Jacaranda College is a independent private school, located in Centurion, catering for boys and girls from Grade R. The school is organically developing upwards to Grade 12.
Our education focus is underpinned by international educational research. It is knowledge based, cognitively age-appropriate and child-centred. We use an innovative, contemporary style of school management and have a professional, talented team dedicated to our motto “We choose equality, dignity, diversity, and development”.
Everything that we do at Jacaranda College is done to the highest possible standards. This applies to academic work above all; learning and teaching is the core business of the school. The academic progress and outstanding examination results, which each learner achieves, tell their own story of high expectations and hard work. Excellence in our classrooms are built on the foundations of small classes with high educator to learner ratios, teachers who can communicate with passion and expertise, specialist teaching from the earliest age, attention to the needs of individual children, and classroom facilities and instruction methodologies fit for 21st Century and beyond learning.
Opportunities beyond the classroom enrich each child’s life at school and allow them to discover new talents and skills. There will always be enough friends to share interests – whether they are in sport, music, debating, expeditions, science, or drama. The feeling of being part of a successful group, and the self-belief which comes with success, will enhance enjoyment of subject courses and success in class-work.
School is about finding out what you enjoy doing and then doing it to the best of your ability.
Our curriculum is an agreed framework through which knowledge is gained, skills are developed, and experience is widened.
Our curriculum framework meets all the curriculum expectations of the South African National Curriculum, but it is enriched in specifically Mathematics, The Sciences, and English to meet international benchmark standards. It is aligned to the top seven performing school education systems in the world in terms of curriculum content and instruction methodology. It will result in children writing independent exit examinations (IEB) at the end of Grade 12. Our curriculum is continuously reviewed and revised to ensure that it remains relevant and that it serves 21st Century learning in an integrated manner.
By addressing multiple intelligences and varied learning styles in our curriculum design, we are able to meet children’s needs in an effective and welcoming manner. We recognise that social, emotional, and academic growth are inherently intertwined and educators and other school personnel pay close attention to each child’s well-being in all these areas.
Our curriculum will help children with meeting the following aims:-
Our curriculum is balanced and wide ranging.
We offer a multi-layered approach to academic learning, helping all children appreciate their respective and individual learning style, or limitations, to become self-advocates, and achieve their fullest potential within our curriculum.
How does it work in practice?
For us, holistic or whole child development involves the physical, intellectual, emotional, spiritual, moral, and social development of every child.
Holistic Development is achieved by focusing on the curriculum expectations set-out in our Personal and Social Well-being and Development learning area. PSWD is a cross-curricular integrated discipline at Jacaranda College with clearly defined assessment expectations in order to ensure emphasis on the achievement of the learning outcomes.
English, being a global language, enables individuals to compare and contrast knowledge, concepts, and cultures and, thereby, expand personal horizons and world views. It gives learners more self-confidence as they understand how others think and why, and weaves a richer tapestry of life through an expansion of their interests and involvement.
English also enhances the learner’s personal “global reach” in terms of academic and employment competitiveness.
For employment and career advancement, linguistic skills and international experience matter a great deal. Those who are competent in English can help bridge the gap between cultures, seamlessly engage in international trade and, to a greater extent, contribute to international diplomacy and promote national security and world peace. In addition, business transactions between South Africa and most other nations in the world are conducted in English; thus, there is a real and growing need for more South Africans to be proficient in both spoken and written English.
A learner indicates his or her language preference for the First Additional Language level when application is made for admission to the school. Only one language may be selected at FAL level.
A learner who has selected a First Additional Language at admission, may, after consultation with the class Head Teacher, the FAL Teacher, the Deputy Principal, and the parents, change to the alternative First Additional Language, only once, with the knowledge that it will be their responsibility to catch up concepts that might have been missed. The school will have no obligation to provide any information or curricular information of such missed content or concept.
FAL instruction is at NCS standards.
AMASS is a unique mathematical skill development and enrichment program. Through the use of the Japanese Abacus and other materials, the program is designed to help learners excel with their mental arithmetic, school mathematics, and overall mathematical and computational thinking by developing their concentration, reasoning, visualisation (creativity), and tenacity.
The AMASS program is based on similar programs that are offered in countries such as Japan, China, Singapore, America and Taiwan. The AMASS program includes instruction on both Soroban and Anzan.
What is Soroban?
Soroban is the Japanese abacus.
What is Anzan?
Anzan is the Japanese method of doing Mental Math by using a mental image of an abacus. No physical abacus is used.
The program is structured according to five different levels of learning. This allows children of different ages to join the programme when they can:
In order to allow more class time to develop the critical thinking process and to allow learners to engage in authentic problem solving, we use a blended model of teaching. Our multi-pronged approach includes a “flipped” classroom model, Project Based Learning (PBL) and real-life connections.
Critical thinking, as defined by the National Council for Excellence in Critical Thinking, 1987 , is the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualising, applying, analysing, synthesising, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action. In its exemplary form, it is based on universal intellectual values that transcend subject matter divisions: clarity, accuracy, precision, consistency, relevance, sound evidence, good reasons, depth, breadth, and fairness.
Extending learning beyond the classroom has these benefits:-
What is STEAM?
STEAM stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. STEAM is important because it pervades every part of our lives. Science is everywhere in the world around us. Technology is continuously expanding into every aspect of our lives. Engineering is the basic designs of roads and bridges, but also tackles the challenges of changing global weather and environmentally-friendly changes to our home. Art is one of the universal languages all human beings understand and use to communicate. Mathematics is in every occupation, every activity we do in our lives. By exposing learners to STEAM and giving them opportunities to explore STEAM-related concepts, they will develop a passion for it and hopefully pursue a job in a STEAM field.
“In the 21st century, scientific and technological innovations have become increasingly important as we face the benefits and challenges of both globalization and a knowledge-based economy. To succeed in this new information-based and highly technological society, students need to develop their capabilities in STEAM to levels much beyond what was considered acceptable in the past.” – The National Science Foundation, Virginia, USA.
PBL is an approach that challenges learners to learn through engagement in a real problem. It is a format that simultaneously develops both problem solving strategies and disciplinary knowledge bases and skills by placing learners in the active role of problem-solvers confronted with an ill-structured situation that simulates the kind of problems they are likely to face as future managers in complex organisations.
Problem-based learning is learner-centered. PBL makes a fundamental shift – from a focus on teaching to a focus on learning. The process is aimed at using the power of authentic problem solving to engage children and enhance their learning and motivation. There are several unique aspects that define the PBL approach:
Children today use tablets, smart-phones, android applications, social media, and instant messaging to connect to friends, family, experts, and others in their community and around the globe. They have knowledge and information available to them instantly, 24-hours a day. Their way of researching and validating credibility is global and digital. Our children now have at their fingertips a virtual world – with all its promises and pitfalls. Yesterday’s education is not sufficient for today’s learner. Academic excellence must be acquired within the context of today’s technological environment in order to fully prepare children to thrive in the Digital Age.
At Jacaranda College, our curriculum is structured to ensure the incorporation of 21st Century Skills as a targeted approach that translates into the attainment of demonstrated proficiencies.
Authenticity works! There is ample research to support the value of authentic learning and connecting learning to a child’s own life and the world around him or her. When learners are engaged in real-world problems, scenarios and challenges, they find relevance in the work and become engaged in learning important skills and content. In addition, while children are more likely to engage when there is a real-world audience looking at their work, giving them feedback, and helping them improve.
We offer children many opportunities for real-world connections ranging from incursions, excursions or field trips, camps and various school celebrations or themed days linked to curricular concepts.
Connecting through learner interests. This is one of the easiest ways to connect to the real world. Examples include a “math in the real world” presentation, in which learners show how math is involved in their favorite hobbies and sports. Another example is a science fair presentation, in which learners design and conduct experiments about a question of their own choosing and present the results in multimedia.
Connecting through learner experiences. With this strategy, we ask learners to bring their unique experiences and perspectives into a project or activity. For example, each learner chose three aspects of culture such as music, dance, or religion. Learners create a hypermedia presentation for the school library that showcased the many cultures represented in the school.
Connecting through significant issues. Many topics in the real world are particularly compelling to young people. These topics include public health, racism, poverty, and the power of the media. Learners respond to these topics because they may be personally affected by them, because they are often passionate about fairness and equity, or because they can try to effect change. These topics are particularly germane to math, science, and social studies curricula expectations. For example, learners can create powerful media presentations that mix statistical analyses and science concepts related to drug abuse, with interview clips about the effects of drug abuse in local people’s lives.
Improving the real world. Nothing is more empowering to children than changing the grown-up world, unless perhaps it’s changing their world. Learners have had plenty of opportunity to be influenced by media. We turn the tables and give them their own turn to use media to influence others and effect change. Opportunities to improve the world abound, even within school.
Relating to clients. When we give learners a chance to engage in a professional relationship with real clients, we are teaching them useful real-world skills. These include defining and working with clients’ design requirements; matching their style and addressing their audience; listening and responding to client feedback; and working within clients’ time constraints. Learners engage with clients with simple product designs and development such as an electronic invitation, simple Web-site for parents to keep them up to date on the goings-on in the classroom etc.
Interacting with assessors. With all the talk about raising standards, what could be better than giving our learners the opportunity to learn about standards for professional-quality work? A few minutes with a professional designer or content expert pay great dividends in inspiring learners to work to professional levels. Where possible and appropriate we bring in content experts to assess your learners’ work.
Interacting with people who know. Our learners are given the opportunity to do more than reproduce information. Learners are given tasks where they are expected to get original content for their presentations by conducting their own interviews with people who have a perspective on learners’ topics.
Learning adult work and life skills. All multimedia projects connect in this way because creating multimedia is an adult work skill; so is planning a big project, working in teams, and organising information. In fact, learners in video and multimedia production projects often take their skills into the professional arena. Many subject areas connect easily to adult work. Life outside of work is also fertile ground for project ideas of this type. One project included learners researching a car they wanted to buy. They had to create a multimedia presentation showing price comparisons, financing options, and insurance costs.
Creating images of the future. Learners research and create multimedia presentations that help them envision their futures or the world in the future.
The program has as objectives:-
Numerous consultations were had between the Joint School Board and the respective Academic Committees on how to promote peace and social justice in each classroom and the school as a whole. Representative faculty members gathered with outside experts in strategic planning sessions to develop a vision for the school.
The result, established a set of four rules that guide both learner and staff behaviour.
These decisions led to the adoption of programs that promote the desired atmosphere of social responsibility. A socially responsible learning community integrates the academic, social, emotional and ethical dimensions of teaching and learning. This fosters the ongoing development of human qualities – such as empathy, fairness, interconnectedness, peaceful coexistence and respect for human life – that become a way of being.
We have elected to support under-resourced schools and centres in Olievenhoutbosch, as our closest neighbourhood with these focus areas:
A quality health and physical education program can be life-changing for today’s children. Our program offers children a well-rounded opportunity to develop their bodies and minds to gain skills that will propel them to success in both the physical and academic aspects of education – and life.
We offer challenging yet achievable goals and include all children in each activity session. Primary school learners build basic skills, such as skipping, hopping, hand-eye-coordination, fitness, and work up to developing sport skills: teaching children how to apply sports skills and basic sports strategies. By the time children reach the senior primary phase, we begin to focus more on team-building and in-depth sport strategy, along with coaching and officiating sport.
The psychological benefits of exercise are just as important as the physical ones. The positive effects of physical activity on self-image and self-confidence and on promoting general feelings of health and wellness are taught explicitly.
Our H&PE program progressively supports our challenging curriculum.
We require children to participate in at least one sport or extra-curricular activity, which forms part of the learning expectation for H&PE (PSWD curriculum-area).
Arts education is closely linked to almost everything that we want for our children: academic achievement, social and emotional development, civic engagement, and equitable opportunity. Involvement in the arts is associated with gains in math, reading, cognitive ability, critical thinking, and verbal skill. Arts learning can also improve motivation, concentration, confidence, and teamwork.
In our Arts Education:
Creative Art projects are showcased annually during our DesignIndaba whilst our Revue, a multi-act theatrical production that combines music, dance, and sketches, is held every alternate year to ensure that children have an opportunity to perform in it once in every learning phase.
We focus on talent identification and development in respect of sport and extra-curricular activities with the aim to enable success at competitive level.
To this extend our extra-curricular activities are presented by professional coaches and expert external suppliers. Sports are a paid-for service. In terms of the PSDW curriculum children must participate in at least one extra-curricular activity – being it at school or not. This participation counts towards the PSDW report marks.
Sport and extra-curricular starts officially in January. There are many opportunities for team context competing. Seasonal sports such as Athletics etc. are communicated at the start of each season.
Sports available at Jacaranda College: