In a year when the world was thrown into disarray and the notion of work and education tipped on its head, Picture You in Agriculture (PYiA) is thrilled to announce that not only did the 2020 Archibull Prize go ahead in a modified format, but that all students and teachers rose to the occasion and excelled under challenging conditions.
The Archibull Prize is an internationally recognised program in secondary schools designed to engage students with agriculture and sustainability by challenging them to research an area of food and fibre production and to present their findings in multi-media and artistically on a life-sized fibreglass cow.
The 2020 Grand Champion Archibull was awarded to Penrith Valley Learning Centre, (PVLC) for their exceptional Archie that incorporated a working hydroponic system.
PVLC is an SSP school that provides specialist and intensive support in a dedicated setting for students with moderate to high learning and support needs.
“Penrith Valley has 49 students who fall into a range of behavioural and emotionally disturbed categories so not only did they get artist’s therapy from painting but they also got practical knowledge on a hydroponic system. We have kids who don’t get along but would tolerate each other just to get access to the Archie, which was an amazing result. We wanted the Archie to be not just a beautiful object but to have a functional purpose for our kids and leave a permanent reminder in the school. We now have a hydroponic system that can grow life and sustain future generations. It was a lovely legacy for our senior kids to create something they knew would transfer to the juniors.” Ceramics and Visual Arts teacher Tara Wagner says
The Archibull Prize judge Wendy Taylor, from Red Blue Architecture, concurs with Tara’s comments.
“I look for intelligent design with layers of meaning. Penrith’s entry is brilliant, intelligent, incredibly beautiful, engaging and really well done. It is a functional piece; a piece with purpose,” she says.
Other award winners in the 2020 Archibull Prize were:
Chevalier College in the Southern Highlands who won the Carmel Mills Memorial Award for Learning with Impact.
“The students and I thoroughly enjoyed the Archibull experience. As a teacher I found it a very valuable learning experience that enabled us to do project based learning and got the students to learn/ think in other ways in the complex COVID environment. I was inspired by the fact that the students investigative and critical thinking skills were very much extended by the nature of the task, something they weren’t used to in a conventional classroom. The students gained so much new knowledge about complex agricultural issues, without realising they were learning whilst being creative. A fabulous experience and result from an agriculture teacher’s perspective.” Verity Gett Agriculture teacher
Innisfail State College in Queensland has won the Allan Eagle Memorial Award for Community Engagement
Archibull Prize lead teachers, Adrienne Shaw and Janet Lane, are very proud of what their students have achieved and are excited by partnerships they have built with their local council, industry and business.
“I am confident we have built sustainable partnerships beyond the school, benefiting our students by making real life authentic links with people working in the agriculture sector. A local agronomy business has invited students to participate in local field trials. Cassowary Coast Council is providing ongoing support to open students’ eyes to the diversity of regional agricultural careers on offer, recently funding an excursion for year 12 students to visit the Jungle Creek Aquaculture facility ” Janet Lane says
Leonay Public School and Nepean Creative and Performing Arts High School won the Partnered Learning Award for collaboration between primary and secondary schools.
PYiA director Lynne Strong was full of praise for the participating schools.
“Because of the pandemic schools couldn’t go on excursions, host Young Farming Champions or local experts and they found alternative ways of exploring agriculture and this has led to an increased connection with their communities. For example the students at Chevalier, who are surrounded by dairy cows, participated in Cows Create Careers and University of New England’s Voyager Discovery program “Soil Your Undies” to get diverse perspectives.
This new respect for local agricultural industries has led to the school building a close relationship with a local dairy farmer and are embedding a dairy farm case-study in the Year Ten curriculum. It’s been a wonderful outcome for the local region. It was an extraordinary complex year and I salute all participants – there is no more important role than investing in the future of our young people and opening their eyes to the diversity of ways you have can a career that has real world impact in the agriculture sector.”
Students from Chevalier share their investigations into Regenerative Agriculture practices and fake news
Contact Lynne Strong, Picture You in Agriculture National Program Director, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.