Wednesday, 10 October 2012

On schools, and such.

So the Princess (and the boys next year) goes to what used to be referred to as a Model C school - these days apparently our school and some others are what is referred to as governing body driven schools. What this means is that the government syllabus is followed, and added to by the school. For instance, we have chess as a subject from grade R to grade 3, full computer education right through and a real teacher child ratio of not more than 25 kids in a class (by real it is the number of kids at any time in front of a teacher and not the total number of kids divided by the total number of teachers). In reality it boils down to about 22 kids in any grade 1 class. The fees are way more than the usual government schools as half the teachers are funded by the parents and paid through the governing body. But it is also about half of private school fees, depending on the school. It is a good median.

Once a year the education department assess the schools to ensure that the standards are up to scratch - if I am correct they choose 2 subjects per year to evaluate. This year the Princess' school was evaluated for Afrikaans first language and Maths. She got 100% for both on the government evaluation. Although her school report card is great, it is nowhere near to 100%, even for those two subjects. But that's not the point. The point is that the school average for the grade is 88%. 88% people! Way above what average should be and I refuse to think that in a grade of 90 grade 1 kids they are mostly above the average child. Sadly, we are not given the Education department average and that's the part that scares me. What would the average be for your standard child in your standard government school? What should these averages reflect? I would guess average should be about 60% or what do you think? In other words, what I am saying, is that the standard applied by the education department is so low, it is a disgrace. And that I am totally thankful we have the option of being able to have our kids in a school that has an average of 88%.

Anybody else had these evaluations back for their kids and what has your school's average? We all know that the standards are being dropped all the time but is it really this bad?

BTW I had some mails and tweets following on my last post about the colouring in table cloths and possibly selling them. I want to get an idea if this is a marketable option. Would anyone be interested in buying something like that, themed for  your child's party, or just one as a gift, or treat - maybe as a stocking filler? They will sell for about R50 each and covers about 1 and a half of those plastic kiddy tables.


  1. We also had those assessments done but we don't get the feedback at all - I asked about it. The school gets rough feedback as to how well the school did - ie "above average in Gr 2" etc.

    I am friends with a teacher at the school and she adjudicated one of the assessments as they class teachers aren't allowed to and she said the Gr 3 paper was flippen hard. Her daughter is also in Gr 3 and does well and she said she doesn't know how her daughter managed to complete it. She also said walking around she could see some of the stuff was too hard for the kids :-/

    I wish we were able to see what the results were - in light of Kiara's issues I would have loved to see the results mainly because I don't believe her teacher is evaluating her properly.

    Our school is a good school - we are also Model C I think because our fees are flippen high :-/ but our principal managed to get the gov to agree that the school is full so our class numbers are 30 and below (still a lot but less than other schools) and will remain like that.

    We dont get the averages of the foundation phase but the averages based on exams etc from Gr 4-7 are all in the 60%s - well based on last terms results! To be honest this worries me a little. While Cameron does have a fair amount of work alot of it is what I consider "basic" work :-/

    To be totally honest with you the more I am exposed to schooling the more I am disillusioned by it. And the thing is it is not just gov schools. I hear stories about private schools that aren't much better.

    1. We get feedback on every child. Not sure if the school made sure that they get it though. I would think one is entitled to it.

      And yes, your school is a good one.

  2. When I read this I become afraid for the future of my grandchildren.

  3. We did not get the feedback as of yet. I would also like to know what our school averaged. 88% is a great average for the school your children are/will be attending.

  4. We're not quite at that stage of schooling yet, but the school I've picked is also a model C school.

  5. Schooling is top of mind at the moment. We have just been told that there is a space for Little OL at a school we are quiet keen on. We will go for the interview in a couple of weeks to see if a) we do really like it and b) if she actually will get in.

    It is a private Montessori school - and surprisingly the fees are about 1/2 the price of the other private schools around here. They are opening a high school in 2015 - so if we do decide to send her there we can keep her there all the way through.

  6. Here in the US, its actually going the opposite direction - standards and expectations are getting higher and higher but schools are getting less money and resources to accomplish that with! Our public schools are under major attack lately and its tough to be a teacher here these days. Someone much of the government and public has made teachers and schools out to be the enemy and often peg us as the cause of economic issues and poor outcomes. Its really, really awful. :-(

    I'm so glad your kids' school is so successful! Great news!


So what's on your mind?