Students at ‘Back Creek’ learn by experience the importance of co-operation, teamwork, patience and compassion as they resolve difficulties.
The residential ‘Back Creek’ Rural Studies programme is a unique experience for Year 9 students. Located near Scotsburn, the rural campus is a viable commercial dairy farm of over 900 acres near Ballarat. Girls and boys go to the farm in separate gender groups of 20 to 25 students throughout the year and reside at the Scotsburn farm for 5 weeks.
The students are actively involved in farm duties – milking cows, rearing calves, feeding poultry, market gardening – as well as hosting farm visits by Kindergarten and Prep. students. Academic studies of English, Mathematics, Environmental Science and Christian Education are applied to real-life situations at ‘Back Creek.’ Small business skills are learnt in the sale of fresh fruit and vegetables that are surplus to the catering requirements at ‘Back Creek’.
During their stay students develop a real sense of responsibility and the meaning of a good work ethic. They often learn by experience the importance of co-operation, teamwork, patience and compassion as they resolve difficulties and master the challenges of independent living away from home. The challenges are to accept responsibility within a team and a workplace, and to recognize the need for perseverance to achieve success.
Both students and parents have recognized many ways in which the farm experience has developed character and brought a real sense of responsibility, compassion and co-operation – all invaluable in adult life.