At last week’s options evening, students were able to choose an exciting new land-based agricultural course in partnership with East Durham College’s Houghall Campus in Durham.
For the first time, Year 8 students moving to Year 9 to study GCSEs and vocational qualifications were offered the new hands on Level 2 qualification that explores use of land, as well as the application of science and technology in agriculture.
Houghall staff will deliver teaching in school and on student placements in regional agricultural facilities including at the Houghall campus itself, which has recently undergone a £12.75 million redevelopment including a brand-new small animal care centre, agricultural centre, equine centre, brand new science labs and IT suites.
Dr Janice Gorlach, our Executive Principal said:
“We are thrilled to be able to offer this unique opportunity for our students and ultimately, the local community, with the learning it offers acutely aligned to the needs of the local area. This course is a great addition to our curriculum and opens up a pathway for students who want to work in agriculture to go on to further study. The agricultural facilities at Houghall and the knowledge and skills of its staff are second-to-none. The access our children now have to this resource is a fantastic opportunity for them.”
Year 11 students Matthew Iceton and Luke Scott said: “We wish we could have had the opportunity to take part in a course like this. We think it will be great for younger students and will help them to learn the process of how food is produced and maintained.”
Year 7 student, Joe Scott, added: “This course will really benefit me as I’ll be able to learn and understand far more about the land based industry and food production. I think it is great that I’ll get to do more practical hands-on work and go out to learn in other places.”
During the three-year course, students will study historical land use and the shift in emphasis towards sustainability, environmental management and public access. They will also find out how science plays a major role in the modern land-based sector by investigating different parts of the industry, the roles of plants, crops and animals, whilst considering the importance of biosecurity.