Principal, teacher and learner comments from 16 pilot schools

The following 16 schools are on the test, pilot ASSA/MSM Maths & Science project in Cape Town from the start of the end of the second term 2013.  We will be running workshops for teachers and learners as we experiment with the different ways to use the materials from the new, sponsored ‘Maths & Science Solutions’ website.  These comments were made by the relevant people at our initial discussion and presentation at the respective schools.

Thandokhulu High School:

‘John, I am so impressed, that I will personally take every G 10, 11 & 12 Maths learner into the computer room, ensure that they have an email address & ensure they register on the new MSM/ASSA website!  Would you also be prepared to come and give an introductory talk to all the learners?’  Principal

Leap High School:

‘John, we are delighted to be involved in this project.  We have placed laptop computers and data projectors in each of the Maths & Science classrooms & the teachers have really benefitted a great deal from the workshops that you have already run at our school earlier in the year. We are confident that our Matric Maths & Science results will improve – starting from this year!’  Maths HOD.

‘Guys, I have spent 3 hours looking at the new FREE ASSA/MSM Maths & Science website – it is incredible!  Make sure that you each register and start to make use of all the fantastic materials that Mr Bransby has placed on the website for us – you won’t regret spending time on the website!’  Learner – addressing the whole Leap school at an assembly.

South Peninsula High School:

‘Sorry I have kept you waiting – I was taking an assembly and gave a talk on study skills – using the book that you wrote in 1989!  This Maths & Science project is fantastic & will benefit our teachers and learners tremendously.  We have the facilities to use the site in the classroom daily & that is what the teachers will do from the start of the new term. John, I am delighted to inform you that we currently have 2 learners who are studying Actuarial Science at UCT at the moment.  I believe this website will certainly improve the interest and achievement in these crucial subjects.  Would you mind doing an introductory talk to our      1 200 learners in about 2 week’s time?’   Principal

Rustenburg High School:

‘John, we do not readily take on and accept new projects in Maths & Science – and some are very expensive and have been imported from the UK or America and do not fit our Curriculum.  This project is completely different to anything we have seen before.  I shall study it very carefully over this weekend and we will launch it immediately after the June exams.  There is much that our learners and teachers can benefit from on this website, I believe!’  Maths & Science HOD.

Athlone High School:

‘Thank you so much for including our school in your MSM/ASSA project!  Maths & Science is a big worry for me.  The drop-out rate in these subjects is incredible here – 185 G 10 learners taking Maths & Science, then 57 G 11 and finally 27 in Grade 12!  This is probably as a result of poor teaching and poor learning in these crucial subjects.  This new MSM/ASSA website is certainly going to change this trend!  Thank you John, for all that you are trying to do for the teaching and learning of Maths & Science in SA!’  Principal

Kulani High School:

‘Wow, John.  Wow – I can’t believe what you and ASSA are offering us!  This is incredible and will make a huge difference to the teaching and learning of these subjects at our school!  What is the catch?  There must be a catch – nothing is for FREE! How much is the license fee?  It can’t all be for nothing!!  What do we have to do to get onto and stay on the programme?  As you can see I am a computer junkie and I believe that every learner at our school will benefit from this project.  In fact I keep all the computers at our school in running order myself – by doing all the repairs after school & in evenings.’ Principal.

Langa High School:

‘John, we have SMART Boards and nice computer and classroom facilities – but there is no software for regular, useful lessons on the SA Curriculum.  The ASSA/MSM website will change all that for our teachers and learners.  The teachers do not have the time, experience, inclination or skills to write new software for the SMART Boards themselves. The drop-out rate in Maths is particularly concerning for me – I expect these facilities and opportunities will alleviate this problem for us.  Thank you so much for including us amongst the group of 16 schools on this pilot project – it is an honour to be included with some of these fine schools.’  Please come back to do a workshop with all of our Maths & Science teachers in the very near future – so that we can get the maximum benefit!’  Principal.

Herzlia High School:

‘John, I have known for the past 20 years that we have worked together at this school, that you would indeed leave a major mark on the teaching and learning of Maths & Science in schools throughout the country.  It is incredible that at the start of your retirement, you are finally getting the dream to come true.  Good luck with the project – Herzlia will always be interested and proud of what you are doing and we will certainly follow your progress closely.  The fact that you have used these materials and methodology with such incredible success at this school over the past 10 years, is a clear indication that many teachers and learners will benefit from your ideas, dedication and creativity.  Good luck with this exciting, new endeavour!  We will continue to use your materials & methodology daily at our school!  What a legacy you have left here!’  Principal.

Garlandale Secondary School:

John, Maths & Science are a great worry to us.  We have 190 G 10s, then 100 G 11s and then 25 G 12s who take Maths & Science!  We believe that your materials will help us to improve this rate of drop-out from these crucial subjects.  Thank you for including us in this exciting project – I am confident that it will help our teachers and learners tremendously.  We would like you to come back and motivate the teachers and learners, please.’                      Deputy Principal.

Luhlaza High:

‘Thank you very much for including us in this pilot project.  We will encourage the teachers and learners to get involved’.  Principal

Oscar Mpetha High

‘John we are very, very excited and enthusiastic about this project!  We have 11 laptops and 7 data projects for use in the various classrooms and laboratories – but there is very little really suitable CAPS based Curriculum for use on a daily basis!  This project will certainly change that.  We will use it in the classrooms on a daily basis & we will have the learner books duplicated in-house for all our students.  John – we will take this very seriously and do it exactly as you have described to our Maths & Science teachers today!  Thank you for all the wonderful work that you have done at this school over the past 20 years – we really appreciate it very much indeed and we will stay in touch as we use your website daily.  Thank you for helping our school.’  Principal & Maths & Science HODs.

Rondebosch Boy’s High:

‘Thank you for including our school in your pilot project.  We think the initiative is fantastic and we hope to make use of it in both the classroom and we will certainly encourage the learners to make full use of it at home.  We are impressed with the materials, website and the methodology.  Thank you’.  Principal & Maths HOD.

Westerford High:

‘Although we have developed a lot of our own materials & methodology, I think that there is much that both our teachers and learners can use and will find very beneficial on your website.  I think that our younger teachers will be particularly enthusiastic about your materials and methodology.  Thank you for including us in this worthwhile endeavour.  Good luck with the project – I am sure that 1000s of teachers and learners will benefit from such a project’!  Deputy Principal & Maths HOD.

SACS:

‘John this is really fantastic stuff – we will certainly use it in the classroom and also encourage the boys to use it at home.  In fact – we will send these advertising flyers home in the school reports at the end of this term.  You know John, we think that you are going to save parents 1000s of Rands since their children will no longer need to go for extra tuition!  We are sure that these businesses will feel the effects in their pocket.  Good luck with the project and thanks for including us in the pilot project’.  Maths & Science HODs.

Bishops:

‘John, what you have shown us today is absolutely fantastic.  With every boy having access to their own laptop computer every day and all of the time at our school, it will be very interesting to see how we can make use of the website in both the classroom & laboratories, as well as at home.  It has much potential for testing the ‘flipped classroom’ concept and we will certainly try this.  John, I think that your materials, methodology, work and ideas are absolutely inspiring and you are a role-model for very many people.  I wish that you had written and had access to all this material and methodology when you taught me in Grades 11 & 12 back at Queens’ College all those years ago.  I am sure that I would have been a much better Matric Science student for you’!  Principal. 

Pinelands High School

‘We are testing various Maths & Science programmes at our school at the moment, but nothing is as comprehensive and detailed as yours.  Being a Science teacher myself and still teaching at the Matric level, I am only too well aware of the problems being experienced by both teachers and learners.  We would be keen to experiment with the ‘flipped classroom’ method with your materials since we think that there is an ideal fit with this material.  Thank you very much for including us in your pilot project.  We will certainly provide feedback on the materials, methodology and experimentation that we will be doing for the rest of this year’. Principal. 

Oude Molen Maths & Science School:

‘This material is absolutely fantastic for our requirements!  Our teachers have wonderful facilities – SMART Boards & internet in the classrooms and labs – but very little really suitable, useful, relevant software for daily use.  Your materials and methodology solves that problem for us and our inexperienced teachers will benefit tremendously from having daily use of such high quality materials.  We will certainly make learner books from the website and instead of buying more text books, we will rather produce the learner books for the learners to use on a daily basis.  John we would like you to come back and to train/workshop our Maths & Science teachers on exactly how best to use your materials and methodology.  Can you come before the end of this term in 2 weeks time?’  Principal.