Curriculum Grades 8 – 9
The duration of the Senior Phase is three years, namely Grades 7-9. RBHS offers tuition in English to boys from Grade 8. In Grades 8 and 9 pupils must complete the learning programmes in the following nine subjects:
English is one of the core subjects, taken by all pupils from Grade 8 through to Grade 12. In all five years, the curriculum focuses on developing the following language skills:
- Listening and speaking
- Reading and viewing
- Writing and presenting
- Language structures and conventions
The overall mark for English includes language, literature, writing and oral assessments, the weightings of which may vary from grade to grade.
Students are taught to use language accurately through a focus on punctuation, spelling and grammar rules. They are given the opportunity to develop their imaginative and creative sides through a variety of writing tasks, as well as to write for real-world contexts (e.g. CVs and formal letters). A critical awareness of how language functions in real-world contexts is enhanced through the teaching of, for example, advertising and propaganda techniques.
A key aspect of the English syllabus is developing empathy and social awareness. This is achieved through teaching a variety of literature texts – including poetry, drama, novels, short stories and film. Language is also about effective communication, so learners are given ample opportunity to improve their speaking and listening skills through formal speeches, informal discussions, debates and group presentations.
The educational aim of Afrikaans First Additional Language is to ensure that boys develop skills and gain knowledge that they can apply in a meaningful way in their lives. In the Senior phase (Grades 8 and 9) the main focus is to develop their skills and the ability to speak, read, write and understand the language. The Afrikaans department consists of six experienced educators, each of whom teaches a class per grade. One class of Advanced Afrikaans in Grade 9 challenges the boys to embrace more critical thinking and creativity in the language.
Learners can choose IsiXhosa instead of Afrikaans as a First Additional Language from Grade 8 through to Grade 12. In all five years, the curriculum focuses on developing the following language skills:
- Listening and speaking
- Reading and viewing
- Writing and presenting
- Language structures and conventions
The overall mark for isiXhosa FAL includes language, literature, writing and oral assessments, the weightings of which may vary from grade to grade.
The pupils are taught to use language accurately through a focus on punctuation, spelling and grammar rules. They are given the opportunity to develop their imaginative and creative sides through a variety of writing tasks, as well as to write for real-world contexts (e.g. CVs and formal letters). A critical awareness of how language functions in real-world contexts is enhanced through the teaching of, for example, advertising and propaganda techniques.
A key aspect of the isiXhosa syllabus is developing empathy and social and cultural awareness. This is achieved through teaching a variety of literature texts – including poetry, drama, novels, short stories and traditional tales. Language is also about effective communication, so the pupils are given ample opportunity to improve their speaking and listening skills through formal speeches, informal discussions, debates and group presentations.
At Rondebosch we aspire to develop independent thinkers and problem solvers. We have seven full time Maths teachers who work hard to help the young men reach their full potential during their stay at RBHS. In Grades 8 and 9, we consolidate the basic numeracy concepts learnt in primary school and focus on communicating the Maths effectively. We also introduce the basics of Algebra and Geometry.
We encourage boys to take responsibility for their own learning and offer top learners the opportunity to participate in external Olympiads. We also offer support to those boys who struggle with Mathematics with a smaller class size and additional Maths sessions after school. All boys are exposed to routine questions and then extended further to be able to solve complex problems and unseen scenarios using the knowledge gained in Core Maths.
including Life Skills and Physical Education
Life Skills and Physical Education is the study of the self in relation to others and to society. It applies a holistic approach as it is concerned with the personal, social, intellectual, emotional and spiritual development as well as the motor and physical growth of learners, and the way in which these dimensions are interrelated and expressed in life. The focus is the development of self-in-society, and this encourages the development of a balanced and confident learner who will contribute to a just and democratic society, a productive economy, and a better quality of life for all.
Creative Arts is a compulsory subject for Grades 8 and 9. Learners have a choice between Art, Music and Drama and are exposed to both the theoretical and practical side of their chosen art form.It is an Education Department requirement that all boys learn two of the three art forms offered. At RBHS we offer the following combinations:
- All boys who choose Music or Art will study a short course in Drama.
- All boys who choose Drama will study a short course in Art.
The groundwork of technical skills is taught and every boy is recognised as a specific individual and developed in his own direction. We encourage a wide variety of media and styles: drawing in various media, screen printing, painting in various media, digital photography using Photoshop, block printing and sculpture.
At Grade 8 and 9 level, Drama is offered as a component of Arts and Culture Group. Drama is a social art form, which integrates visual, aural, physical, kinesthetic, and performance elements to communicate, explore, reflect on and enhance human experience. The subject Drama encompasses a range of performance modes across a variety of media and within a diversity of cultural and social contexts.
This subject develops and promotes human creativity as a rich, diverse and productive resource through dramatic communication, interaction and representation. Learning in the Dramatic Arts involves using experience, reflection, and analysis and re-experience to gain skills, knowledge, values and insight. The approach is inclusive, ensuring that all learners, including those with special educational needs, will be actively and creatively engaged in the learning process.
The Music curriculum has two equally weighted components: practical and academic. The practical aspect covers the development of technical and performance skills on an instrument (or instruments), or voice, in a solo and group context, in a wide variety of musical styles. The academic element includes the fundamentals of Music Theory and an introduction to music software. Learners should preferably demonstrate good aural skills and general musical aptitude.
Academic studies have demonstrated the benefits flowing from the study of music, including increased concentration, improved maths and science ability. They also develop analytical, creative and critical thinking skills. Learners become self-motivated, are able to work alone or in a team and acquire a better ability to manage their time.
Economic Management Sciences (EMS)
EMS is a combination of three subjects: Business Studies, Economics and Accounting. Learners are given an understanding of how to operate in the current economic environment on the macro and micro level. Sustainability, leadership and entrepreneurship are all key aspects of this, as are financial literacy and the basics of keeping financial records. Learners use logical and critical thinking to develop problem solving skills that are required in the work environment.
The Natural Sciences give learners an idea of the subject matter covered in Physical and Life Sciences in the FET phase.
In the first term, Physical Sciences deals mostly with chemistry. Basic concepts and the application of these serve as a platform for future learning. In the second term, learners are exposed to Physics, which includes calculations.
In addition to various topics related to Life Sciences in the FET phase, the focus is on Scientific method and investigative skills and competencies associated with drawing tables and graphs.
Biology is the natural science that is concerned with the characteristics, classification and behaviours of organisms, as well as how species were formed and their interactions with each other and the environment.
The knowledge strands of ‘Life and Living’ and ‘Planet Earth and Beyond’ are used as a tool for organising the content. The curriculum aims to provide learners with opportunities to make sense of ideas they have about nature. It also encourages learners to ask questions that could lead to further research and investigation.
There are three specific aims in Natural Sciences:
- ‘Doing science’ – learners should be able to complete investigations, analyse problems and use practical processes and skills in evaluating solutions.
- ‘Knowing the subject content and making connections’ – learners should have a grasp of scientific, technological and environmental knowledge and be able to apply it in new contexts.
- ‘Understanding the uses of science’ – learners should understand the uses of natural sciences and indigenous knowledge in society and the environment.
This prepares learners for active participation in a democratic society that values human rights and promotes responsibility towards the environment.
The Geography Department aims to develop critical thinking and our pupils are expected to approach the subject in a holistic manner. Geography provides important clues to the past and how land is utilised is linked to economic progress. Landforms and climate are related to migration patterns, land use and the rise and fall of civilisations. Learners are taught how to read maps and interpret information at geographical scales, from local to global levels. They integrate concepts from many different areas of science, social science and the humanities and apply critical thinking to understanding and dealing with current issues of local, national and international importance.
History at Rondebosch is geared towards understanding, analysis, and the development of critical, independent thinking. The ability to view material and make comparisons within the framework of the theme is top on the agenda in all grades.
Furthermore, the development of an argument, making links and harnessing appropriate evidence to substantiate an argument, is vital. This relates to the ability to formulate concepts, ideas and the making of notes, diagrams and summaries to consolidate the lesson of the day. The construction of notes and summaries within the class context is an important part of developing a structured approach to learning and facilitates the assimilation of knowledge.
The aim of the History Department is to promote independent learning. Pupils are expected to reflect on the lesson of the day and consolidate its content. They also need to be aware on a daily basis of the cliché “History repeats itself”, make connections and share the events or circumstances in the following lessons. This leads to a greater degree of learning as the boys need to communicate information clearly, listen to others, comprehend and assess what’s presented and integrate their understandings.
Technology is a compulsory subject offered in Grade 8 and 9. The subject area covers project-based learning principles, design thinking and aspects of graphic communication. Boys experience practical, workshop-based tech activities in Grade 8 with a strong focus on technical drawing, illustration, structures, graphic communication and prototype modelling. This leads to a more focused design and coding-based program in Grade 9, using programs such as Scratch and 3D modelling. The exposure to Technology prepares boys for future careers in subjects such as Information Technology (Computer Science / IT) and Engineering, Graphics and Design.