Academics

At St Katharine’s we are proud of our legacy of learning and the long-standing tradition of achieving a high academic standard. Our teachers work hard to create an environment in which the pursuit of academics is taken seriously while never losing a sense of the joy of achievement.

Grades 0–4 are taught by class teachers. Core curriculum subjects are taught by specialist teachers from Grade 5. There are also specialist teachers for Afrikaans, isiZulu, Computer Technology, Media Studies, Music, Physical Education and Visual Art throughout the school. Mathematics is taught in two smaller groups and a full-time teacher acts as a learning facilitator in the Junior Primary.

Our aim is to develop resourceful pupils who are critical thinkers. The academic focus is on developing collaborative ideas and learning for life. Emphasis is placed on excellence, independence, creativity and problem solving. The curriculum is broad, innovative and challenging with a strong emphasis on core curriculum subjects. In Grade 7 the girls write scholarship and external benchmarking examinations.

 

EnglishMathematicsNatural and Social SciencesVisual ArtsGrade 7 research term
The girls are extended through their exposure to a wide variety of texts and media. They are motivated to read broadly, to write across a wide range of literary forms, and to express their thoughts with imagination and precision. The study, writing and performance of poetry is given special emphasis.
The focus is on building confident, creative thinkers and mathematical excellence. From Grade 4, each class is divided into two sets according to the girls’ mathematical ability. This enables them to work in smaller groups in order to achieve their personal best. 
These subjects are content and skills driven. They are taught thematically and cover a broad spectrum of topics. In order to deepen the girls’ understanding of what they are studying, they go on cultural outings. Project and group work form part of the curriculum and this culminates in the project term at the end of Grade 7.
These lessons form part of the curriculum and they provide a platform for the girls to express themselves creatively.
Each year in the last term the Grade 7 the timetable is collapsed in order for the girls to research a topical project theme. The class is divided into groups, each mentored by assigned tutors from the teaching team, and each girl works on a chapter for inclusion in the final product, which changes regularly. In the past, the girls used PowerPoint, they also created and published printed books using a software programme and, most recently, they compiled artists’ books and replacement animation clips. The theme is researched in depth at school and many hours are spent crafting, drafting and editing the text. Once completed, the girls present their work to an audience that includes staff and parents.
Knowledge NetworkLibraryAdditional opportunitiesAcademic support
 The Knowledge Network progressive learning system is taught in Computer Studies from Grade 0-7. It teaches the tools of Windows and Microsoft Office programmes such as PowerPoint, Word, Excel and Paint. At the end of Grade 7, the girls write an external certification examination for which the pass mark is 70% and our girls consistently achieve a 100% pass rate.
The girls are encouraged to use the library as much as possible and they are expected to have a school library book to read at all times. The school encourages the girls to develop a rich vocabulary along with a love of reading. The role of the library is also to satisfy their natural curiosity. There is supervised free time in the Library every day between 14h00 and 16h00. The Library is always available for project work and the changing of books. There is controlled internet access available as another resource for the girls’ research work.
Additional opportunities are given to participate in public speaking, general knowledge quizzes, Kids Lit Quizzes and the Commonwealth Essay Competition, to name just a few. The Grade 7 girls attend a weekly debating session. They also write and recite their own poetry for their parents and the staff at an evening function that falls at the end of their Grade 7 year.
This is for children who may require further assistance in specific areas. It is separate from remedial lessons and takes place at the Class Teacher’s convenience at no extra charge. In addition, a learning support team is available to provide assistance. An OT, speech therapist, remedial teacher and part-time school psychologist is available on-site.

View images of academic endeavour.

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