We had our first Cambridge Schools Conference in South Africa during the holidays. Mr James and I attended the conference at St Johns College. It was a great honour to be part of such a world class event and to be able to share knowledge and ideas on ‘Leading learning’ with other Cambridge Schools from across the globe. Mr Arraiol, Mr Bailey, Mr McDonald, Mr van Bergen and Mrs Olivier attended an Active Learning day workshop during the Conference also at St John’s College. (*see their write-ups in the Metacognition section). Professor Cheryl de la Rey, Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Pretoria, was the opening key-note speaker at the Conference. She spoke about, Navigating life transition: Schools to University and graduate success. The presentation focussed on the main challenges for the majority of every first year student and the move from school to university. The University of Pretoria introduced a destination motto for their students “The finish line is yours”. Students need to finish in the designated time and therefore they give the students their graduation date and cost if they want to change. With this initiative they want to encourage the students to take responsibility for their own learning and students to make wise choices.
How can we as a school assist with the transition?
- Online skills: learners need to be computer literate.
- Manage students’ and parents’ expectations.
- Students need to know how to interpret exam questions i.e. to analyse: what does it mean?
- Students need to be able to motivate themselves (intrinsic motivation) and to be able to work independently.
Prof De La Rey congratulate Cambridge’s style of learning, student-centred and mentioned how the Cambridge curriculum assist our students to be more University or College ready.