Deniliquin Pastoral Times

Students take charge, from applicatio­n to execution

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Anyone who has visited Deniliquin High School of late may have noticed some floral additions to the entry way at the corners of Wellington and Harfleur Sts.

Over the last two years, Work Studies students have planned, budgeted, and built four new garden beds for students, staff and visitors to enjoy.

The unit is a practical way to teach students employable life skills through theory and practice, teacher Matt Tobin said.

Mr Tobin started the gardens with the 2020 Year 11 students, with a larger class of about 18 pupils.

The 2020 cohort built the beds along the footpath from scratch, and as 2021’s Year 12s, continued building garden beds beneath the school sign and adjacent to the fence.

‘‘This area of the school gets a lot of traffic, and the original garden beds were rotting and falling away,’’ Mr Tobin said, ‘‘so we replaced the boards and replanted the gardens.’’

The project this year called on students to write a grant applicatio­n to finance the project, which they submitted to the NSW Teachers’ Federation in April.

Despite feeling some melancholy after a long wait, students Phoebe O’Neill, Jen Ho, and Connor Hillman were excited to receive news they had secured a grant two weeks ago.

‘‘It was a sense of joy when we realised we’d done the hard work and finally achieved something through that work,’’ Jen said.

With the $565 grant, the students have been tasked to create a budget, and pick the materials and plants which will bring the new garden bed to life.

The new garden bed will be built beside the school oval before the students round out their Year 12 studies in two weeks.

The use of native plants has been important to them in previous projects, as are the choices for colour and style in the school colours. Each student used their own interests and talents to complete the process — Connor photograph­ed potential locations of the new beds for the applicatio­n, Jen handled sourcing materials, while Phoebe enjoyed getting into the garden and planting.

Deni High’s NSW Teachers’ Federation representa­tive Rebecca Hof said the funding helps the environmen­t; an eco-friendly policy to reduce excess paper use places a levee on each sheet of paper used by the Teachers’ Federation. It’s that levee which directly funds projects such as Deni High’s garden beds.

‘‘These grants are one way for the Department of Education to give back to the environmen­t.’’

 ?? ?? Teachers’ Federation rep Rebecca Hof, students Jen Ho, Connor Hillman and Phoebe O’Neill, and teacher Matt Tobin with one of the garden beds establishe­d.
Teachers’ Federation rep Rebecca Hof, students Jen Ho, Connor Hillman and Phoebe O’Neill, and teacher Matt Tobin with one of the garden beds establishe­d.

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