Rural Skills is a SQA “Skills for Work” course delivered over 2 years in S3 and S4. It is a practical outdoor course delivered in partnership with the Abriachan Forest Trust.
The main focus of the course is to develop a pupil’s employability skills. Every Thursday the pupils take part in an outdoor lesson – either based at Abriachan or within the school grounds. Pupils also have a “theory” lesson in the classroom every week.
This subject can be chosen as part of a pupil’s choice of course at the end of S2. At present there are 19 pupils taking part in Rural Skills in S3 and S4.
S3 Rural Skills
On a Thursday morning the S3 class have been completing the practical tasks required to achieve their “Estate Maintenance” unit with our Abriachan Forest Trust partner Mrs Suzann Barr and her husband Jim. Their main project last term was to construct a fence beside a new pond at Abriachan.
This term the S3 Rural Skills class have started a series of practical First Aid sessions working with Mr Andrew Maclean from the Red Cross, helped by a Sixth Year Red Cross volunteer, Erin Wardlaw 6S
S4 Rural Skills class
The S4 class have successfully completed their “Soft Landscaping” unit of work by working at the Loch Ness Country House Hotel supervised by their gardener, Mr Roy Goddard. The class worked in small groups with Roy in the grounds of the Hotel every Thursday between April and October, giving the pupils valuable experience of a working environment.
This session the S4 class has been working on a Unit of work called “Land Based Industries”. This involves carrying out research into three local industries and jobs.
In September 2012 the class received an invitation from Scottish and Southern Electricity to visit the wind farm at Fairburn. During their visit the class found out about the advantages and disadvantages of this type of renewable energy development and visited the site control room and a turbine base.
The class travelled through to the Norbord timber processing plant at Dalcross in November 2012 and took part in a discussion about Health and Safety in the workplace with Mrs Ann Babbington Occupational Health Nurse, before taking part in a guided tour of the mill.
Mrs Susan Ritson (PT Guidance / Rural Skills teacher)