During these past holidays, I read an article by Helen Bryant on “The Value of Learning, Learning is more than passing exams.” MCS resonates with the importance of her article in our vision for our learners here at MCS. She writes that education and learning is not just about doing well in our examinations – although everyone should be aiming for their five A to C grades in their IGCSEs if they can. It is also about the fact that education gives you choices. If you have AS/A Levels, the doors of higher education and university are open to you.
Statistics tell us that students who have a degree-level qualification are, in their working lifetime, likely to earn over £160,000 more than those who leave school with only IGCSEs or AS Levels. That said, of course, there are exceptions: Lord Alan Sugar, the late Dame Anita Roddick (founder of The Body Shop) and Sir Richard Branson did not go to university and achieved fantastic success without it.
Education and learning cannot be measured by exams alone. This might mean that children are brilliant at learning for exams, and know how to answer questions, but it does not necessarily mean that they are truly learning the material. Universities are aware that students are primarily taught how to do well in exams and sometimes find it hard to think outside the box, or work independently seeking answers to questions that they themselves have thought of. This is where learning and education could become more than just repeating facts; the learners need to learn to apply a theory or an idea to something. Learning has been defined as the act or process of gaining knowledge or skill. It isn’t just about listening and taking in, or learning by rote (repeating something over and over again – think of your times tables).
Research tells us that we retain more of what we are learning if we ‘do’ something. A day at school should not just be about receiving information; it is as much about acquiring new skills. Skills equip us to do so much more after we have learned them. How would you swim if you hadn’t been taught to do so? How would you drive a car, bake a cake or use a washing machine?
She also mentions that learning continues long after you have left school. It is something that is lifelong – we will all learn something new today, every single one of us. How will you use what you learn? Think of those who have been given the name ‘silver surfers’: older people who are learning new technological skills such as using computers, the Internet, email, webcams and even Facebook.
So learning and education are essential for us as human beings and they continue throughout our lives. We all do it. At MCS we urge our learners to embrace learning every day, to go and question, learn and understand and see how they can make their minds grow.
This year we celebrate our 7th year being a Cambridge school following the International Cambridge Curriculum. Being a Cambridge school and following the Cambridge curriculum sets our school apart from all the CAPS schools. What an incredible advantage for our children to follow an international curriculum. The biggest difference between CAPS & the Cambridge curriculum is application of knowledge and that prepares our learners to be far more University or College ready.
We are currently the only school in North West that is part of Thinking Schools South Africa and that is an achievement in itself. The education system needs teachers capable of using learner-centred facilitation methods to engage learners in meaningful learning interactions to enable and help learners to apply their knowledge.
As I said previously the best investment any parent can make today is in your child’s education. Our parents at MCS do understand the value of a good education and entrust us with that responsibility. Our winning formula at MCS can be attributed to our parents’ support and our learners’ enthusiastic participation.
Our children are, most certainly, the most important lifelong investment a parent will ever make. Any parent wants to give their child the best education they can afford. What is it that makes MCS so special? I believe it has to do with the clear thought, vision, passion & positive energy. We are a small school and thus we know each and every learner as an individual. We nurture their uniqueness and allow them the space to explore their own future possibilities.
- We take pride in the achievements of our past students. They are most certainly embracing the value of learning. Gadiël Robbertze, head girl of 2013, was elected as a house committee member of Nerina Residence at the University of Pretoria. Well done Gadiёl!
- Estie-Lomé Mouton, head girl of 2014, was awarded the Top Achiever Award 2016 at University of Johannesburg. Well done Estie!
- Biance Lombard, head girl of 2015, received a bursary from Price Waterhouse Cooper.
External Cambridge June AS examinations results:
Congratulations to our students who took part in the Cambridge International external examinations set in Cambridge, England, during May/June 2016 on their excellent results!
Jerolize van Schalkwyk wrote AS Level Business Studies and received an A symbol,
Denise Gil wrote IGCSE Portuguese and also received an A symbol,
Qhama Mali received a B-symbol for AS Business studies.
These learners will be writing the remainder of their examinations in the upcoming sitting in October/November. MCS would like to commend these learners for their hard work and dedication towards their studies and their outstanding results. We also want to congratulate their teachers, Ms Oosthuizen and Ms Brazoa and commend them for all their guidance and support.
Carolina van Heerden
The Mountain Cambridge School & Virtual Learning Centre