A school’s curriculum defines the academic content taught and the structure of lessons. As South African schools, we are governed by the CAPS national curriculum guidelines, but for Future Nation Schools, this is just the initial base we work off.

Our curriculum is designed to not only meet the minimum state standards, but in addition, incorporates best practice from around the world to supplement these standards with further content and skills. Whilst our children write an IEB-based final year exam (which is aligned to South African independent school standards), we firmly believe that the skill set they require once they enter the “real world” is over and above that which they are tested on in matric. Our curriculum is thus modeled with both the matric exemption pass and the requirements of a successful university student and/or career person in mind.


curriculum

What is project based learning?

Remember that feeling of being so excited to get to school because you were doing something that energised you? It may have been an art project or a play at school or a rugby match, but it engaged all your senses because it meant something to you. Now imagine your child having that feeling every day. THAT’S the power of the academic model that Future Nation Schools will be using and it’s called Project-Based Learning. Project-based learning refers to students designing, planning and carrying out an extended project that produces a publicly-exhibited output such as a product, publication, or presentation. It is related to enquiry-based learning (also known as inquiry-based learning), and problem-based learning. The distinctive feature of Project-Based Learning is the publicly-exhibited output.

Future Nation Schools has elected to use Project-Based Learning in all grades and subjects because it encourages enquiry in students and allows for students to experience how the theory they are taught is applied in the real world. By incorporating public exhibition of the projects created by students, parents see first hand what their children are learning. It also motivates the children and teachers to see the outputs of their learning process. Projects serve as physical reminders of their achievements and development and don’t end up hidden away in a drawer or storeroom as they become features in the school.

Project-Based Learning allows children to answer the question: How will I use this in the real world? It also allows them to use what they are learning in the classroom to solve problems that they see in and around their own community.

Project-Based Learning creates a new position and role for the teacher which allows them to facilitate learning and co-create the learning experience with students rather than for students. Children have a wealth of knowledge available to them and have access to information more easily than any other generation before. They learn best when they are engaged by content that excites them and teaches them new things. Teachers, through Project-Based Learning are also able to find and explore new ways of teaching through designing projects for their students in a way that ignites a shared passion for learning in both students and teachers.

The use of Project-Based Learning also allows for the development of a wide range of skills, such as time management, collaboration, and problem solving that students will need at college, university and in the workplace. It also means that learning can be better tailored to suit students with a wide range of abilities and learning needs. Project-Based Learning is a tool for Future Nation Schools to bring learning to life and thus bring out the unique potential that exists within each child.