College Academics

Secondary schooling is divided into two components;

  1. GET (General Education and Training) consists of Grades 8 and 9
  2. FET (Further Education and Training) consists of Grades 10, 11 and 12.

The final exit qualification comes at the end of the Grade 12 year in the writing of a public examination, the National Senior Certificate, under the auspices of the Independent Examination Board (IEB).

The GET has a set curriculum, without choices. Eight learning areas are covered: Languages, Mathematics, Natural Sciences, Technology, Arts and Culture, Economic and Management Sciences, Social Sciences and Life Orientation.

Subject choices are available in the FET. The course comprises 7 subjects, 4 of which are compulsory: English, Afrikaans, Mathematics or Mathematical Literacy and Life Orientation. Thereafter 3 subjects are chosen, in our case from Biology, Physical Science, Accounting, Art, Geography, History, Computer Studies and EGD (Engineering and Graphic Design). Essentially, HeronBridge College presents a broad academically oriented curriculum and serves mainly those who intend to pursue tertiary studies.

Our academic staff are highly qualified and continual professional development is emphasised. Pupils are encouraged to develop a sound work ethic and small class sizes allow for individual attention. Academic Support is available to pupils in every subject.

Subject Choice

Based on the fact that we aim to prepare all of our students for tertiary education, our subject set consists of those subjects that we believe will best ensure success in future studies.

Grade 10 – 12 Compulsory Subjects

  1. English First Language
  2. Afrikaans First Additional Language
  3. Mathematics – or
  4. Mathematical Literacy
  5. Life Orientation

Grade 10 – 12 Optional Subjects

  1. Accounting
  2. AP Mathematics
  3. Art
  4. Computer IT (Information Technology) – or
  5. Computer Studies CAT (Computer Aided Technology)
    *only available to Grade 12 2016
  6. Engineering & Graphic Design (EGD)
  7. Geography
  8. History
  9. Life Science
  10. Physical Science

Teaching Methodologies

We are invariably asked the question about class size. Our view is that we have made a bogey of this in our society, though we do understand why with regard to other teaching contexts. In the independent sector, in a school like ours, we do not think it an issue. We undertake always to provide in the College the best possible learning experience, founded on the best possible teaching experience. So we focus on high quality teaching rather than on class size. We believe excellent teachers can cope with whatever reasonable numbers come their way. We have such teachers and so do not even enter into arguments over one or two more or less pupils in classes. Having said that, we ensure our class sizes are appropriate for effective teaching and for the size of our classrooms, a factor sometimes ignored in the general debate.

We lay two emphases;

  1. Learning and
  2. Appropriate staff structure.

Learning is the ultimate aim and so we give prior concern to ensuing our pupils are in an academic environment that nurtures them, on the one hand, but demands of them, on the other. We insist on diligence, the development of problem solving skills and independent thinking. These principles influence our teaching and examining styles. We find them matched in the demands of the IEB. Our pupils are encouraged to;

  1. Have opinions
  2. To express those opinions
  3. To ask questions
  4. To research answers
  5. To analyse with discernment what others say.

Our staff structure ensures we are well able achieve these goals. We do not work with a standard ratio and are thus able to staff appropriately and differently in the various subjects. So, for example, we have a more favourable supply of Mathematics teachers than we have for other subjects because we believe this necessary in that instance. Our results tell of our success in teaching as we do.