Teacher: Marianne Gardiner
Agricultural Science teaches students about agriculture, food and natural resources. It is a subject that is constantly changing and is available to all students from both farming and non-farming backgrounds. While all topics on the syllabus are covered, the latest relevant developments in agriculture are also introduced.
Agricultural Science was reintroduced on the Gort Community School timetable September 2016 and is also currently available as an after school subject option for the current Leaving Certificate cohort.
It is a two year Leaving Certificate course during which students complete a project (worth up to 25% of their final grade) on a chosen farm. The other 75% is achievable through the written Leaving Certificate exam.
The project (25%)
This is completed continuously over 2 years and includes:
1. Identification of plant and animal types. Students will be able to answer questions such as:
- Why is the Liver fluke important to Irish Agriculture?
- What are the main Beef breeds in Ireland and why are they favoured?
2. Practical Experience
- Candidates are required to demonstrate in their projects that they have gained practical experience in the areas of crops, livestock and farm layout.
- Two crops are chosen from a specified list including cereals, potatoes (or any root crop), grasslands etc.
- The student will choose one type of livestock enterprise in which to gain practical experience, such as Beef, Dairy, Sheep or Pig enterprises.
- Candidates will present a sketch plan of the farm house and buildings and the whole farm. They must be able to discuss the farm buildings and how they provide the environmental conditions required on the farm and the physical/aesthetic layout of the house in relation to the farm.
3. Scientific Investigations
- A number of experiments/investigations are carried out over the two year period in the following areas:
- Soil Science
- Plant Physiology
- Animal Physiology
The Written Exam (75%)
The curriculum will cover a broad range of Agricultural Science topics to include:
- Plant identification and physiology
- Tillage and crops
- Forestry, Ecology and the Environment
- Animal Production (to include Beef, Dairy, Sheep and Pigs)
- Animal Physiology
- Current Issues
Students will be brought on 1 or 2 field trips a year to experience Irish Agriculture, such as to Mountbellew College, local farms or student friendly farms such as Coorevin farm in Borrisokane.
Each class will participate in growing a crop while in school, such as potatoes, to try to supplement their experience. This year’s Leaving Certificate class have taken part in a ‘farm to fork’ exercise and have grown potatoes from seed at Gort Community School and enjoyed the’ fruits’ of their labour by preparing garlic wedges at harvest time!
Students are encouraged to subscribe to the Farmers Journal and Irish Independent ‘Ag focus’ to keep themselves abreast of current agricultural issues and trends. These papers are delivered to the school for our students.
Gort CS School Garden
We are passionate about our students learning basic horticulture skills and understanding the importance of growing their own food and buying local . We want to empower them to make small changes that can reduce their carbon footprint and make a positive change towards climate change and global warming. The school has produced lettuce, cabbage, beetroots onions, spinach, potatoes, herbs, strawberries, raspberries and blackcurrants which are available on our school market days. We also have several wildflower areas and have planted around 300 trees to contribute to biodiversity.
Have a look at the video below to learn more about our School Garden:
Careers in Agriculture
Many students use their Leaving Certificate Agricultural Science as their first or second Science subject to meet their chosen course requirements for college. Past students have pursued the following routes:
- Agricultural Science Degrees e.g. UCD (Food/Dairy Science, Animal Husbandry etc.)
- Food Industry Training
- Teacher training
- Rural Diversification training
- Agricultural College for future farmers
- Veterinary Studies
- Equine Studies
Click here for syllabus.
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