For over a decade, we have participated in the national Cows Create Careers program. This highly motivating and rewarding program offers many academic, social and emotional benefits to students.
For Highfields State School, the program involves two young dairy calves, usually Friesian heifers, taking up residence at school during Term 3. For many children, the responsibility of caring for these young animals is a new experience and a steep learning curve. Although carefully supervised, the daily tasks of feeding, cleaning the pen and observing calf behaviour, become the responsibility of students. Students shine as they realise how capable, reliable and vital they are to the care of the calves.
The whole school benefits from the program as all classes have the opportunity to visit the calves and integrate this into classroom work. The students primarily responsible for the calves have a number of extra tasks to fulfil, and the team effort is sent away for judging.