Private school group Curro is launching Curro Online – its first online school which aims to provide a flexible education model, with classes taught by current Curro teachers.
“We’ve been developing our digital education offering for some time now, which is evident with our recently launched DigiEd model,” said Curro online business manager Jay Paul.
“As part of the design process, we decided to rethink how home-schooling and distance learning is currently being offered.”
Paul noted that most homeschooling solutions do not prepare the learners for the technology-heavy 21st Century, “and hence we focused our curriculum on maths, science, coding and robotics.”
“As Covid-19 continues to impact our country, we also identified a need among parents who are struggling to juggle homeschooling with their own work or are looking for an online programme that will still give their children access to class-time with qualified teachers.
“Many parents are also concerned about sending their children back to school once schools reopen, especially those with immune-compromised family members living in the same household. Curro Online is a response to all these pressing needs,” said Paul.
Paul stresses that Curro Online is not a homeschooling model, where parents need to take on the responsibility of teaching and continuous supervision.
It is a learn-from-home online model that is aligned with Curro’s enhanced CAPS curriculum, he said.
The model’s online material is created and taught by Curro teachers. There is a structured timetable in place for the learner that needs structure, as well as the option to be flexible for those that work well at their own pace.
The timetable includes teachers initiating each class and guiding learners through pre-set material on the online platform.
The parent thus assumes a smaller supervisory role similar to the role they would normally fill (e.g. checking that the learner has done their homework) and can rest assured that the academic process is taken care of by the Curro teachers.
“The teaching model combines flexible learning through pre-set learning material on our learning platform, with live interaction whereby learners can ask teachers for help and also receive detailed feedback on their progress,” Paul said.
He said that the Curro Online platform has an easy-to-follow curriculum with a variety of video material, recorded live lessons and other learning material.
“Each learner can choose which material best suits their learning preference, and then complete a variety of assignments and assessments for us to test their understanding,” Paul said.
Curro Online will be taught by a dedicated Curro teacher per subject, per grade, for the whole year.
Having dedicated teachers for each learner allows them to actively track the progress of the learner and intervene proactively when needed.
The school will be English-medium and initially offer grades 4 to 9, with new grades being phased in every year. Learners in matric will write the IEB examinations.
Curro said that learners will not study in isolation, but rather in small classes. They will also have group projects assigned to them, where projects will be done in small groups of four.
“Through such projects, they will learn the skills of coordinating projects in a virtual work-from-home world that we find ourselves in,” it said.
Extra-curricular activities will be available at existing Curro campuses, and Curro Online learners will also have access to an educational psychologist for virtual consultations if needed.