Agricultural studies is a unique course offered by a limited number of Queensland State Schools.

Junior Secondary

Agriculture is offered as an elective in Junior secondary.  Agricultural Science, Farm Operations and Rural Operations aim to introduce students to the study of Agriculture.

Agricultural Science

Agricultural Science enables students to explore ways to manage natural resources such as plants, animals, climate, soil and water sustainably. The scope of the subject is broad. Because of the fundamental importance of agriculture to humans, this subject is relevant to all students. The electives concentrate on Animal Husbandry (school-based poultry and farm animal rearing projects) and Horticultural principles (Home garden project). This course is designed to challenge the more academic student who may wish to pursue Agriculture and associated Authority subjects such as Biology, Science 21 and Geography in Year 11 and beyond.

Farm Operation

Students focus on Animal Husbandry principles (backyard poultry, bee-keeping skills and a special 10-week program rearing young calves). In addition, students will study basic plant nursery practices. This course is designed to meet the needs and interests of students who would like to undertake a more practical subject in line with the Subject Area Specification Subject of Agriculture and Horticulture. Both electives provide a pathway to Year 10 Agriculture but are not a pre-requisite.

Rural Operation

This elective (Year 10 only) is designed to give students a solid background into a wide range of practical experiences related to how a farm business is operated on a day-to-day basis. Students will take part in the following activities as part of this course:

  • Examine all major types of farm animals and their husbandry over a calendar year including vaccination, tick control, lamb marking and drenching for parasites.
  • Farm machinery maintenance and fencing projects.
  • Operation of farm tools and equipment such as tractors to complete allocated tasks such as brush cutting noxious weeds, cultivating ground for growing vegetables, legume and cereal crops.
  • Workplace Health and Safety practices.
  • Landscaping practices: e.g., paving, fencing, raised garden bed construction.
  • Nursery practices: e.g., plant propagation, potting media, irrigation practices.

Senior Secondary

Agricultural Science (Authority Registered or Authority Subject [OP])

Agricultural Science constitutes a unique study within the senior curriculum.  Agriculture allows students to apply scientific principles to real world situations.

The word “agriculture” evokes familiar images of farmers on the land. But agriculture is more than just one word and one image. Today’s agriculture incorporates all types of exciting careers in agribusiness, agronomy, horticulture, crop production, animal production, equine management and science, veterinary technology and wildlife management.

At the conclusion of this course, students should be able to:

  • Plan and carry out a variety of field-based learning experiences including plant and animal growth trials.
  • Conduct laboratory investigations and field surveys including soil analysis and interpretation, parasite identification, and sustainable farming practices.
  • Work individually and in teams on various projects.
  • Acquire knowlefde, problem solving and communication skills, and develop a range of additional rural industry competencies.
  • Develop a range of attitudes and values which will be of great benefit to the students, irrespective of their future vocational pursuits.  These will include the ability to make balanced, informed decisions based on sound scientific principles and rational argument.

Agricultural Practices (Authority Registered or Authority Subject [OP]) 

Agricultural Practices provides opportunities for students to explore, experience and learn knowledge and practical skills valued in agricultural workplaces and other settings. Through these learning experiences, students build their understanding of expectations for work in agricultural settings and develop an understanding of career pathways, jobs and other opportunities available for participating in and contributing to agricultural activities.

Agricultural Practices includes two areas of study, ‘Animal studies’ and ‘Plant studies’. Learning in the selected areas of study is delivered through units of work set in specific animal and plant contexts as highlighted in the table below.

‘Safety and management practices’ are embedded across both areas of study and focus on building knowledge and skills in working safely, effectively and efficiently in practical agricultural situations. These practices include skills needed to work effectively as an individual and as part of a team, to build relationships with peers, colleagues and wider networks, to collaborate and communicate appropriately with others, and to plan, organise and complete tasks on time. These skills are valued in all settings where people work together, and therefore position students for successful transition to work, training and other collaborative environments.

Last reviewed 07 May 2020
Last updated 07 May 2020