Today in our Year 7/8 Food Tech elective, Bread Basket, the class took on the Great Garlic Bread Challenge! All students designed their own recipes selecting the type of dough, fillings, toppings and shape. The smells were unbelievable! The finished products were fantastic showing more independent designing and cooking skills, what a great creative way to learn about breadmaking. Will Jane, you'd be proud!
The Year 9/10 Geography – Food for Thought elective students have been investigating what factors lead to food insecurity. To examine how threats from non-native plants, animals and insects affect our food security we invited Nerida Evans, a District Vet with the Department of Agriculture, and Geoff Rollinson, the Landcare Coordinator of Heytesbury and District Landcare Network to address the class on this topic. Nerida described her career path and the role of a Department Vet in protecting against disease outbreaks, controlling invasive animals and their impact on the Australian environment and agriculture. Geoff defined smothering weeds and cited examples of these in our region such as Wandering Trad, Blue Periwinkle and Blackberries and the way they are controlled. He also introduced students to the Keeping Carbon on the Farm pilot project that includes a suite of activities that farmers can undertake to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and better prepare for climate change. We will look forward to learning about this in future classes.
Continuing with our Bushfire theme, students welcomed CFA volunteers into the School’s library to describe and contrast the 1983 Ash Wednesday fires and the 2018 St Patrick’s Day fires and help promote bushfire awareness. John Mahony (Allansford CFA) and Kelvin Boyle (Naringal CFA) outlined the weather conditions, point of origin, fire fighting procedures, wind change and fatal consequences that they experienced during the Ash Wednesday fires. They described the way the community rallied after the event to support those impacted and the improvements that were made to fire trucks, fire fighting uniforms, communications and warning systems. The current Year 5/6 students learnt that the 2017 Year 5/6 cohort then made up fire evacuation plans with their families, produced posters and introduced bushfire awareness to their peers at TAP’s On! 2017 with the Timboon CFA. Bryce Morden and Rhys Kensit (Timboon CFA) recounted that only 4 months later, climatic conditions lead to the 2018 St Patrick’s Day fires in our region. They described the causes, use of the Vic Emergency App, the role of the CFA and the community response to the natural disaster which included community meetings, informal BBQs, Blazeaid volunteers, donations of food, clothing and money. Students had the opportunity to try on the fire fighting gear, examine scrapbooks and newspaper articles describing the events and trial the Naringal fire training map and Mount Warrnambool fire tower map. These students will be tasked to develop a fire and evacuation plan with their parents and will discuss the objects they have included in the Pillowcase Project, just in case…
To introduce our TAP into Natural Disasters – Bushfire unit for 2019 we invited Vin Dillon and Elaine Lock from the Australian Red Cross to lead our Year 5/6 students into the Pillowcase Project. In light of the St Patrick’s Day fires in our region we decided this was an opportune time to introduce this concept at Timboon P12 School. Vin discussed with students the importance of being prepared for any activity or event and they participated in a mindfulness session to prepare their minds for the thoughts and feelings that may arise before, during and after an emergency. Cards were distributed to challenge students to help them decide on the difference between a ‘need’ and a ‘want’ with groups of students deciding what they would need in an emergency. The students were given pillowcases to illustrate with things they would want to pack in an emergency with words used to describe how to act in these circumstances. Vin explained how the first Pillowcase Project was introduced into schools and communities by the American Red Cross after Cyclone Katrina to help students prepare for an emergency and build resilience when facing adversity. Thanks Vin and Elaine, it was a brilliant lesson.
Have a look at this gorgeous collage that showcases the brilliant curriculum opportunities and work undertaken by our Year 3/4 students as they studied Healthy Bones, Healthy Eating. It depicts the visit from nutritionist, Diana D’Auria, and dairy tastings with educator Heidi Van Es, learning out nutrition, good bones, healthy food choices, scrumptious sandwiches, clever packaging and labels using nets, healthy fruit platter and our beautiful cow Picasso Cow, Milky! Please call into the Year 3/4 rooms to check it out.
To learn about other types of agribusinesses and business ventures in our region, the Year 9/10 Commerce elective class hosted Matt Bowker, who, with his wife Sophie, operate Kangaroobie Camp and Kangaroobie Meats. Matt described how their farm was established in 1860 and that he is a 6th generation farmer on a farm that has previously produced turkeys, pigs for the goldrush, dairy and beef cattle. They run 900 head of Angus beef that are crossed with Simmental bulls and their online ordering system means that they can maximize primary cuts and deliver to a central point in Melbourne and surrounds on their monthly delivery runs. The secondary cuts are made into sausages, mince and roasts which feature in many of the school meals at the Kangaroobie Camp which was established in 1978 by Matt’s parents. The camp, which features adventure and farm activities, hosts schools, including Timboon P-12 Year 3/4 students, and family or social events such as parties or weddings. The Bowkers also operate the Otway Lighthouse complex which includes tourist facilities and an interpretation centre with free access to residents of the Corangamite Shire. Employing a staff of 42 people, Matt challenged students to look at different ways of making money from what you enjoy doing and to regularly step back from your business to reassess where you are going and what you are doing. Great advice.
Inspired by agronomists, Danielle O’Keefe and Tess Blake from Grass Growers, our Year 7 Science students created posters about ”Pest Invaders” as part of the Hermitage Research Facility’s 2019 Schools Plant Science Competition. Following Tess’ example students created posters about Invasive pests such as Blackberries, Feral camels, Gorse, Feral pigs, European Red Foxes and Carp.
As part of their VCE Food Studies Design our Year 11 Food Technology students are investigating large and small processing businesses and today they undertook a field trip to learn about the business models of Jane Dough and The Midfield Group. Will Jane outlined the background and development of his niche wholesale bakery, Jane Dough, and the size of the business was reflected in the immediacy of his relationship with his clients. Mick Williams and colleagues hosted our tour around the Midfield Meat plant and Dean McKenna described the way Midfield was developed and the use of technology that is impacting on cost reduction and product development. Despite the scale of the two businesses it was really interesting that there were many common threads such as; the importance of product consistency, meeting the expectations of clients, the use of up to date technology, engaging social media to promote product, the importance of food safety and OHS, minimal if any wastage and the sustainability of the business. It was really interesting that a business that employs three people had so much in common with a larger food production business that employs over 1,000! The two completely different wholesale operations were able to give students an insight into their respective business models and employment opportunities. Thank you to everyone concerned.
A group of our Year 9/10 girls and some lucky parents were fortunate enough to be a part of the ‘Girls in Physics’ breakfast at Deakin University supported by Deakin University (Geelong) and the Australian Institute of Physics. Victoria’s Lead Scientist, Amanda Caples, introduced Dr Gail Iles, an inspiring speaker who shared her journey about ‘Human spaceflight and science in space and her personal Physics Journey’. Dr Iles spoke about her interest in physics from a young age, the barriers she overcame to eventually become an instrument scientist, an astronaut instructor, and her work on microgravity, magnetic nanoparticles, neutron and x-ray scattering and instrumentation design. The guests were challenged by Dr IIes’ thoughts on the future plans of humanity and what science and technology we need to continue to explore our solar system.
The Sisters dairyfarmer, Jill Porter, who was a guest of the Year 7/8 “Have your say” Politics class, emphasized that if you care deeply enough about your community or family that it was worth going into battle for it. Jill described how she and her husband Brad were impacted by the 2018 St Patrick’s Day fires which were caused by a faulty power pole on her neighbor’s property. Students learnt the biggest fire risk is during distribution to users rather than generation and transmission and the role of the State Government and the regulatory body, Energy Safety Victoria, (ESV) which has not bought Powercor or other National Distribution Businesses (NDB) into line with community expectations regarding a safe and reliable energy distribution network. Jill has since led the charge for Powercor maintenance reform and legislative review so that this did not happen to other rural communities. She challenged students that if they, “believed in something, or researched something strongly enough, that your opinion counts, even if you are not a big company and your voice should be heard” and that it was important to be respectful and question the government bodies and private corporations with integrity. The class presented Jill with an Appreciation certificate and a lavender heat pack from our lavender farm for what was definitely a highlight for students and teachers. Thanks Jill