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Learning programme design

Allow for flexible entry level

Students can begin studying agricultural and horticultural science at levels 6, 7, or 8. Programmes should provide students who enter at levels 7 or 8 with opportunity to develop the skills and concepts introduced at the previous level(s). This is particularly necessary for students who enter at level 8.

Learning programmes in agricultural and horticultural science aim to build:

  • (at level 6) the knowledge, practical skills, and experience that underpin economically and environmentally sustainable primary production
  • (at level 7) understanding of the scientific and technological principles used in management practices that ensure economically and environmentally sustainable primary production systems
  • (at level 8) the ability to apply economic considerations and management practices to primary production processes to ensure marketable, environmentally sustainable primary products.

An agricultural or a horticultural focus?

There is no particular pattern or frame into which an agricultural and horticultural science programme must fit. Programmes may focus on either agricultural or horticultural science, or both – or on aquaculture. The focus should be determined by the needs and interests of the students, the resources of the community, and teacher expertise and experience. Teachers must take account of their local setting and the particular opportunities it offers for studying horticultural or agricultural production, bearing in mind the impacts of seasonal changes on fieldwork and investigations.

Offer first-hand, practical experiences

All teaching and learning programmes will require that students have access to suitable facilities and appropriate experiences (such as visits to plant nurseries, orchards, or farms), as well as opportunities to participate in fieldwork and practical investigations (involving, for example, observing, measuring, recording and comparing data on crop growth).

For horticultural science, suitable facilities could include properly sited garden plots, glass houses, shade houses, potting benches, and secure storage facilities for tools, chemicals, potting mix, and so on.

For agricultural science, students should have reasonable access to a farm or livestock (possibly farms owned by school families), bearing in mind transport needs.

The local community and people involved in agricultural or horticultural businesses, such as fruit and flower growers and pastoral farmers, are often willing to support agricultural or horticultural teaching and learning programmes.

Safety and ethical considerations

Teachers must take account of the appropriate Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) regulations, the 1996 Hazardous Substances and New Organisms (HSNO) Act, and animal ethics. Activities or programmes should not put students in situations where their health or safety is at risk. Schools are required to have policies and protocols in place to ensure that off-site visits are properly planned and supervised.

Last updated February 1, 2012