Home Economics, Agriculture (Farm), Design & Technology, Digital Technology and Photography.

Home Economics

Home Economics is a multidisciplinary subject that covers Food Science, Textiles and Caring for Others.  It is offered to students at Mount Barker Community College from Years 8-12. It is a fun subject which teaches many practical life skills. Students learn how to cook healthy meals, how to cater for events and how to budget. They learn how to hand sew, machine sew and follow a pattern. They can also learn some basic caring for children skills.


Each Year Group focuses on something different:

Year 8: Students study programs called “Fun Foods and Textiles”.  In the Food Science unit of the course there is an introduction to food safety and hygiene, simple cooking techniques, basic nutrition and the students design their own lunchbox and make and decorate a gift cake.  In the Textiles unit they learn some basic craft and hand sewing techniques. They study different textile types and constructions and make a few small gifts to take home. If time, they learn to use the sewing machine and design a simple product.

Year 9: Students study “The Travelling Chef and Tailor”. In the Food Science unit, they travel around the world (but stay in the Home Ec. room!) learning about different cultures and cooking international foods. This includes trying out a variety of new cooking techniques, for example steaming a Chinese Sponge Cake, trying new flavours including making their own curry powder. They also learn about the factors that affect food availability and design their own pizza. We also organise an “International Celebration” for lower school students to enjoy. In the Textiles unit they learn various embellishing techniques, then how to use the sewing machine and overlocker before designing their own apron. If time, we also learn how to read and adapt a sewing pattern and make some shorts/pyjama bottoms.

Year 9/10: Students may have the option to study one or more of the following courses. Note that not all of the following courses are offered every year. Students are asked for their preferences and the most popular courses run.

  • “Introduction to Catering”.  In this unit they gain an insight into the hospitality industry by learning more advanced cooking techniques as well as planning and running their own catering event.
  • “Plantagenet Chef”. In this unit they study fast food and nutrition, whilst facing a variety of “MasterChef” like challenges.
  • “Upcycled Textiles”. In this unit they learn more advanced sewing techniques and are supported to devise their own upcycled product.
  • “Caring for Children”. In this unit they study, among other things, child development, the importance of play, nutrition and budgeting. They keep a journal of their learning, take the RealCare babies home and design and make a play activity

Year 11 and 12 students study Units 1-4 of the Food Science and Technology General Course. It is largely based on gaining understanding and experience of the hospitality sector. It includes among other things; safety and hygiene rules and regulations, nutrition, special food needs, as well as examining the properties of food and how they are affected by different cooking techniques. This unit of study is consolidated by a great deal of practical work where they often have to design and adapt their own dishes.


The Home Economics department has a large cooking room with 10 cooking benches, A dedicated sewing room and an outdoor herb garden and study area.

Teacher:  Audra Guy
Assistant:  Debbie Crofts

Agriculture (Farm)

Students study a broad range of topics about agriculture that provides an introduction to various enterprises on the college farm. These include viticulture, poultry, aquaculture, horticulture, wool, red meat production and broad acre farming. Students work with sheep and cattle including some handling of the show cattle from the ‘Barker High’ Murray Grey Stud.

Some have the opportunity to learn a variety of skills on the farm that include sheep and cattle yard work, fencing, general, horticultural and vineyard maintenance. Students also assist in other animal husbandry work that includes feeding, marking, tagging, drafting, numerous breeding services and shearing shed operations.

Annual events farm students participate in include the Harvey Beef Gate 2 Plate Schools Challenge, Dog verses Drone, Wagin Woolorama, Perth Royal Show & Albany Agricultural Show. Students also have the privilege of other farm visits within the Plantagenet shire that demonstrate best practice in their specific operations.

Staff members:  Jay Rowles (Farm Manager), Trevlyn Smith, Linda Drage, John Wright, Graeme Henderson and Butch (Farm dog).

Design and Technology

For students in Years 7 to 10 the Design and Technology Department offers courses relating to wood, metal, plastics and more generalised courses involving mechanical workshop, welding and aspects of Building and Construction.

In Years 11 and 12 there are several pathways that can be achieved by the students through Curriculum Council Courses of Study and VET competencies. Materials Design and Technology Wood (MDT) is a feature of this school.

In MDT is a design and skills based course with the challenge to create a personal item of furniture with a degree of difficulty incorporating drawers or doors, together with some written assignments associated with their projects and to aid in the planning or evaluation of their desired product.

General Workshop is a compilation of skills development allowing some student activities to contribute to their Certificate I or Certificate II achievement. Throughout the year such skills as welding, metal lathe turning, mechanics and some building and construction skills are attained by the students.

Technical Graphics is now part of the new courses of study under the Design units.

The course allows for further development of Technical drawing skills in the areas of design, architecture and graphic communication.

Teacher: Craig Gibson

Digital Technology 

Digital Technology is taught and is compulsory from Year 1 to Year 8. We offer Digital Technology in Year 9 and Year 10 as an option for a semester.

Students are provided with practical opportunities to use design thinking and to be innovative developers of digital solutions and knowledge. Digital Technology is a subject that has specific curriculum and includes the practical application of the ICT general capability and learning the components of digital systems.

The components of digital systems:

  • Hardware, software and networks and their use.
  • How data is represented and structured symbolically.
  • Collecting, managing and analysing data.
  • Providing solutions by investigating, designing, producing, evaluating and collaborating.

Year 1 to 6 Teacher:  Ms Susan Plewright
Year 7 to 10 Teacher:  Ms Alison Forrest

Digital Photography

Digital photography is taught for one semester in Year 9 and Year 10.

This provides students with an opportunity to plan, compose, photograph and edit an assortment of images. Students research the Principles and Elements of Design, different genres in photography and the potential career paths available. Students develop an understanding of other artists’ work and their inspirations the in production of their own work.

Students use the industry standard software (Adobe Photoshop) for editing and produce a number of activities demonstrating their abilities using this software.

Teacher: Ms Alison Forrest