To Inspire So That All Flourish
ST DUNSTAN'S COLLEGE
Preparatory Academics Report 2022
2022 will be remembered as the “Post-Covid’ year. It was wonderful to return to the classroom and enjoy an uninterrupted period of in-person teaching, without having to close our facilities for health reasons. “Returning to normal” became a catchphrase and we, as a school, continued in our pursuit of excellence.
As the year progressed, the staff became aware of some areas that may have been neglected during the online learning time. We were able to meet in cluster groups with other Independent schools, and discussed innovative ways with which we could go about resolving any issues that we felt needed extra attention.
Online learning, although stressful for many, taught us teachers that we need to be fluid and flexible in our approach. Being aware of the importance and variety of assessment methods that are available, has generated creative thought among the staff and we continued to use our Innovative Assessment Programme. A concerted effort was made to create a balance between online work and activities that require pen and paper. Being aware that testing is only one area of assessing, we have attempted to become more inclusive in our formal assessments, by accommodating pupils with learning concessions. To assist with this, we welcomed back several retired staff members who are scribing and reading for pupils.
Promoting a love of learning amongst our pupils is foremost in our minds and the focus continues to be on skills taught, and not only content. Our aim is to develop well-rounded pupils who are able to approach any task with confidence.
As an independent school, we are able to be flexible in our choice of topics. The passing of Queen Elizabeth II enabled us to live through a significant moment of history and, hopefully, create moments that our pupils will remember for years to come.
Reading is the cornerstone of all learning. Up until Grade 4, pupils learn to read, but from Grade 4 upwards the children are encouraged to read to learn. Thank you to Mrs SJ Cross and Mrs Kay for making a concerted effort to promote reading throughout the Preparatory School. Mrs Cross organised the Book Character Day, the termly Book Exchange, as well as the annual Hooked on Books production.
Mrs Kay and her team in the Foundation Phase introduced the well-supported and much-loved early morning Reading Picnics. The Travelling Bookshop opened on-site, which allows parents to buy a book to read and enjoy with their children. Excitement was profound, as the parents came back onto campus and were able to become fully involved in the academic life of their children once again.
Examinations were written Mid-Year and in November by the Grade 6 and 7 pupils. Here, the focused was on the valuable skills of preparing for and writing examinations, as well as helping our students prepare for life at the College.
The Science Expo and Market Day projects for our Grade 7 pupils were reintroduced. The Market Day was a combination of virtual and traditional Market models and the practical experience that our pupils gained during this exercise will benefit them on their learning journey.
Five of our pupils took part in the first ever South African Geography Olympiad for preparatory schools. SANGO aims to foster a love of Geography and an interest in the world. We were proud that one of our Grade 7 pupils won the top, male, primary student award.
Thank you to all the staff who have worked tirelessly, and with passion, in order to provide the best possible learning opportunities for our pupils. Our school motto is, ‘I Serve’ and it is my sincere wish that we, as a family, unerringly continue to strive towards serving our community.
“There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of books is the best of all.”
Deputy Head of Academics