A shift in the education syllabus has strengthened the connection between schools and their local shows, according to AgShows NSW the peak body representing 192 local agricultural shows in the state.
The changes to the curriculum include a renewed focus of Australian food and fibre production; making ag shows the perfect environment for learning.
"To connect to the syllabus, an excursion to the local agricultural show can reinforce students' learning and give them opportunities to be involved in project based learning, to design a product and enter into a competition or display," president of AgShows NSW, Tim Capp, said.
After two years of show cancellations caused by COVID, Mr Capp says shows are looking forward to hosting students again.
"Students who gain first hand experience at their local agricultural show are able to reflect on their learning and conceptualise and draw conclusions about what they experienced and observed."
"It is experiential learning at its best and builds a students' formative skills to participate, or perhaps even later judge, from those primary first hand experiences. Many schools initiate school contribution from an early stage of learning," he said.
The Australian Curriculum addresses learning about food and fibre production through humanities and social sciences, geography, science and technology, and mathematics.
There are many examples of schools and shows working together for the benefits of student education all over the state, according to Mr Capp.
In Taree, Chatham High School agriculture teacher Yan Kleynhans' says students recently elected their fourth show team committee. This committee of students, elected by their fellow students, takes full responsibility for the school's show team.
Our Chatham HIgh School team shows at the Sydney Royal, Canberra Royal, the Ekka and all shows in between.- Yan Kleynhans, Chatham High School agriculture teacher
"This committee and our show team are then the beneficiaries of training in personal and leadership development, they learn how to conduct a meeting, how to address people, public speaking, how to write a proper letter, applications - all invaluable and necessary skills required in life, as well as the many and varied skills associated with showing," Mr Kleynhans said.
"It works: giving our students that responsibility, pushing them to grow personally and in a professional manner, and teaching them from very young how to conduct themselves. Often what our students learn and the experiences they gain will be invaluable," he added.
For the last three years, members of the show team have also been elected school and vice captains.
"We have had students who started out quite shy but went on to place well in regional public speaking competitions. Our members have been judges in regional shows and one of current year 12 students has recently been appointed the new treasurer for Wingham Beef Week. "
"Our Chatham HIgh School team shows at the Sydney Royal, Canberra Royal, the Ekka and all shows in between. The students helped organise inter school qualifier shows in February and March to gain qualifying points just so they could show at Sydney."
"These children are becoming very important members of our communities," Mr Kleynhans said.
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