St Colm's High School

2 Magherafelt Road

Draperstown

Co Derry

BT45 7AF

 

info@stcolmshigh.draperstown.ni.sch.uk

Tel

028 79628377

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GCSE Agriculture

Staff:  Mr P. McCaffrey

Introduction

This relatively new GCSE has been introduced to facilitate students interested in Agriculture and those interested in gaining further education or employment in the Agricultural sector.

 

The GCSE Agriculture and Land Use is an applied qualification in which students develop knowledge, understanding and skills through practical demonstration and/or in a context related to employability.

KS4 Subject Overview

GCSE Agriculture and Land Use

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The people of Northern Ireland have a strong rural tradition. This long association with the land means the agri-food industry is a vital contributor to the local economy.
 

European legislation, consumer accountability and environmental concerns all influence how we farm. The modern farmer must be expert in plant and animal husbandry, familiar with the legislation governing farming and able to respond to changing customer demand.
 

Studying agriculture allows us to:
 

  • investigate how farming practices can adapt to changing requirements;

  • explore the impact modern agriculture has on the natural environment;

  • examine increased consumer awareness of the food we eat; and

  • consider how farmers can develop diverse, vibrant and viable agri-food businesses.

 

The land-based sector offers employment opportunities in a range of areas, including:
 

  • farming;

  • conservation;

  • horticulture;

  • food production;

  • land management;

  • health and safety;

  • marketing; and

  • environmental protection.

Unit 1

Soils, Crops and Habitats

Assessment: An externally assessed written examination consisting of a number of compulsory structured questions that provide opportunities for short answers, extended writing and calculations.

Weighting:  20%

Timescale: End of Year 11

Unit 2

Animals on the Land

Assessment:  An externally assessed written examination consisting of a number of compulsory structured questions that provide opportunities for short answers, extended writing and calculations.

Weighting:  20%

Timescale: End of Year 12

Unit 3

Contemporary Issues in Agriculture and Land Use

Assessment: Controlled assessment Students complete two controlled assessment tasks:

Task 1 - Practical Investigation Task (20%) 

and

Task 2 - Research Project (40%)

Weighting: 60%

Timescale: Task 1 completed End of Year 11

Task 2 completed End of Year 12

Career Opportunities

There are a significant number of careers in the agriculture and food processing sector and is a vital element of our local economy, collectively accounting for around 70,000  local jobs (based on 47,979 total farmers and workers and 23,557 food and drink processing full time and employment agency workers), and 3.25% of Northern Ireland’s Gross Value Added (GVA) which equates to £1.1bn at basic prices.

 

The agri-food sector has also been identified as a key future driver for the economic development of Northern Ireland. 

 

Typical careers are Farmers, growers, food processing, conservation, contractors, feed merchants, agricultural engineers, agri-sales.

Skills: management, business innovation, applied technology, health and safety