Curriculum

THE NATIONAL CURRICULUM STAGES

The National Curriculum is organised into blocks of years called ‘Key Stages.’  We currently offer all 4 Key Stages as well as a ‘Foundation Stage’ which is also known as the ‘Early years Foundation Stage’, and covers education for students before they reach 5 years of age.  Blouberg International offers 2 years of schooling before a student enters Year 1 (Pre-Reception, aslo known as our Foundation Stage), whereas South African schools offering the South African Curriculum have 3 years of schooling before they enter Year 1.

AGE REQUIREMENTS FOR ADMISSION TO BLOUBERG INTERNATIONAL

As per South African Legislation, the admission age policy compels students entering the equivalent of Grade 1 to turn 6 by the 30 June of that year.  Therefore at Blouberg International, in accordance with South African Legislation:

AGE REQUIREMENTS

AS PER SOUTH AFRICAN LEGISLATION

  • A student age 3 must turn 4 by 30 June in the year of admission to Pre-Reception.
  • A student age 4 must turn 5 by 30 June in the year of admission to Reception (BIS Grade R equivalent).
  • A student age 5 must turn 6 by 30 June to be admitted to Year 1.  Students from the South African system entering BIS Year 1 will also be admitted to Year 1 in the year they turn 7.

Students entering Reception Year and higher will be required to supply their recent school report and will be invited to complete an Academic Entry Assessment.

THE FOUNDATION STAGE

The foundation Stage is the first stage of the English National Curriculum that focuses on the distinct needs of students aged 3 until the end of the Reception Year at the age of 5.  It is a broad, balanced and purposeful curriculum, delivered through planned play activities to help ensure all students have the oppotunity to reach their full potential, experience the best possible start to their education and builds on their individual needs and interests.  The Foundation Stage Profile is used to assess students in the final year of the Foundation Stage.  Each student will have a Year 1 entry assessment towards the end of their Reception Year.  The learning areas your child will be assessed in are:

LEARNING AREAS ASSESSED

FOUNDATION STAGE

  • Personal, Social, Health and Emotional development
  • Communication, Language and Literacy
  • Mathematical development
  • Knowledge and Understanding of the world
  • Physical development
  • Creative development

Each learning area as Early Learning Goals.  These set out the skills, understanding, knowledge and attitudes we encourage students to reach or exceed by the end of the Foundation Stage.  The goals also aim to make learning a fun and challenging experience, and specifically recognise the value of play.  Students will be at differenct stages of progress towards these goals depending on their age and stage of development.  Staff understand this and take it into account when planning activities and will create differentiated and individual learning programmes where necessary.  All Reception students will get a report based on the Foundation Stage profile.  This will you a clear indication of where your child is and what he/she still have to achieve.  Verbal reports are given in March and September and formal written reports in June and December.

KEY STAGE 1

Primary school is where the foundations built in the Early Years Education (Foundation Stage) are extended and enforced.  Key Stage 1 comprises of Years 1 and 2.  SATS (Standardised Assessment Tests) are written at the end of Year 2.  Schools are required to provide a broad blanced curriculum and to teach the programmes of study in each national curriculum subject.  English and Mathematics are a priority at Key Stages 1 and 2, as students need to become secure and confident in these subjects if they are to make good progress in their education.  At the same time, rich and varied activities and experiences in the rest of the curriculum are also crucial to students’ motivation and progress.  We go beyond the statutory requirements and add to the curriculum in order to ensure compliance to the South African curriculum.  We provide:

ADDITIONS TO THE CURRICULUM

KEY STAGE 1

  • Opportunity to explore South African History and Geography
  • Additional opportunities and experiences that enhance learning in National Curriculum subjects, for example excursions and camps
  • Additional South African languages such as Afrikaans
  • Extra-Curricular activities which are aimed at all ages and ability groups

KEY STAGE 2

In Key Stage 2, your child will be entering a world of interesting challenges, excitement and discovery.  Key Stage 2 covers the English National Curriculum from Years 3 to 6.  The foundation subjects for this stage are the same as those for the Primary Curriculum from Years 1 to 2, with the addition of conversational German and Spanish.  At the end of Key Stage 2, each national curriculum subject has a target – your child should have reached the skills, knowledge and understanding at a particular level.  Optional tests are written towards the end of the year in Years 3 to 5. SATS are once again written at the end of Year 6.

KEY STAGE 3

In Key Stage 3, your child will be entering the Secondary Curriculum.  Key Stage 3 covers the English National Curriculum from Years 7 to 9.  A very important aim of the Secondary Curriculum is to create more successful students who:

SUCCESSFUL STUDENTS

KEY STAGE 3

  • Have the essential learning skills of Literacy, Numeracy and Information and Communication Technology
  • Are creative, resourceful and able to identify and solve problems
  • Have enquiring minds and think for themselves to process information, reason and question and evaluate
  • Communicate well in a range of ways
  • Understand how they learn and learn from their mistakes
  • Are able to learn independently and with others
  • Know about big ideas and events that shape our world
  • Enjoy learning and are motivated to achieve the best they can now and in the future

KEY STAGE 4

All students in this Key Stage must follow a programme of education in the following areas:

PROGRAMME OF EDUCATION

KEY STAGE 4

  • English
  • Afrikaans (Southern African students)
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Information and Communication Technology
  • Physical Education

In addition, there is a statutory duty on schools to provide an optional programme of education for students in this Key Stage in each of the following areas:

OPTIONAL PROGRAMME OF EDUCATION

KEY STAGE 4

  • The Arts
  • Business Studies
  • The Humanities
  • Modern Foreign Languages – German and Spanish

At the end of this stage, students in Year 11 (usually ages 16) are normally entered for a range of external examinations.  These are IGCSE (International General Certificate of Secondary Education) exams.