Terang Express
Interactive education takes a step up in Noorat

THE Noorat Primary School community welcomed three new fluffy friends to its interactive learning opportunities recently – a trio of lambs dubbed Rosemary, Meatball and Pepper.

The lambs have been one of a number of projects co-ordinated through the school’s recently launched Hands On Learning program.

Principal Rachael Buck said a parent had donated the lambs at the start of the term, with the Grade 3-6 students responsible for feeding, weighing and measuring their new pals.

“The kids are collecting the data,” she said.

Mrs Buck said the students and the lambs had become friendly with each other over the past three weeks.

“They just love them,” she said.

Mrs Buck said the students had even begun to arrive at school earlier in the morning to feed the lambs.

“They often fight over who can feed them,” she said.

Mrs Buck thanked 360 Dairy Solutions for donating the panelling which helped to contain the lambs in their pen.

Hands On Learning volunteers Bruce Miller and Jack Kenna have been visiting the school each Tuesday to deliver the program since late May.

“Jack and I love it here,” Mr Miller said.

The focus of the project was on strengthening skills outside of the classroom and beyond academic requirements, according to Mr Miller.

“It’s about building self-esteem and confidence,” he said.

Mr Miller said the students had already displayed progress across a number of aspects of the program, including hands-on skills, teamwork and concentration.

The main project of the Hands On Learning team has been finalising the interactive biodiversity and nature connection trail project.

The project received $2332 in State Government funding through the Victorian Junior Landcare and Biodiversity Grants program last September.

The trail included QR codes – unique barcodes which would link to online resources – and wooden cut-outs of students with speech bubbles featuring facts about local flora and fauna.

References to the region’s Gunditjmara heritage would also be an integral part of the trail, including stops displaying the Gunditjmara names for native animals.

Mrs Buck said the school would soon celebrate the grand opening of the trail.