Woori Yallock Farm School
The Woori Yallock Farm School is a unique educational setting. Established in 1873 as a ‘tent school’ by the early settlers of the district, the school grew to be one of the largest primary schools in the area.
In 1990, the site was converted into a ‘hobby farm’ setting by the secondary schools within the region. Since then, the Farm School has offered short term alternative programs to students facing personal, social and/or academic challenges.
In partnership between OPTIONS and Cire Training (as RTO), the Farm School is now offering students the opportunity to gain a nationally recognised qualification in Conservation and Land Management. At the same time, students will build self-esteem and improve the strength of their personal qualities such as social and team working skills. Most importantly, they will have fun.
The Farm School has always used agriculture, outdoor and environmental education as tools to re-engage the disengaged, build confidence and improve personal attributes such as social and team working skills.
There are now vegetable gardens, heritage fruit orchards and plant nurseries where rows of portable classrooms once stood; the bike sheds are now chook sheds; the football oval has become a wetland, and the playgrounds have been zoned as a ‘Land for Wildlife’ area.
With a hands on approach and the motto “A Different Way to Learn”, the Farm School has a very impressive record of ‘turning the tide’ for students.
The Certificate I in Conservation and Land Management program also creates future pathways for students. Since 2014, when the Certificate program was first trialled, the vast majority of participants have continued to be engaged in education.
A Certificate I in Conservation and Land Management can lead not only to higher level Certificates in obvious areas such as landscaping and agriculture but even into fields such as building and mechanics.
Partnership and Units Covered
The Farm School does not deliver the Certificate program alone. Many long term partnerships have been maintained with organisations who support the program. These include:
- The Friends of the Helmeted Honeyeater
- Yarra Ranges Council
- Healesville Sanctuary
- Greening Australia
To meet the national standards for the Certificate I course the following units are covered:
- AHCWHS101 Work Safely (Core)
- AHCWRK101 Maintain the Workplace (Core)
- AHCNAR101 Support Natural Area Conservation
- AHCNSY101 Support Nursery Work
- AHCILM203 Record Information About Country
- AHCILM201 Maintain Cultural Places
The facilities at the Farm School (including heritage buildings, plant nurseries and themed gardens), together with the partnerships forged, all lend themselves very well to delivering these units. OPTIONS Farm School staff, in partnership with Cire Training (as RTO) have developed and validated a highly contextualised Training Package.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where does this training take place?
Generally, the program runs out of the Woori Yallock Farm School site (30 Church Road Woori Yallock) but there are frequent excursions to other sites.
When does this training take place?
Students participating in this program will attend the Farm School for one day per week.
How long does the program take?
Generally, the programs runs for two school terms but there is considerable flexibility built into the program (at least 15 weeks are required to complete all necessary academic units and practical components of the program).
How do students get to the Farm School?
Students will generally be collected from their home school in the morning and returned at the end of the school day.
How many students can participate?
The Farm School bus is limited to 10 student passengers so this is the maximum number of students that participate in any single program.
Is there a cost?
Referring schools pay a ‘fee for service’ to OPTIONS. This is a fee set by the Department of Education and Training (DET) for each school term and includes all equipment, materials & tuition and is not passed onto students/families. However, there is a separate $250 per student enrolment fee charged by the Registered Training Organisation (Cire Training) to cover assessment, reporting and record keeping.
A Note To Referring Schools
For almost three decades the Woori Yallock Farm School has, and continues to, offer a range of programs for students facing academic and/or social challenges. It is a healthy, peaceful and productive learning environment where students can spend a little time to realise their potential.
Adapting to the needs of referring schools and their students, the Farm School has developed this Certificate I in Conservation and Land Management program.
Following the trial of the program since 2014, and in the view of Farm School staff, this is the best program ever offered at the school in terms of student outcomes. It re-engages, builds social and team working skills, increases self-esteem and it provides real pathways for students.
To discuss the fees and how to further adapt the program to meet the specific needs of your students, please contact the Farm School on (03) 9724 2990.
30 Church Road
Woori Yallock VIC 3139
(03) 9724 2990