T he St Andrew’s College curriculum offers a wide range of options to pupils with many different interests and talents, and allows for individual attention and assistance. High achievers who need extra challenges are continually stimulated and pupils of lesser academic capability can progress in a group that builds esteem and confidence.
From Grade 10-12, pupils are generally divided into “sets” according to individual ability in each subject, while in Grades 8 and 9, there is a combination of setting and mixed ability groups. The teacher:pupil ratio is about 1:10 which enables both a range of subjects and individual aspirations to flourish in classes which are usually upwards of 20. Within these small classes, pupils are encouraged to think independently, to develop enquiring minds and the capacity to do research using resources such as the Internet and our own Intranet.
Each boy is assigned an academic tutor who monitors his progress and assists with any personal problems that may arise. The tutor is, in turn, responsible to the Housemaster, who is in charge of the pupil’s overall development. This personal attention, together with small classes, dedicated and well-qualified staff and a system that allows for the boys to progress at a rate which builds self-esteem, gives each pupil the best possible learning environment. St Andrew’s has a fine tradition of academic achievement to prove this.
In Grades 8 and 9, most of the classes are single-gender which allows for boys and girls to settle into the own environments, but from Grade 10, classes are combined with the Diocesan School for Girls (DSG). This gives pupils to co-educational experience and, thus, optimises both schools’ resources and strengths.
Pupils write the matriculation examination of the Independent Examination Board (IEB) which enjoys a high profile both within South Africa and abroad. The IEB is benchmarked with the Scottish Highers and with the New South Wales education authority in Australia. Pupils with an IEB matriculation certificate have gained access to British universities when backed by an ‘A Aggregate’ which amounts to an average of 75%+ across the six subjects written.
Access to such events as the National Arts or Science Festivals significantly enriches the academic and cultural programme enjoyed by St Andrew’s pupils.