The resources align with the New Zealand school curriculum for Years 1-8 and are aimed at helping classroom teachers to teach children about where milk comes from, how it is processed and transported, and also what a varied and interesting sector dairying is. Teachers can also sign up to visit a farm and then share photos with other teachers and classes on dairynzschools.co.nz.
Instead of teaching dairy as a specific subject, the programme looks at curriculum areas such as mathematics, science, technology, economics and geography, and uses a dairy context to teach modules within the compulsory curriculum areas. DairyNZ Schools teaching modules include a Teachers Guide, posters and fact sheets. A limited number of classroom Resource Kits are also available through School Kit to support the new modules each year. Topics and the suggested teaching methodology provides for fun, innovative, interesting approaches to learning and contribute to an increasing awareness and understanding of the dairy sector and its contributions to New Zealand.
Linking urban and rural
An annual activity in the education programme is the DairyNZ CLASS-ified Game of Moostery, which links 150 rural schools with 150 urban schools around New Zealand.
It challenges children to put on their detective hats and figure out their partner school’s name and location using clues in the form of a photographic scavenger hunt and a video chat session. This resource aims to increase understanding and create empathy and real-world connections between rural and urban children.
A taste of science
Introducing 'dairy' as a topic into the science curriculum at an early age not only increases children’s knowledge about dairy farming and where their milk comes from, but it can also spark an interest in a career in the dairy sector and introduce a pathway into agri-science.
A recent education module, 'Can it Ice Cream', took the approach of starting with the products children already know and love – ice cream and milk – and introducing them into the science curriculum area of investigating a change of state (in this case from liquid to solid). In addition, an extra challenge of creating a breakfast flavoured ice cream was thrown into the mix. In the module, children got to find out about what products are made from milk and where that milk comes from.
Teachers who are using DairyNZ’s education resources in the classroom can also apply for a School Farm Visit. This provides experiences outside the classroom for children who may not otherwise have the opportunity to experience a real farm environment.