The Accounting department at St David's has managed to maintain an excellent average over the past three years, significantly surpassing the IEB average. In addition, boys regularly achieve final NSC results that place them firmly in the Top 1% of all IEB candidates.
The new National Curriculum Statement has moved away from "booking keeping", where the focus was on recording transactions up to Financial Statements, to Financial Management were the focus is mainly on problem solving. Recording of transactions and setting up of Financial Statements for various forms of ownership still forms part of the syllabus; however, new concepts such as VAT, Costs in Manufacturing and Business Ethics have been introduced. Case studies now form an integral part of assessment.
Now more than ever, learners will have to work at becoming fully bilingual – so great are the demands made on those who take Afrikaans as a First Additional Language. Competency levels must be raised if they want to achieve good results.
How does one become competent? Speaking and reading Afrikaans is the first most important step. Learners MUST create opportunities for themselves to be exposed to Afrikaans – what happens in the class room will never be enough!
This subject is only offered in Grades 10, 11 and 12.
The subject ensures that learners:
- Acquire and apply essential business knowledge, skills and principles to conduct business productively and profitably in changing business environments.
- Create business opportunities, solve problems and take risks creatively, respecting the rights of others, as well as environmental sustainability.
- Apply basic leadership and management skills and principles while working with others to accomplish business goals.
- Be motivated, self-directed, reflective learners who manage themselves responsibly and their activities while working towards business goals.
- Be committed to developing themselves and others through business opportunities and ventures.
Business Studies also forms the foundation for further business learning opportunities.
Design and Technology
Design & Technology is very much focused on a heads-and-hands-on approach.
The D&T Centre is a well-equipped and energetic department filled with the equipment engineers and scientists dream of giving their kids. The department is run by Mr Clive Venter.
The subject explores innovative and cutting edge developments in its field but also lays down a basic foundation of knowledge on structures, systems and control, communication, materials and processing.
Learning has never been this much fun.
Taking Music as a subject at St David's is both exciting and dynamic. The focus is on output; using all the available platforms at St David's, as well as various external platforms to promote and live out the experience of music. A responsibility to serve and represent St David's through music is key.
The IEB Curriculum for Subject Music (Grade 10 – 12), covers Music Theory, Aural Training, Practical (live performance), Composition, History of Music, Improvisation, and aspects of the Music Industry.
Subject music pupils and non-subject music pupils have the option of entering for external examinations and getting internationally recognised certificates for Trinity of London, Royal Schools of London, Rock School and Trinity Rock & Pop School Examinations. St David's will enter pupils for these examinations and bill the parents. Pupils also have the option of taking individual lessons with one of our specialist teachers.
The value and profound significance of language and communication in our society cannot be emphasised enough. We live in a world in which we are surrounded by many forms of communication and we need to be able to interpret the messages and the many sources of information that we encounter. It is vital, therefore, that our learners are critically aware and able not only to understand, but to evaluate texts and messages.
English is essential to understanding other disciplines, and it is also integral to understanding ourselves and being able to communicate. Essential skills that are taught in the English classroom equip learners to be able to explore a diverse range of pursuits with confidence and ability. Writing reports, research skills, synthesising information, public speaking and reading for enjoyment are life skills; the acquisition of which are essential to success in many disciplines, and to happiness and wellbeing.
The English Department strives to instil in each learner an appreciation of the language as well as an awareness of the relevance of English in our world. Learners are encouraged to study the language as part of their lives and to value the importance of English in their ability to interact with media, the electronic world, social media, and to engage in human relationships. Through this we hope that our learners leave St David's as fulfilled young men who are able to interact effectively and meaningfully with the complex world into which they progress.
The Geography Department has seen enormous growth in the IT sector. We introduced GIS (Geographic Information Systems) a few years ago. The Grade 8 and 9s become familiar with working with spatial data and produce maps. The higher grades are given a GIS program to load on their home computers and learn to query spatial and input data from a variety of sources including GPS.
The learners are exposed to current and up-to-date Geographic events with online access in class. Class sets of newspapers are delivered daily. Group work is encouraged and teachers often present best practice approaches at Geography conferences.
Fieldwork and exciting geography-related tours take place. The Geography department endeavours to make the subject relevant and alive.
The History Department at St David's has a keen awareness of educating young men through making history relevant and enjoyable. While certain periods of history are more appealing to boys than others, the department has nevertheless presented versions of the curriculum which provide a logical continuum highlighting cause and effect. The Grade 10 – 12 curriculum has provided boys with an overview of historical change and therefore an understanding of man's development and growth. Our learners have enquiring minds and accept the challenge of debating historical issues. The development of thinking skills is critical in understanding from where we come and how this has impacted on our present.
Boys are visual learners and as far as possible we endeavour to bring history alive through film presentations, especially on YouTube. A film study is also included in our curriculum. An investigation is done of how periods of history have been interpreted and of how film critics have dealt with these interpretations. Our boys are also involved in historical investigations of their own and with oral presentation of their work.
The aim of the Grade 8 and 9 IT lessons is to enable learners to achieve basic computer literacy skills. This is done through the teaching of the ICDL (International Computing Drivers Licence). Some learners complete all 7 modules by the end of Grade 9 whilst others complete the Start certificate (4 modules). Recently, we have introduced basic programing which gives the boys a better insight into the requirements of IT in the FET phase.
In Grade 10 learners are able to choose Information Technology (Computer Studies) as a subject which is taken to matric level. IT focuses on hardware and systems software, e-communication, social and ethical issues and programming and software development. St David's uses Java as the language used to teach programming concepts.
Learners are encouraged to take part in the annual Computer Olympiad.
As per Minimum Requirements for a National Senior Certificate, it is stipulated that two languages are compulsory: one at Home Language level and the second at the level of First Additional Language. The main objective of the National Senior Certificate is to make our learners fully bilingual.
The demand is great for all learners who choose isiZulu to acquire basic language skills which would enhance their levels of competence. In order to reach these high levels of competence the learner and teacher should create wide opportunities for listening to isiZulu, speaking isiZulu, reading isiZulu and writing isiZulu.
Learners need to make an informed choice when choosing Languages, looking particularly at the needs of our country during this century!
We endeavour to expose our boys to isiZulu as effectively as possible and thus, a tour where exposure to this language is at an optimal is arranged annually.
Asifunde isiZulu sizimisele Bafundi.
Life Orientation is the study of the self in relation to others and to society. Life Orientation guides and prepares learners for life, and for its responsibilities and possibilities. It is a unique subject at the Further Education and Training (FET) level which focuses on the diversity of learners as human beings in a holistic way.
The four focus areas are:
- Personal well-being
- Citizenship education
- Recreation and physical activity
- Careers and career choices
Learners are encouraged to develop self-awareness, social competencies and the achievement of a balanced and healthy lifestyle. Changes during puberty and adolescence, responsible sexual behaviour, risky adolescent behaviour, dietary behaviour and personal safety will be covered in order to make informed decisions about, and to nurture personal, community and environmental health. Also, learners will be prepared to become successful by helping them to study effectively and make informed decisions about subject choices, careers, and additional and higher education opportunities.
Life Orientation in the FET phase comprises Religious Education, Guidance and Physical Education.
Religious Education (RE) at St David's Marist Inanda is not geared solely for Catholics. It would be a contradiction to welcome into the school students from different denominations, and yet be exclusive in that area of curriculum which is central to the school's identity. Our RE curriculum focuses on here and now of all our students, inviting them to a friendly relationship with the Divine (God).
RE aims to help all learners, no matter what their persuasion, to understand and live out their religious heritage to the full. This is an activity which is pursued together in a sharing of all that is true and holy in the world's religions. Dialogue, conducted in a spirit of freedom, develops an understanding of difference, fosters respect for one another's religious traditions, and reduces the likelihood of friction in religious matters in the school. It does not aim to convert students to Catholicism.
While the dialogue of religions must find its place in RE, it must also be understood that St David's, as a Catholic School, shares in the mission of Jesus which is continued in the Church. This means that RE at St David's openly and honestly offers also the Good News of Christ in the footsteps of St Marcellin Champagnat.
It is important to recognise that many desired outcomes for RE cannot, and should not, be assessed. On the other hand, RE at St David's is recognised as a valued and integral part of the school curriculum. It is one of the three components of LO. This means that RE is assessed, just as any other area of the Curriculum. For this purpose we have a set of four outcomes that give a comprehensive picture of what RE can achieve in a measurable way. The following are the specific outcomes for RE:
- Spiritual Awareness
- Social Development
- Personal Development
- Religious Tradition
St David's Marist Inanda has always promoted a well-rounded education for its learners. In the FET phase, school sport is recognised as an integral, extra-mural, and co-curricular component of the education programme. All learners are expected to participate actively in PE lessons. They will be exposed to, and encouraged to participate in, recreational and physical activities to enhance their well-being.
Life Sciences (Biology)
The content of Life Sciences syllabus is both relevant and interesting to the biological scientist. The necessity of applying biological concepts and understanding to our everyday approach and thinking, has been emphasized dramatically as global warming, ecotourism, food security, health and medical issues are foundations of society.
South Africa and the world in general, needs proactive citizens, who have sound ideas on what is important in terms of medical technology, sustainable development and social issues. The curriculum goes some way to equipping the learners with some of the knowledge base, thinking skills required for such interaction and an exposure to ethical and moral debates.
St David's has in the past eleven years produced outstanding results in the IEB examinations, and our internal practical programme has re-enforcing these results.
St David's offers its learners Maths Literacy or Mathematics and Advanced Programme Mathematics (formerly known as Additional Mathematics). AP Maths is offered to those learners capable of being extended. It is our mission to instil in each of our learners a level of competence to enable them to pursue their ambitions.
In order to achieve these goals we, as a department, continually strive to improve ourselves by liaising with fellow Maths teachers from other schools and by attending conferences and workshops. As a department, we believe that we must use technology to make Mathematics more appealing to our learners. Our classrooms are equipped with digital projectors and software programmes such as Autograph and Geometry Sketchpad amongst others to keep the subject current.
In Grade 10 all learners are streamed into groups of similar ability. Learners in need of more attention are placed in smaller classes and those who wish to extend themselves can enrol for Advanced Programme Mathematics. Maths Consolidation is available to all our learners.
As a department, assessments of varied forms are planned carefully to allow learners to excel at their level and also to allow the department to intervene timeously should a problem arise.
At S David's we strive continually to achieve and exceed the requirements of the National Senior Certificate. We believe that all learners should be skilled at whatever level they study to be able to compete successfully in any environment outside of school.
The study of Dramatic Arts at school reaches far beyond the traditional understanding that it merely teaches a student "to express" himself. More and more studies prove that Drama contributes positively to a student's physical, emotional, social and cognitive development. It also has massive application in the career world, including careers that are normally seen as placed outside of the Dramatic Arts arena: some of these include marketing, journalism, publishing, teaching, design, project management and even computer programming.
Dramatic Arts is a subject to consider seriously.
The study of Dramatic Arts at FET level (Grade 10 to 12) is roughly divided into THREE areas of focus:
1. The world of Drama
The student is encouraged to immerse himself in the technical traditions of Theatre and Film in order to discover how the terminology of Drama opens a whole new world of conceptualising stories.
2. Drama and Popular Culture
Dramatic Arts is firmly rooted in Popular Culture and plays an important role in how societies express their values. The student learns to comment on how Drama is often used to support, question and challenge prevailing norms.
Dramatic Arts at St David's offers specialist training in acting that is in line with what most tertiary institutions offer. The student is put through a rigorous course that imparts a whole range of skills, from reading and responding to body language to switching between different accents to crying on the spot. Showcasing of new skills forms an integral part of the course and is used to help the student gain professional representation in the industry should he so desire.
Natural Science is taught in Grades 8 and 9 as two separate subjects – Life Sciences and Physical Sciences and the marks combined as 1 subject mark. The subject combines material from botany, zoology, chemistry and physics. The same skills and outcomes are applied to all facets of science.
Grade 8 includes the particle model of matter; classification of animals; plants and matter; separation of mixtures; physical and chemical changes; water quality, monitoring and density.
Grade 9 covers nuclear energy; forensic entomology; basic chemistry; experimental design; drugs; nutrition; sexual reproduction, forces and electricity.
Learners are taught to design and conduct experiments, evaluate data and deduce conclusions. Understanding and applying content together with executing mathematical manipulation of information form part of the lessons. Finally, we ensure that learners explore the ethics, social considerations and controversies that are to be found in science.
Senior physical science is a subject that boys with an aptitude in mathematics and an interest in science can choose.
The senior course involves large amounts of content and calculations that need to be mastered. Most concepts are reinforced with experimental application. We encourage learners to design and conduct many of their own experiments. We try to use the time effectively between practical and theoretical work. Micro chemistry sets, electric circuit boards, momentum trolleys and pulleys are amongst some of the practical apparatus that we use to allow for individual experimentation or work in pairs. Computer technology with simulations and animations are used extensively to help learners grasp macro and micro concepts. Our science labs are equipped with digital projectors and we have access to laptops and the iPads for additional work with simulations and websites.
Our lives are full of aesthetic choices: the clothes we wear, our homes, the appliances we buy, and the quality of the city environment we live in.
Aesthetics informs our responses and decision-making because everything we use is visually designed. In Art, there is an emphasis on critical reading of images, which complements English Visual Literacy.
The Art Syllabus comprises the following sections:
- Research project
- Visual Culture Studies (History of Art)
- Practical component
The Practical work in Grades 10 to 12 involves drawing, painting, sculpture and print-making (lino and engraving).
The Research project concerns any artist or artists who had had an influence on the pupil's practical work.
The History of Art Syllabus runs chronologically from Grades 10 to 12, from Prehistoric Art, Egyptian, Greek Roman, Medieval, Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque, through to the art of the 19th and 20th centuries, and to the present.
The Matric Practical portfolio consists of two major aspects:
- One year work and one related thematic drawing, along with a supporting Visual Journal.
- One examination work and one related thematic drawing, along with a supporting Visual Journal.
The Visual Journal is a crucial component of learners' work, as the IEB expects learners to work in a conceptual (ideas-based) as well as a perceptual (visual) manner. The Visual Journal provides visual and written evidence of the learner's choice of subject matter, and includes writing many sketches. The Matric practical work involves conceptual thinking on every aspect of life.
Overall, the emphasis at St David's is on the development of skills in Grade 10 and early Grade 11, which learners then use to explore a number of themes and interpretations close to their experience of the world. Our annual school exhibition, held in October, attests to the sophistication of ability and thought processes, placing St David's amongst the top art departments in Gauteng.