DIANE: Good morning. Diane Davies. Can I help you?
GAVIN: Yes, I’d like to get some insurance for the contents of my home.
DIANE: Fine. When did you move into the house?
GAVIN: A couple of weeks ago, and it’s an apartment actually. I was told by the landlord that it would be a good idea to get some insurance for the furniture and other personal possessions.
DIANE: Fine. Well, let’s get some details. What kind of apartment is it?
GAVIN: It’s a two-bedroom apartment.
DIANE: What floor is it on?
GAVIN: Why do you need to know that?
DIANE: Because it affects the cost of the insurance. An apartment on the ground floor isn’t as protected as others and there’s more chance of a break-in.
GAVIN: Really? I didn’t know that. It’s on the third, no, second floor.
DIANE: Second . . . and how much is the rent?
GAVIN: It’s $615 per month.
DIANE: Good, and where is it located?
GAVIN: In Biggins St, South Hills.
DIANE: I see. And what things did you want to insure?
GAVIN: Well, what do you recommend?
DIANE: Well, the most important things are those which you would normally find in a home. Things like the television, fridge and so on.
GAVIN: I see. Well, I’ve got a fridge and a stereo system which I’ve just bought from a friend.
DIANE: And how much did you pay for the fridge?
GAVIN: Er, $450.
DIANE: 50 or 15?
GAVIN: 50 and the stereo system cost $1,150.
DIANE: Have you got a television?
GAVIN: Yes, but it’s very old and not worth much.
DIANE: OK. Well, is there anything else you want to insure?
DIANE: How much do you think they’re worth?
GAVIN: The watches are worth $1,000 …
DIANE: For both of them?
GAVIN: No, each one and, all together, the CDs and books cost me about S400.
DIANE: OK, so the value of everything you want to insure is $4,000.
GAVIN: How much will the insurance cost?
DIANE: Let me see, S4.000 divided by … plus 10% … right, so this kind of insurance, er, that’s Private Contents insurance, it comes to $184.00 for a twelve-month period.
GAVIN: S184.00. Well, that sounds pretty good. OK, I’ll take that policy.
GAVIN: Can I arrange the policy over the phone?
DIANE: Sure, just let me get the details down. So that’s Mr …
GAVIN: Gavin Murray, that’s M-U-R-R-A-Y.
DIANE: And the address is?
GAVIN: it’s 16C Biggins Street, South Hills.
DIANE: OK (writing) 16C Biggins Street, South Hills?
GAVIN: That’s right, it’s two words, ‘South Hills’.
DIANE: And your date of birth is?
GAVIN: 12 November 1980.
DIANE: And your contact number?
GAVIN: Home phone number is 9872 4855.
DIANE: Right… and er, … you’re Australian?
GAVIN: No … I was born in London, although my mother is from Tasmania.
DIANE: Really? Whereabouts?
DIANE: I see … interesting place. Now, are you working at the moment?
GAVIN: No, I’m a full-time student at Sydney University.
DIANE: Right, good.
Well, good morning, everyone, it’s good to see you all here. Welcome to Smith House. Smith House as you may or may not know, is one of the oldest residential colleges of the university. As you can see, the building you’re in now which contains this main lounge, the dining room, the recreation room, the kitchen and the offices was part of the original old house, built in the 1840s to be used by the family of George Smith. That’s of course how the house and college got their names. The original house was converted into, a residential college for the university in 1940 and since then has continued to be added on to and modernised.
You’ll notice when you receive your room allocation in a few minutes that your room number either begins with the letter N, S, or W like this one here. The first letter refers to the three wings of the college which come away from this main building. Of course, the letters represent the three directions – in this case – north, south and west. Each wing has two floors, and so the next number you see is either one, or in this case two, and this indicates which floor your room is on. The number after that is your individual room number. So it’s quite simple to find any room by going to the right wing, then floor, and then room number.
You’ll also notice, when you receive your orientation pack shortly, that there are two keys. One is the key to your room and only you have that key – and the other is a key to the front door which you’ve just come through here from the street. This door is closed and locked at 8 pm every night and opened again at 7 am. You’ll need your key if you’re coming back to the college between those times. We ask all students to always enter and leave the college through the front door. You will notice at the end of each corridor that there is another door but these are fire doors and are kept locked from the outside. They should only be opened from the inside in case of emergency.
In your fees, you’ve paid a laundry fee which covers the cleaning of bed linen and towels. All bed linen and towels are clearly embossed with the name Smith House so it’s easily identifiable. If you want your other laundry to be done by the college this can be arranged for a small extra fee.
There are only a few rules here at Smith House and we have these rules so that we can all live comfortably together. The most important rule is that there must be no noise after 9 pm. There is also no smoking in the rooms or anywhere inside the college but smoking is permitted on the balconies.
All meals are served in the dining room. Meal times are listed in your orientation pack. Please read these carefully as meal times cannot be changed and if you arrive late I’m sorry to say you’ll just go hungry.
If you’re unsure about things, each floor has an elected ‘floor senior’ who is usually a student in their third or fourth year of study who’s been at Smith House for a while. The floor seniors will introduce themselves later today and answer any questions you have. But for now, I’m going to hand you over to Marney who is going to give you the orientation packs and keys. Thanks, Marney.
LYNNE: That essay we have to write … the one on how children learn through the media … how are you planning to write it?
ROBIN: Well, I’ve given it some thought and I think that the best way to approach it is to divide the essay into two parts. First of all, we’d have to look at some examples of each type of media …
LYNNE: Yes, what they are … then we could describe how we can use each medium so that children can learn something from each one.
ROBIN: Exactly. Maybe we could draw up a table and look at examples of each medium in turn. Let’s see, the different forms of media would be … the print media …
LYNNE: Here you’d have things like books and newspapers, that sort of thing …
ROBIN: Urn, and included in these are the pictorial forms of print media, like maps …
LYNNE: Yes, maps are really just formal pictures, aren’t they? And then there are what we call the audio forms of media … where children can listen. CDs and radios are probably the best examples because a lot of children have access to these especially radios.
ROBIN: And this would lead into the audio-visual media, which can be seen as well as heard . . . film, television . . . and we mustn’t forget videos.
LYNNE: Yes, but there’s a final category as well … computers, that make up the so-called electronic media. In the United Kingdom and Australia, they say that one in three families has a computer now.
ROBIN: Yes, I believe it. Well, that’s a good list to start with … we’re really getting somewhere with this essay now … so let’s move on to when each type of medium could be used. I guess we could start by trying to identify the best situation for each type of media.
LYNNE: What do you mean?
ROBIN: I’m talking about whether each medium should be used with different sized groups. For example, we could look at pictures, and ask whether they’re more useful for an individual child, a few children together or a full class – in this case, I’d say pictures are best with individual children, because they give them an Example opportunity to let their imaginations run wild.
LYNNE: Yes, I see …
ROBIN: Let’s take tapes next. Although tapes look ideal for individual children, I feel they’re best suited to small group work. This way, children don’t feel isolated, because they can get help from their friends. Computers are the same … I think they’re better with small numbers of children and they’re hardly ever useful with a whole class. Videos, however, are ideal for use with everyone present in the class, especially when children have individual activity sheets to help them focus their minds on what’s in the video.
LYNNE: And what about books, what would you recommend for them? Books are ideal for children to use by themselves. I know they’re used with groups in schools, but I wouldn’t recommend it. Other pictorial media like maps, though, are different … I’d always plan group work around those … give the children a chance to interact and to share ideas.
ROBIN: I agree… teachers often just leave maps on the wall for children to look at when they have some free time, but kids really enjoy using them for problem solving.
LYNNE: Yes, different people have different ideas I suppose…
ROBIN: Yes, and different teachers recommend different tools for different age groups…
I hope that this first session, which I’ve called An Introduction to British Agriculture, will provide a helpful background to the farm visits you’ll be doing next week.
I think I should start by emphasising that agriculture still accounts for a very important part of this country’s economy. We are used to hearing the UK’s society and economy described as being ‘industrial’ or even ‘post-industrial’, but we mustn’t let this blind us to the fact that agriculture and its supporting industries still account for around 20% of our Gross National Product.
This figure is especially impressive, I think, when you bear in mind how very small a percentage of the UK workforce is employed in agriculture. This is not a recent development – you would have to go back to 1750 or so to find a majority of the workforce in this country working in agriculture: By the middle of the next century, in 1850 that is, it had fallen sharply to 10%, and then to 3% by the middle of the twentieth century.
And now just 2% of the workforces contribute 20% of GNP. How is this efficiency achieved? Well, my own view is that it owes a great deal to a history, over the last 50 or 60 years, of intelligent support by the state, mainly taking the form of helping farmers to plan ahead. Then the two other factors I should mention, both very important, are the high level of training amongst the agricultural workforce. And secondly, the recognition by farmers of the value of investing in technology.
Now, although the UK is a fairly small country, the geology and climate vary a good deal from region to region. For our purposes today we can divide the country broadly into three – I’ve marked them on the map here (indicates map).
The region you’ll get to know best, of course, is the north, where we are at present. The land here is generally hilly, and the soils thin. The climate up here, and you’ve already had evidence of this, is generally cool and wet. As you will see next week, the typical farm here in the North is a small, family-run concern, producing mainly wool and timber for the market.
If we contrast that with the Eastern region, over here (indicating on map), the east is flatter and more low-lying, with fertile soils and a mixed climate. Average farm-size is much bigger in the east, and farms are likely to be managed strictly on commercial lines. As for crops, well, the east is the UK’s great cereal-producing region. However, increasingly significant areas are now also given over to high quality vegetables for supply direct to the supermarkets.
The third broad region is the west, where it’s a different story again. The climate is warmer than in the north and much wetter than in the east. The resulting rich soils in the west provide excellent pasture, and the farms there are quite large, typically around 800 hectares. The main products are milk, cheese and meat.
So, clearly, there are marked differences between regions. But this does not prevent quite a strong sense of solidarity amongst the farming community as a whole, right across the country. This solidarity comes in part from the need to present a united front in dealing with other powerful interest-groups, such as government or the media. It also owes something to the close co-operation between all the agricultural training colleges, through which the great majority of farmers pass at the beginning of their careers. And a third factor making for solidarity is the national structure of the Farmers’ Union, of which virtually all farmers are members.
Finally, in this short talk, I would like to say a little about the challenges facing farmers in the next. . .