FOLLOWING Grade R, learners progress to the Umthombo Wolwazi Combined Farm School. Besides teaching the basic state curricula, teachers are trained to utilise a range of special techniques and interventions. They receive regular classroom coaching and support, and reflect on their practice on a weekly basis. Learners’ progress is regularly monitored.
Foundation phase (grades 1-3)
From this phase onwards, learners are instructed in English. Besides the official curriculum, teachers continue to implement the Basic Concepts and Language Programme begun in the reception years, and introduce other special interventions.
Intermediate phase (grades 4-6)
In this phase, teaching focuses on the imaginative use of language, the development of reasoning and mental skills, and problem-solving. Mental development rather than rote learning is emphasised, and child-centred teaching methods are adopted.
Senior phase (grades 7-9)
This is the last phase of compulsory schooling, and the last offered at Umthombo Wolwazi. Following this phase, learners go on to Further Education and Training at other institutions. Teaching focuses on the continued development of analytical and problem-solving skills, and the consolidation of learners’ understanding and use of language.
Further education and training (FET)
At the end of Grade 9, all learners are assessed and a way forward mapped. Learners who continue with formal schooling are placed in high schools in Colesberg, Middelburg and Bloemfontein, where they board in school hostels. Most are provided with bursaries. The HCET monitors their progress, and starts helping them to prepare for a career. Youths who do not continue with formal schooling are encouraged to enrol in the Trust’s youth development programme.
Special needs classes
Children who experience learning dificulties attend junior and senior special needs classes, following a special curriculum designed by the HCET and approved by the Department of Education in the Northern Cape. The Department has agreed to the curriculum being piloted at the HCET. Learners in these classes receive individual attention as well as counselling. BCP is also used in this remedial context.
Library and computer centre
The school actively encourages a reading culture, and maintains a library which is stocked with more than 12 000 books and teaching resources in three languages for children of all ages. All learners receive regular computer training in a dedicated computer centre. It is equipped with six computers, all connected to the Internet.