Curro launches new tech-driven school in Cape Town

Date:11 January 2019 Author: Brendon Petersen Tags:, ,

 Curro Holdings, South Africa’s biggest independent education provider, is launching a new tech-focused schooling model, of which the first school is Curro Foreshore. Based in the Foreshore area of Cape Town, the independent high school provides a progressive curriculum focused on Mathematics, Science, Robotics and Coding – essential subjects for learners to operate in the fourth industrial revolution era. The school will open its doors on 14 January 2019.

Launched to help meet the pressing need for schools in the Cape Town CBD, Curro Foreshore is an ideal option for parents working in the CBD, as well as for ambitious learners who want to get the most out of their Mathematics- and Science-based high school education. The school is 500m from the Cape Town railway station, taxi rank, and MyCiTi bus station, allowing for easy commuting from various regions.

Ross Hill, Executive Head at Curro Foreshore, explains that the school is the culmination of years of research and development at Curro, and is the first of its kind within the group. “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 says.

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. Through its innovative education approach, the school will naturally veer from various traditional schooling elements, such as the duration of the school day; classroom setup; learning materials; teachers; and fees.

School days will be longer (8:00 – 17:30), allowing learners to complete all their work at school – eliminating the need for homework. 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.

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.

Learners will enjoy a flexible timetable, with the ability to go above and beyond the curriculum in their areas of interest – allowing them to build their self-discipline and become responsible adults, preparing them for university and the world of work.

Curro Foreshore staff will be available throughout the school day to assist learners with questions or areas where they are struggling. By providing the core curriculum material in a digital format, the staff are able to spend more one-on-one time with the students, ensuring they grasp the concepts well. Learners will work with staff to plan their schooling for a two-week cycle at a time and will be held accountable to their plans.

Learning materials are predominantly digital, with each learner receiving a laptop preloaded with the required software and textbooks. Made easier by a digitally-driven model, continual learning assessment ensures that problems can be flagged early on, while regular testing, consistent feedback and self-reflection ensure learners remain on track with their learning.

In terms of the school’s fee structure, Curro Foreshore’s monthly installments amount to R1 900. Jay Paul, Business Manager for Curro Foreshore says they’ve intentionally looked at all the extra school-related costs parents typically need to incur above fees and looked to reduce them. “Without sports fields and facilities, parents are not subsidising their maintenance and upkeep. We supply a comprehensive stationery pack at the beginning of the school year, included in fees, along with the teaching material, textbooks and software, which comes on the device that is also included. We want to assist parents with budgeting, and to help provide access to a quality and affordable education,” says Paul.

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