THE circle of life, the food chain, working for a living ... all parts of the curriculum at Oakhill College.
Students interested in farming raise livestock, grow fruit and vegetables and, when the time comes, take little piggy to market.
The school is part of the Schools Harvest program — a partnership between the University of Western Sydney, Royal Agricultural Society of NSW and schools.
Year 12 student Ethan Woolley has been in the school’s agricultural show team for four years.
‘‘I think we’re really lucky,’’ he said.
‘‘I have a lot of family who work on the land and who have farms, so it’s cool to get the opportunity to do this stuff. I like animals and I like working with them so it’s cool.’’
But there’s no room for sentimentality when working on the land. The agriculture classes raise sheep, chickens and cows.
Steers are paraded in competitions at the Castle Hill and Sydney Royal Easter shows.
But he said when the time came, students learnt all about the transition from ‘‘farm gate to dinner plate’’.
‘‘Some of the lambs will end up going to slaughter and the steers that we take to the big shows will end up getting slaughtered as well,’’ Ethan said.
‘‘I’m fine with it. I knew before going into it that was going to happen.
‘‘A lot of kids spend a lot of time with certain animals and get a bit of an attachment.’’
At a recent Schools Harvest dinner the students helped prepare meals made from their produce and serve them.
Other high schools involved are: Crestwood High School, Baulkham Hills High and The Kings School, North Parramatta.