A fond and friendly greeting to you all, and I hope 2020 brings you nothing but success! It’s been an extremely busy start to the year, and amazingly we’ve already hit March and there is no sign of the academic year slowing down.
Kicking things off early in the year, March is a critical month for our learners in FET Phase (Grades 10 to 12), as they will need to submit their first term SBA Tasks to us at the end of the month. So let’s start this blog with a reminder to all the parents, tutors and learners in FET Phase that you need to send us those tasks by no later than the 30th of March.
So what else is going on? Well, firstly, the Minister of Finance recently addressed the country with his budget speech for 2020. The speech placed a surprising amount of emphasis on basic education, with learning and culture being allocated a whopping R396 billion. While most of this will go towards building new schools and improving the conditions at existing ones, it appears that a substantial amount will go into curriculum development too. This came with the announcement that coding and robotics will be introduced to the Foundation Phase (Grades R to 3) curriculum. If this does get implemented it will certainly be a bold and exciting step for South African education.
Closer to home, here at Clonard we have been witness to the recent shifts in South Africa’s educational landscape as parents are increasingly opting to educate their children at home. This has been most noticeably prevalent in pre-school (Grade RR) and Foundation Phase (Grades R – 3). These are indeed critical years in your child’s development, and it is important to ensure that they are properly nurtured and given the attention and care that is needed for educational growth at this early stage.
It can be easy to forget that from ages 0 to 5 the human brain develops more than at any other stage in life. Studies at the University of Harvard have shown that in these early years of life, more than 1 million new neural connections are formed in the brain every second (https://developingchild.harvard.edu/resources/inbrief-science-of-ecd/). With this sort of development going on in your child’s mind, it is critical that they are properly nurtured at this young age. Homeschooling is one way to be certain that your child is getting the attention and care that they need to nurture this growth.
But I digress! Let us focus on 2020 and work together to ensure that this year is an academic success. If you have any academic questions, concerns or suggestions, please contact our Head of Academics, Duncan Park – email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Written by Clonard Head of Academics – Mr Duncan Park