beyond the classroom, including farm and agribusiness visits, junior judging competitions, steer preparation and showing, along with equestrian activities.
The HSC course incorporates the study of Plant/Animal production, a Farm product study and an Elective. There has been some adjustment to the HSC syllabus since 2009 in order to update the course and provide a fresh insight into the dynamic nature of this subject.
? State of New South Wales through the hsc_ag.doc NSW Department of Education and Training, 2010. http://www.curriculumsupport.education.nsw.gov.au/index.htm page 2 of 28
Table of units:
1 Plant/ Animal Production (Core)
2 Farm Product Study (Core)
3 Elective: Climate Change
Internal school-based HSC course assessment schedule
1 Farm Product Study Research task 20% Week 5, Term 1 2 Mid- Year Revision Content revision 20% Week 9, Term 1 3 Elective Investigation Research study 20% Week 10, Term 2 4 Trial HSC Examination Examination 40% Week 5, Term 3
Agriculture HSC course outcomes mapped against content
H1.1 * *
H2.1 * *
H2.2 * *
H3.4 * *
H4.1 * *
? State of New South Wales through the hsc_ag.doc NSW Department of Education and Training, 2010. http://www.curriculumsupport.education.nsw.gov.au/index.htm page 3 of 28
HSC course assessment grid
Syllabus Task 1 Task 2 Task 3 Task 4 components, weightings and Outcomes: Outcomes: Outcomes: Outcomes: related H3.1,3.2,3.3,3.4 H1.1,2.1, 2.2, 4.1, H3.4, 4.1,5.1 All outcomes Content: Content: Content: Content:
Farm Product Study Mid-year exam Elective Trial HSC Examination
Date: Date: Date: Date:
Week 5 Term 1 Week 9 Term 1 Week 10 Term 2 Week 5 Term 3 Plant /Animal 10 20 Production
Farm Product 20 10 12 Study
Elective 20 8
Total 20 20 20 40
? State of New South Wales through the hsc_ag.doc NSW Department of Education and Training, 2010. http://www.curriculumsupport.education.nsw.gov.au/index.htm page 4 of 28
Unit: Plant/Animal production (50%)
Timing: 16 weeks = 48 x 75 min. periods
H1.1 explains the influence of the physical, biological, social, historical and economic factors on sustainable agricultural production
H2.1 describes the inputs, processes and interactions of plant production systems H2.2 describes the inputs, processes and interactions of animal production systems. H4.1 justifies and applies appropriate experimental techniques, technologies, research by methods and data presentation and analysis in relation to
agricultural problems and situations.
Resources: School farm; Dynamic Agriculture textbook, Book 3; library; Land Newspaper; internet websites: e.g. NSW HSC online, BOS, TaLe; videos.
Soil, nutrients and water H1.1 ; describe chemical ; Define and differentiate between physical and chemical
H2.1 ; chemical and physical characteristics of a soil characteristics of soil. Physical – texture, structure, porosity,
characteristics of soil including soil pH, ion bulk density. Chemical – pH, CEC, soil carbon, nutrient
exchange capacity, soil status.
carbon and nutrient ; Using a local soil carry mechanical analysis, pH test,
status porosity, bulk density test. Write these tests up in report
; describe physical ; Examine soils of different structures and draw diagrams to characteristics of a soil show features of each. including soil structure, ; describe the role of organic matter in soil texture, porosity and bulk ; Define and list examples of organic and inorganic fertilisers, density discuss application techniques and impacts on soil, plants and water. ; perform a first-hand ; Construct a table to show advantages and disadvantages of investigation to analyse organic / inorganic fertilisers. and report on the ; Examine samples of each type of fertiliser, listing nutrients in physical and chemical each and uses. characteristics of a soil
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; the role of soil nutrient ; illustrate the nitrogen ; Draw N and C cycles – discuss importance to agricultural
cycles in Australia cycle and the carbon production/ soil fertility/ sustainability with reference to
agricultural systems cycle characteristics of Australian soils.
including the nitrogen ; Summarise articles on a local catchment or regional river,
cycle and the carbon e.g. Wyong Creek catchment.
; the role of microbes and ; research using ; Prepare a report on the role of microbes and invertebrates in invertebrates in the secondary sources the decomposition and nutrient recycling. decomposition of importance of microbes organic matter and invertebrates in decomposition and nutrient cycling ; sources of water on a ; investigate using ; List the various sources of water on farms. farm and water secondary sources the ; Summarise the management of one particular farm water management in a farm various sources of water source. system and appropriate management of water use on farms ; describe the influence of ; Research current legislation relating to the use of water on legislation and farms. government regulations ; Investigate the influence of legislation and govt regulations such as licensing on the on the management of water on a particular farm. availability and use of water for agricultural purposes H1.1 Factors contributing to H2.1 the degradation of soil and water ; describe the impacts of ; Use a variety of resources to research past and present land ; the historical historical land use use, e.g. internet, video, texts, newspaper articles. development of practices in the ; Summarise this information into a table showing significant Australian land use development of land use practices and impacts. practices, from Australian agricultural Aboriginal practices to systems the present day
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; farming practices that ; investigate using ; Identify practices that lead to soil/water degradation.
have contributed to soil secondary sources the ; design a cause and effects table and summarise this
degradation such as practices that have led to information into a table
salination, acidification, one important soil ; Watch soil degradation video and make notes on soil soil structure decline, degradation problem, the degradation problems. loss of soil organic outcomes of these ; Review the effects of different tillage methods used with an matter and erosion and practices on the important broadacre crop. the effects of these on land/water system and ; Collect brochures from machinery retailers on types of soil and water and current machinery and tillage implements. recommended ; Compare and evaluate traditional and zero till methods and procedures to alleviate impacts on soil and sustainability. the problem ; Impacts of farming on broader ecosystems, examples of externalities – pesticide drift ;meat contamination, clearing ; practices that have led ; describe trees ; increased turbidity in streams, eutrophication, rising to changes in water farming/agricultural water tables etc. quality and availability practices that have ; Discuss impacts of Native Veg Conservation Act – on farms, affected water quality biodiversity and sustainability. and quantity including ; List practises that result in land/water degradation – consider fertiliser usage, the long term costs of degradation on farm effects of stock, effluent productivity/profitability. management, chemicals, grassed waterways, riparian zones, dam construction and H1.1 irrigation methods H2.1 Sustainable resource management ; describe techniques ; Propose alternative strategies that reduce degradation but ; sustainable techniques used to manage soil assist farm productivity and profitability, e.g. fencing off to maintain and/or fertility such as swampy areas to establish a wetland to enhance improve soil fertility conservation tillage biodiversity, destocking areas with gully erosion, exploring including alternative systems, maintenance of other income earning opportunities. Fencing risk areas – strategies to the soil organic matter (or river banks. Water troughs. application of inorganic carbon), green manure fertilizers crops, crop rotations, planting deep-rooted crops, organic fertilisers, inorganic fertilisers, pasture ley phase and nutrient budgeting
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; the role of individual ; research using ; Investigate organisations such as CM and Landcare to
farmers, the broader secondary sources determine the broad roles of farmers, communities and
community and programs such as government in reducing the harmful effects of agriculture.
government in reducing Catchment Management ; Study and evaluate a particular CM or Landcare project and
the harmful and Landcare that present a report noting long term sustainability, land
environmental effects of involve community and capability and whole farm planning for conserving water,
agriculture and in government groups protecting waterways and managing water quality.
conserving water, working together to
protecting waterways conserve and protect
and managing water soils, water, waterways
quality and water catchments
; assess the factors ; Construct a table to summarise the positives and negatives involved in long-term of undertaking sustainable practices sustainability of agricultural systems including Australian land classification/capability and whole-farm planning ; tension between ; identify tensions between ; Explain why this tension exists between understanding the sustainability and short-sustainability and short-value of production and the adoption of sustainable term profitability in term profitability in techniques. farming systems farming systems H2.1 Plant production systems ; process of growth and ; outline the phases of ; Select a crop to grow and manage through production cycle, development in plants growth of one agricultural documenting the phases of its growth, digitally, preserving monocotyledon or specimens or by drawing botanical diagrams. dicotyledon used in ariculture ; processes of ; describe the effect on ; Outline the processes of photosynthesis, respiration, NAR respiration, plant growth of the and uptake of water and nutrients. photosynthesis, net processes of respiration, ; Describe factors that influence these processes and assimilation rate, water photosynthesis, net subsequent effect on plant production. and nutrient uptake on assimilation rate, water ; Read and makes notes on each phase, its requirements and the effects of plant and nutrient uptake effects on plant production. growth ; Identify factors that limit efficiency of growth at each phase.
? State of New South Wales through the hsc_ag.doc NSW Department of Education and Training, 2010. http://www.curriculumsupport.education.nsw.gov.au/index.htm page 8 of 28
; perform a first-hand ; Carry out an investigation into effect of light on the growth to
investigation to a plant.
determine the effect of ; Plan and write procedure for a simple experiment to test
light on plant growth effect of light – e.g. potted oats grown in different light
intensities (full sun, partial shade, complete shade). Test
leaves for starch.
; beneficial relationships ; identify root nodules on a ; Review N cycle, observe nodules on roots of a legume plant between microbes and legume and outline their and draw botanical diagrams of legumes, showing key plants including the significance in features, draw diagrams to represent pathways for exchange fixing of atmospheric management of soil of nitrogen between atmosphere, soil and plants. nitrogen in legumes fertility ; Describe processes and role of micro-organisms in nitrogen fixation, nitrification and denitrification and other related soil processes, construct basic diagrams/flow charts to summarise processes. ; the role of plant ; outline the effects of ; Construct a table to outline the effect of each plant hormone. hormones on plant plant hormones including ; For each hormone select a commercial application and growth and auxins, gibberellins, explain its role in manipulation of production. development cytokinins, ethylene and abscisic acid ; explain how plant hormones may be used to manage plant production ; pasture production ; identify native and ; Collect, preserve and identify 5 native and 5 introduced systems introduced pasture pasture plants – discuss features, advantages/ species and describe disadvantages of each, draw botanical diagrams of these their role in pasture species. production systems ; Construct a table summarising advantages and ; explain the significance disadvantages of native vs introduced pastures. of a diverse pasture mix ; Evaluate the role of native pastures in pasture production ; Examine graphs of various pasture types and their growth patterns. ; Explain the need for using a mix of pasture species to match animal nutrition over a production cycle. ; Assess methods of maintaining nutritional value of pastures, e.g. time control grazing. H2.1
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Constraints on plant
production ; describe how light,
; constraints imposed by temperature, available ; Design experiments to show effect of light/ CO exclusion on 2 environmental factors moisture, oxygen/carbon photosynthesis. Test leaves for starch.
dioxide ratios, wind and ; Define and give examples of biotic and abiotic factors that
biotic factors affect plant limit production.
growth, development and ; Using a jigsaw technique, divide class into groups. Each production group is responsible for one effect, i.e. light, temp., available moisture, oxygen/carbon dioxide ratios, wind and biotic factors, and must describe the feature, state effect on growth and production and describe techniques that manipulate the influence of the factor. Each group provides report to other class members. ; competition in plant ; describe sources of ; Define sources of plant interference, i.e. competition, communities competition in plant allelopathy, acting alternate hosts, modifying the micro communities climate. ; investigate how farmers ; Conduct a trial on plant density measuring both vegetative manage plant and reproductive outcomes (using 2 different species) and competition through analyse results obtained. planting density and ; Define the term ‘weed’. weed control strategies ; Investigate three common weeds of the area and describe ; perform a first-hand variety of control methods including physical, chemical and investigation to biological. determine the effects of planting density on plant growth and/or yield ; Draw and explain the disease triangle, noting interactions ; complex interaction ; investigate using between the host, pathogen/pest and environment. involving problem secondary sources the ; Define terms relevant to disease – eg pathogen, host, organisms (pathogenic complex interaction immunity, resistance. microbe or between the problem ; Describe the disease triangle – interaction between invertebrate), the host organism, the host and pathogen, host and environment for one disease eg and the environment in the environment for one ; Research one plant disease – prepare report describing plant disease plant disease causative agent, transfer, symptoms, effects and control/prevention of disease, examine methods used by farmers to manage environmental constraints on plant production H2.1
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