JSE-listed education group Curro has launched a new tech-focused schooling model, which will see learners attending school in typical business hours – but with flexible timetables and specialised courses in robotics and coding.
The first school to adopt the model is Curro Foreshore, which will open its doors on 14 January 2019.
The independent high school will provide a progressive curriculum focused on Mathematics, Science, Robotics and Coding – essential subjects for learners to operate in the fourth industrial revolution era, Curro said.
According to Curro, the new schooling model will move away from the traditional model, replacing it with longer school days and flexible timetables, and more specialised classroom setups, learning materials and fees.
“Curro Foreshore is not throwing traditional schooling out the window, but rather seeking to take the next logical step in its evolution to benefit learners in a digital era,” it said.
School days will be longer (from 08h00 to 17h30), allowing learners to complete all their work at school – eliminating the need for homework. And while the school will not have a sports field, certain physical and cultural activities will also be included within the school day, ensuring a balanced and complete learning experience.
Learning materials will be predominantly digital, with each learner receiving a laptop preloaded with the required software and textbooks.
In terms of the school’s fee structure, Curro Foreshore’s monthly instalments amount to R1,900.
“The classroom setup will offer a more flexible environment and learning approach, striving to look more like a modern co-working space, rather than a traditional classroom. Zones are allocated where students can work alone or in groups, or be taught in classes where necessary (such as language classes which require direct teaching).
“Learners will have certain set subject times, but otherwise will be able to work on different subjects in their own time and at their own pace,” the group said.
Learners will have flexible timetable, with the ability to go beyond the curriculum in areas of interest – allowing them to build their self-discipline and become responsible adults, preparing them for university and the world of work.
Ross Hill, Executive Head at Curro Foreshore, said: “The idea behind this technology-driven, flexible approach comes from asking what skills learners will need for the 2030 workplace, and then working backwards to provide schooling that aims to teach those skills.
“We are building on international best practice and introducing education approaches that are innovative within the South African context, while retaining some traditional teaching practices,” he said.
- Curro Foreshore will be a co-ed, English-medium facility where learners will write the NSC examination in their final year. 2019 will launch with Grade 8, while higher grades are phased in annually.
- The school will offer a coding and robotics programme, as well as Saturday and holiday programmes.
- Parents will be able to drop off and fetch their children at set times every day, while working normal office hours.
- Learners have access to three levels of Curro teaching staff at all times:
- Qualified subject teachers in the workroom space that are available to learners throughout the school day to assist on a one-on-one basis or in groups
- Tutors / Teaching Guides in the workroom space, who have content knowledge in particular subjects and are available throughout the day to assist individual learners and groups
- A central team that is available via Skype, which will help the students learn the skills of how to work and learn in the technology rich world of the future
- The ratio of adults to learners will initially be 1:30 (roughly the same as a traditional school in South Africa) and may stretch to 1:40 as the model proves itself locally and more grades are added.