ACADEMICS

We pride ourselves on our high academic standard which is made possible by the excellence and dedication of our staff.  Most of the pupils who enter Veritas College Preparatory continue through the grades to matriculate from Veritas College Senior School, thus giving their school years a continuity and stability which is of great value in times of rapid change.

                            “…..from toddler to teen in a safe, caring environment.”

The Preparatory is divided into phases:

Foundation Phase

Our goal in the Foundation Phase is to give the learners the building blocks for their entire school career. Along with Language and Mathematics we also provide Art & Culture, which includes Life Orientation, Physical Education, Computer Skills, Media & Art.

Assessment in the Foundation Phase:

Assessments are made by observing the learners in both formal and informal activities. Progress reports are issued three times per year. A seven point scale is being used:

Criteria for Reports

Rating

Description of Competence

7

Outstanding Achievement

Evidence in a student’s work demonstrates a very high level of knowledge and understanding of concepts, facts and procedures,

and application of processes.

6

Well Above the Standard Expected

Almost all aspects of all assessment standards attained.

5

Above the Standard Expected

Key aspects of all assessment standards achieved.

4

At the Expected Standard

Key aspects of most assessment standards achieved.

3

Gradually Approaching the Expected Standard

At least half the assessment standards achieved.

2

Below the Standard Expected

A negligible number of assessment standards achieved.

1

Well Below the Standard Expected

Very little progress.

 

Mrs S. Van Vuuren – Head of Department: Foundation Phase

Intermediate/Senior Phase

Grade 4 to 7 is the Intermediate / Senior Phase and the subjects covered here are:

• English

• Afrikaans

• Mathematics

• Natural Science and Technology (Gr 4-6)

• Natural Science (Gr 7)

• Technology (Gr 7)

• Social Sciences – Geography & History

• Economic Management Sciences (Gr 7)

• Creative Arts 

• Life Skills – including Creative Arts, Physical Education, Religious Education

• Life Orientation (Gr 7)

• Information and Communication Technology

• Media

The school strives to assess each learner’s progress in the fairest way.  Evaluation is continuous and includes classwork, homework, projects, tests and exams.

We encourage open communication between the school and the parents.

We have a full Academic Awards System in place where learners, who excel in this area, are rewarded.

Mr R.A. Barton – Head of Department: Intermediate/Senior Phase

ENGLISH

Language is a tool for thought and communication.  It is through language that cultural diversity and social relations are expressed and constructed. Learning to use language effectively enables pupils to think and acquire knowledge, to express their identity, feelings and ideas, to interact with others, and to manage their world.

English in the Preparatory School encompasses Listening and Speaking, Reading and Viewing, Writing and Presenting and Language Structure and Use.

Listening and Speaking are central to learning in all subjects.  Pupils need to listen actively, empathically and critically to a wide range of oral texts and summarize, record and respond to them.  Pupils need to speak confidently in public, and communicate appropriately and effectively with others. This is necessary for further education and employment.

Well-developed Reading and Viewing skills are central to successful learning across the curriculum; Reading is the foundation for writing and a means of lifelong learning. All classes have their own set of literature books and pupils are exposed to a variety of source material. 

Writing and Presenting are powerful instruments of communication that allows learners to construct and communicate thoughts and ideas coherently. 

Learners will explore how language is used and develop a shared language for talking so that they can evaluate their own and other texts critically in terms of meaning, effectiveness and accuracy. Through interacting with a variety of texts, learners extend their use of vocabulary and apply their understanding of language structures correctly.

Mr C. Cumming – Subject Co-ordinator

AFRIKAANS

Afrikaans is one of the eleven official languages spoken in SA.  It is introduced in the Grade 1 year and is taught up to the end of Gr 7.

When learners leave the Preparatory School and go to Veritas High School they have a choice between Afrikaans and Zulu as a second language.

Afrikaans has a rich heritage of Literature and learning and teaching is linked through songs, poetry and literature of the language.

We use text books “Afrikaans Sonder Grense” from Gr 4-7.  Each grade has their own literature books and other resources to teach necessary language skills, vocabulary and comprehension skills.

Mrs F. Barton – Subject Co-ordinator

MATHEMATICS

Numbers and numerical and mathematical concepts are part of our everyday lives.  Veritas Preparatory devotes more than the prescribed teaching time to Maths in an effort to make our learners at ease with numbers and instil in them a confidence in their ability to manipulate and interpret numerical data.  Skills such as reasoning, decision making, problem solving, managing resources, interpreting information, understanding systems and applying technology are developed through Maths.

All the classes are equipped with posters, concrete apparatus, measuring equipment and card games to assist learners’ understanding.

Additional Maths classes are available on Wednesday afternoons for learners in Grades 4-7 who require extra help.

Mr R.A. Barton  – Subject Co-ordinator

NATURAL SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

This Learning Area enables:

1. The Learner to act confidently and show curiosity about natural phenomena, and investigate relationships and solve problems in scientific, technological and environmental contexts.

2. The Learner to know and be able to interpret and apply scientific, technological and environmental Knowledge.

3. The Learner to be able to demonstrate an understanding of the interrelationships between science and technology, society and the environment.

Our vision at Veritas College is to stimulate an enquiring approach to the Science and Technologies. Investigations are undertaken and methods and results are obtained before being carefully examined and discussed to reach a conclusion.


Mr R.A Barton – Subject Co-ordinator

SOCIAL SCIENCES

HISTORY

During History lessons learners are encouraged to develop enquiry skills in order to investigate the past and relate it to the present.

They develop their knowledge and understanding of history as well as skills with which to interpret history.

The children are exposed to a variety of historical resources and are taught to analyse them in a questioning, critical and interpretative manner.  Through this exposure to a variety of source materials, the teacher is able to develop awareness within the pupils of their role as informed, critical and responsible citizens, as well as an appreciation for the legacy that those who have gone before us have left to us.


GEOGRAPHY

 Geographical skills and knowledge are integral to the understanding and appreciation of the environment in which we live.

In order to do this, pupils learn to use enquiry skills to investigate geographical and environmental concepts and processes, to demonstrate knowledge and understanding and to make informed decisions about social and environmental issues and problems.

A critical analysis of issues on a local, national and global scale, the interrelationships between people, resources and the environment, exploring the inequalities and exploitation of the world, the changing environment and its impact on our lives are all points that are considered in the teaching of this subject.

It is a subject where current affairs and daily events are of great importance and so the media plays an important role. This allows pupils to keep up to date in an ever changing world.

ECONOMIC MANAGEMENT SCIENCES

At Veritas Preparatory EMS is taught in Grade 7 as a separate subject.

EMS deals with the Economic Cycle as part of the Economy. It allows pupils to understand sustainable growth and development and to reflect critically on the related processes. Pupils are also taught the managerial, consumer and financial knowledge and skills to responsibly deal with situations.

Pupils are encouraged to display and demonstrate entrepreneurial knowledge, skills and attitudes in their lives.

The EMS lessons are interactive and stimulate the pupils’ interest to reflect and function effectively in society.

Mr C. Cumming – Subject Co-ordinator

INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY

ICT prepares pupils to participate in a rapidly changing world in which work and other activities are increasingly transformed by access to varied and developing technology.

All the pupils from Grade R to Grade 7 attend weekly computer lessons in the Preparatory Computer Centre. The 28 workstations have controlled internet access. Work is stored on a fileserver for monitoring and assessment. We aim to teach computer skills not only as a separate subject, but to integrate these skills into other subject areas. Pupils use computers to learn rather than learn to use computers. Our lessons are based on themes taken from various subjects. 

• Grade R pupils use simple graphic programs as an introduction to basic computer skills. Specialist interactive software complements the development of perceptual skills.

• In the Foundation Phase pupils soon become independent and confident computer users. As their skills levels progress pupils use software to draw, to write, to communicate, to analyze simple data and to find information. 

• In the Intermediate Phase and Grade 7 lessons became more complex. Pupils are encouraged to use computers for a variety of activities which promote learning.

Pupils from Grade 5 to Grade 7 complete the Knowledge Network ®Senior Primary Progressive Learning Programme. Knowledge Network provides supporting material for this curriculum which covers many computing disciplines. Educators attend scheduled training sessions. Pupils who achieve over 70% in the external practical assessment at the end of the year receive certificates.


Mrs L. Holloway - Subject Co-ordinator

MEDIA CENTRE

 The Media Centre at the Preparatory School provides the pupils of the school with an opportunity to develop a love of reading that will help them in all that they are required to do at school as well as in their life beyond school.

The Preparatory classes each have a weekly time when they are able to visit the Media Centre to listen to a story or to watch a DVD version of a book. This time is also used to provide visual stimulus that reinforces the formal learning of the alphabet that takes place in the classroom. It is, however, an exciting outing that these little people look forward to each week.

The Grade 1, 2 and 3 classes also enjoy a weekly visit to the Media Centre. The emphasis for these learners is to develop listening skills and a love for stories in their various forms - be they picture books, written stories with accompanying illustrations, audio stories on CD or Fairytales that have been brought to life in DVD's.

From Grade 3 all pupils are encouraged to visit the Media Centre after school to select books to borrow to read at home. This encourages independent reading that consolidates the reading skills that are taught formally in the classroom. 

The Media Centre provides the facilities for teachers to show supporting visual material to their classes.

Non-fiction books make up a large part of the book collection and can be used by the pupils as resources or just to read up on topics that are of interest to them.

 
Mrs F.Z. Barton - Media Centre Teacher

RELIGIOUS EDUCATION & LIFE ORIENTATION (RELO)

Veritas College has developed a well-structured Religious Education Curriculum, based on the ’Fostering Hope’ Policy for Religious Education, in S.A. Catholic Schools.  This curriculum is relevant to all yet sensitive to learners and their relationship to their faith and their religious communities.

RELO is central to the holistic development of learners.  At Veritas Preparatory we strive to address skills, knowledge and values about the personal, social, intellectual, emotional and physical growth of learners. The RELO programme, guides and prepares learners for life and its possibilities and equips them for meaningful and successful living in a rapidly changing and transforming society. 

RELO helps learners to develop beneficial social interactions, such as respecting other’ rights and values and promotes lifelong participation in recreation and physical activity. 

(See also – Spiritual Programme and Pastoral Care)

Mrs S. Billson – Religious Education Co-ordinator

CREATIVE ARTS

Creative Arts provides exposure to and study of a range of art forms including Dance, Drama, Music, and Visual Arts. The main purpose of the subject is to develop learners as creative, imaginative individuals with an appreciation of the arts.

The dance, drama and music study, as part of Creative Arts, at Veritas College, focuses on providing opportunities for learners to experience the joy of dancing, movement, drama and music through school productions, and participation at a variety of festivals. Here learners are encouraged to begin to explore and create their own movement sequences and to appreciate dance and music as a creative art.

The visual arts content includes activities such as creating sculptures, constructions, experimenting with different painting methods and techniques, all done in our fully equipped Art Centre.

Mrs L. Smith – Creative Arts Co-ordinator

 

 

   
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