The Senior Phase consists of three classes:
- Senior 1
- Senior 2
- Senior 3
Over the past few years, we have seen that our students often cope very well with practical skills, but also need to practice their academic skills and to improve their general knowledge. Our programme offers a fifty-fifty split between academic and practical skills.
We also focus on ABET Numeracy and Literacy skills. Both the Numeracy and Literacy curriculum we follow are ABET based. ABET is the ADULT BASIC EDUCATION AND TRAINING programme and is recognised and accredited throughout South Africa. It has four levels 1, 2, 3, and 4. We are registered with the IEB (INDEPENDENT EXAMINATIONS BOARD) and our examinations are marked externally.
When starting in the Senior Phase, the students are assessed using the IEB assessments, which places them on a level appropriate to their ability. Assessments occur in Literacy and in Numeracy. Often when the student is assessed, it may appear as if he has been placed on a lower level than he was coping with in the Intermediate phase.
However, we find that most students have areas where their performance is weaker. (e.g. The child copes adequately with addition and subtraction but struggles with division). The assessment looks at all skills necessary to complete each level, and thus complete the exam successfully. The Assessment is used as a diagnostic tool and gives us an indication in which areas require additional attention. We then focus on the areas which need extra work with the aim of each child achieving an ABET qualification.
ABET Numeracy is based on problem solving. When a student has completed the Level of work, we take them through a series of past exam papers to prepare them for the relevant exam. Once we feel a child is ready for the exam we can then register them with the IEB and the exam ordered. Exams take place in June and November, however, we can order exams-on-request between the National exams. These exams cost a little more than the June and November exams however, the child is not held back from continuing onto the next level.
We do have pupils who do not cope with ABET and we have introduced a Functional Numeracy and Literacy programme.
Pupils also participate in Computer Training, Design and Technology, Carpentry, Arts and Crafts, Cookery, Integrated studies and Sports.
- Independent cooking.
- Preparing of simple meals.
- To improve confidence.
- Inclusion of life skills e.g. shopping, socializing and etiquette.
- Graded skills through the Senior Phase.
- Reinforcement and learning through repetition over four terms.
- Pupils encouraged to practise tasks at home to reinforce learning and provide a carry-over in a real life situation.
DESIGN & TECHNOLOGY
In Design and Technology we aim to contribute towards learners technological literacy by giving them opportunities to:
- Develop and utilize specific skills to solve technological problems.
- Interact with each other when they develop technological solutions.
- Understand the concepts and knowledge used in technology and be able to use them responsibly and purposefully.
The Senior phases will go through a set of reinforcement exercises which will include:
- Repetition of skills and processes practised in the intermediate phase and at the same time encourage individual ethical and responsible expressions of manipulation of skills and processes attained.
- The ability to identify a problem or a need. At this stage the learner is expected to engage in a systematic approach that allows the development of solutions that will solve identified problems and needs.
- Demonstrating increasing accuracy and skill, better organisation and safer working practices –for after school they should be able to live as individuals and make good use of the technologies taught to them.
WORK EXPERIENCE PROGRAMME
The work experience programme provides our children with real life job experience. The programme starts with an introductory work skills development programme at Logwood Ranch and when ready they progress onto more independent work experience in the job market.
Senior 1: Logwood
Supervision is done full time by a teacher from school and supervisors from Logwood Ranch.
- Work ethics
- Subject: Career Preparation
Senior 2: Work placements in the open market. (from 08h00 to 14h00)
- Research and Individual Placement
- Job coaching at the placement by the teachers
- Work visits on a regular basis by the teachers
- Pupils are encouraged to explore different areas during the first two years, until a definite interest is developed. During the third year a specialization opportunity is researched.
- Placement for approximately 1 to 2 terms
- Subject: Career Preparation and work feedback in group discussions.
Senior 3: Voluntary Work (from 08h00 to 17h00)
- Continue work in fields of interest
- Research opportunities – tertiary education and areas of specialization
- Work hours 8am – 5pm
- Subject: Career Preparation and work feedback
Computer lessons concentrate on skills needed in the business world
- Word processing – accuracy is a big focus
- Using the internet
- Touch typing (Mavis programme).
Skills become progressively harder each year.
Unity College has entered into a partnership with Knowledge Network for the development of learners in the field of information technology and integration of technology in the classroom.
Knowledge Network, established in 1994 and specialises in integrated technology solutions for schools, the development of teachers and learners in schools.
Pupils learn how to use a computer as a tool for life. Knowledge Network equips the learner with computer and life skills needed in the business world.
The Knowledge Network project/outcomes-based curriculum incorporates five key elements in every session:
- the application of technology to every day life
- using technology tools for overall development – creativity, logical thinking, lateral thinking, listening skills, general knowledge and life skills
- personal achievement and growth for every learner
- The design, content and approach is highly successful in school classroom situations where there is often a difference in the knowledge and skill levels of the learners of the group.
- Sessions are project/outcomes-based and goal-oriented. Every Knowledge Network session has a purpose and every child can achieve.
- Sessions provide an integration of knowledge – learning is relevant and connected to real life situations e.g. an example of a project:
- Running a tuck shop for one week using Excel to calculate sales. Business scenarios
- release of new chocolate, weather, loss of stock through theft etc.
- There is a different curriculum per age group and skills level. A skills evaluation system forms part of the curriculum.
- Sessions are designed to provide pupils with the skills they need for life in the real world - computer skills, life skills, logical thinking, lateral thinking and creative thinking.
- The curriculum is recognised internationally.
Knowledge Network SP Level 01 – ICDL (Intermediate 5 and Senior 1)
Knowledge Network SP Level 03 – MOUS Proficiency (Senior 2 & 3)
Teachers appointed to present the Knowledge Network IT Curriculum attended training in the Knowledge Network Integrated Learning and Mentoring Methodology and will attend ongoing training run by Knowledge Network.
The strong business emphasis, development for life, IT and creative thinking skills, together with a sound educational base has proven highly successful in top independent schools and public schools.
The Senior 3-class runs and operates the school tuckshop. The tuckshop is open every Wednesday during first and second break. Pies, toasted sandwiches, and pizza as well as sweets, cooldrinks and chips are sold. The Tuckshop is run as a business venture and the students are encouraged to be responsible for their portfolio. The students may receive some of the profits made at the end of the year, some go to a charity and a third goes back to the school.
The senior phase students also run the Coffee Craft Shop. They make the products to sell and on the day the Craft Shop is open and they are responsible to serve in the shop. The coffee shop is opened only on certain occasions.
At the end of every year we have our Senior Dance. All Senior pupils participate in this matric-dance like event and it is usually eagerly anticipated.
Homework is given at the teacher’s discretion. (Literacy and Numeracy homework is given on a Monday and which must be returned to school completed, on a Friday).
- The objective of homework is to:
- Provide pupils the opportunity to work independently
- Enhance self growth, time management and responsibility
- Consolidate any work that has been covered during that day.
- Pupils should read daily.
- Pupils will need to research topics related to the “Integrated Studies” theme.