Federated Farmers Charitable Society has adopted Te Kauwhata College as part of Smart Waikato's Secondary School Employer Partnerships (SSEP).

Year 9 and 10 science and food technology students from the school are working with Fonterra, Pokeno Bacon, Sonja Gardner Nutrition, Daniel Hall Engineering, Intelact and farmers Steve and Julie Nelson to see how science and food technology learning applies in the agriculture industry.  Smart Waikato chief executive Mary Jensen commends Federated Farmers Charitable Society for sponsoring the college to support real-world learning, from pasture-to-plate, in agriculture.  Smart Waikato will roll the initiative out to other schools in Waikato as funding permits.Year 9 and 10 science and food technology students from the school are working with Fonterra, Pokeno Bacon, Sonja Gardner Nutrition, Daniel Hall Engineering, Intelact and farmers Steve and Julie Nelson to see how science and food technology learning applies in the agriculture industry.

Smart Waikato chief executive Mary Jensen commends Federated Farmers Charitable Society for sponsoring the college to support real-world learning, from pasture-to-plate, in agriculture.

Smart Waikato will roll the initiative out to other schools in Waikato as funding permits.


Nutritionist Sonja Gardner chats with Te Kauwhata College food technology teacher Robyn Keall. Smart Waikato’s Secondary School-Employer Partnerships (SSEP) are formal relationships where employer groups from priority sectors link into school faculties at Year 9/10 level, supporting contextualised learning at subject level and introduce students to a wide range of careers. The goal of SSEP, supported by the Waikato Means Business, Ministry of Education and WEL Energy Trust, is to improve student retention, achievement and education-to-employment transitions, beginning with younger secondary school students and progressing to senior students. 

From left, Te Kauwhata College Principal Deborah Hohneck and science teachers Kirsten Jessop and Colin Frewen. Smart Waikato’s role is to establish best practice, encourage school and employer participation and assist in the support and sustainability of SSEPs, running in 12 Waikato schools in 2016 including Hamilton Boys’ High School, Fairfield College, Morrinsville College, Thames High School, Hauraki Plains College, Cambridge High School, Fraser High School, Ngaruawahia High School, Te Kauwhata College, Waikato Diocesan School for Girls, Rototuna Junior High School and Huntly College in 2017.


What people are saying about SSEPs:


There is a real opportunity for SSEPs to be a beacon project for the rest of New Zealand. Structured partnerships between schools and business will have a positive impact for us all. 
Susan Hassall, Hamilton Boys' High School Principal.


Walking the talk is what we need more of. It’s what we need to do to see our region prosper. 
Parekawhia McLean, Waikato-Tainui Chief Executive.


It’s great to see educators are in the same headspace as businesses in terms of wanting to collaborate and work together. It’s also great that as a region we’re doing more than just talking about the needs, we’re actually seeing real projects, real relationships and real outcomes that will put us ahead. 
John Cook, Waikato Means Business Chair

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