Countryside & Environment

The Countryside and Environment subject courses are part of our applied learning programme. Applied Learning is an approach which emphasises the relevance of what is being learnt to the ‘real world’, outside ‘the classroom’, and makes that connection as immediate and transparent as possible. It is about making the skills needed for success in school and wider society explicit.

Applied Learning will involve students and their teachers in partnerships and connections with organisations and individuals outside school. These partnerships provide the necessary out of school context for students to demonstrate the relevance of what they have learnt. This helps students see what can be done with the knowledge and skills they are developing.

Countryside and Environment has been developed to allow students to experience a range of teaching methods which will include practical based learning and study skills that can be used across all subjects and is taught at both Key stage 3 and Key stage 4 levels.

Two units of study are included and students will cover a variety of topics within these units. There will be opportunities to visits relevant local businesses such as farms and listen to presentations from experienced outside speakers.

Units of Study

Animal and Plant Husbandry

As part of this unit students learn:

  • what is good animal husbandry
  • how to look after a farmed animal - we have our own chickens
  • how to grow and look after a variety of crops - students have a dedicated planting area
  • what affects these crops and what can be done to protect them

Introduction to Environmental Studies

Students will explore:

  • soil types
  • pollution
  • microclimates
  • food chains
  • the school grounds and the school pond as a familiar practical example
  • ecosystems

This course allows students to learn about different elements of the countryside through a vocational route. Students study two units over the two years and choose two from three units:

Introduction to animal and plant husbandry

This unit aims to introduce students to skills and knowledge of animal and plant husbandry and how these can be applied in practice. The student will understand the husbandry requirements of plants and animals used in land-based production. They will learn about the welfare of farm livestock and monitoring of livestock food, water and general health.

Introduction to Environmental Studies

This unit aims to introduce students to environmental study skills and knowledge, and how these can be applied in practice. Students will be introduced to a range of scientific investigation skills enabling them to collect, analyse and compare environmental information about different sites. They will investigate the relationships between plants, animals and humans and consider energy and nutrient flows.

Participate in Providing Estate Maintenance

This unit provides students with an understanding of the principles of estate skills and how these can be applied in practice. This unit aims to develop practical skills in the use of hand tools and equipment, together with those required to maintain boundaries and surfaces or habitats in the context of the industry sector being studied by the learner. Throughout this unit students will be made aware of the health and safety implications of the work they are carrying out and its possible impact on the environment. They will learn the importance of risk assessment, keeping themselves and those around them safe and using personal protective equipment.

All students have access to a range of resources including chickens which are kept at school, planting areas (some areas are covered), visits and speakers.

Career and Higher Education Opportunities

Applied Learning involves working with students in a way that takes into account their personal strengths, interests, goals and previous experience and making clear to them how school can be a vital part of developing these interests and taking them further. Opportunities following this course are therefore extremely wide and while some may take up employment or training in a related field, others will be able to demonstrate that skills gained from this course are transferable and applicable to the majority of employment or study.

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