Mrs. Sheila Valentini
General Studies Principal and Junior Division Head
Our Junior Division (7-9) follows, but is not limited to, the Caps Curriculum. Subjects offered in Junior High: English Writing, English Literature, Ivrit, Afrikaans,
Maths, Sciences, History, Geography, Economic Management, Science, Technology, Accountancy, Drama.
Mrs. Teresa Dennis
Senior Division Head
Our Senior Division (10-12) follows an international syllabus and Matrics graduate with a U.S. High School Diploma from the University of Nebraska High School. Matrics also are trained and prepared to take both the SAT and NBT college entrance examinations.
General Studies Curriculum
The instructional material is presented through verbal instruction and written text. Books written by accredited authors are used over textbooks as far as possible.
Teachers prepare detailed rubrics which are designed to make the objective of the task clear and guide the student to success.
Learning is enhanced with the use of video presentations and experiential learning in the form of educational outings, providing real time learning.
Students who have passed a unit or have mastered a concept are encouraged to help students who are busy with that section. This reinforces the learning, builds the confidence of the leader, and creates a community of ‘givers’.
We strongly encourage parents to be actively involved in the learning material. Parental involvement is directly related to achievement. A dinner conversation, a parent acting as a sounding board, a parent contributing what they know about a subject are all highly valued.
Students work according to timetables.
Our teachers are a ‘guide at the side’ as opposed to the mainstream model of ‘sage on the stage’ - teaching, facilitating, and mentoring students.They teach primarily through one-on-one interaction, specifically when ‘live’ support is required in the form of teaching, explaining, brainstorming, editing, reflecting and encouraging each student as they progress through their individualized coursework selection.
UNHS course developers, via the online portal, prepare a written study guide that is designed to assist students with learning. Study guides contain study objectives and questions that focus students’ attention on important material to be learned, and provide a clear indication of what students are expected to do. It may also include instructor comments used to elucidate difficult points, exercises and practice problems to prepare students for the unit assessment, thought questions to stimulate students’ interest in the exploring the subject matter further, and a supplementary reading list.
All courses (which span two terms) are broken down into stimulating sequences of units, which include textbook content reading, videos, research, projects, labs, group collaboration, and regular testing via unit evaluations and progress tests, incorporating the most up to date methods of blended learning.
Tests, unit evaluations and progress tests, are prepared and marked by UNHS, with the CTTH teacher invigilating and providing feedback regarding academic results, giving support for road mapping remediation or acceleration.
Students create their own timetables, within consideration of teacher availability and tutorial/group lab requirements. They are required to manage their workload through commitment to projected completion dates set out at the beginning of each semester (Jan to June/July to Dec). The teacher keeps them accountable to an acceptable pace and level. They are also required to continue coursework at home due to the dual curriculum load.
Students graduate with an American High School Diploma, which along with their SAT Results (showing they have attained the required passing score) and/ or their acceptance letter to an American University are able to convert this International Qualification to a South African Matric by sending their documents to the Matriculation Board after graduation.
The Torah. Every letter of the five books of Moses is exact, and has layers of meaning. Lashon HaTorah, or Biblical Hebrew, the key skill for deciphering the most popular book ever printed, and we focus on the language tools needed to open it. We also teach how to pick up nuance in text, and anticipate the commentaries comments and questions.
Mishna and Gemara
The foundation of tradition. The Talmud includes Halacha (law), Jewish ethics, philosophy, customs, history, lore and many other topics. Its incisive logical structures are renowned for honing critical thinking, legal reasoning and analysis, precedent, and case studies. Also know as “the Oral Law” which was passed down from Sinai in addition to the Torah, “the Written Law”. The Gemara’s Socratic method makes its content come alive, and invites the learner to join the discussion and take a side. When we teach Gemara, we are teaching how to think in a disciplined way, how to apply Jewish Law to life, and how to make traditions and laws come alive.
Jewish Law. We focus on the practical applications of Jewish law and lifestyle, and the moral and ethical values that remain timeless.
The weekly Torah portion. Every week has a different vibe and energy based on the Torah portion of the week. Teachers teach their students to “live with the times” by gleaning timely and relevant messages from the Parsha of the week.
Jewish philosophy and perspective. No question is frowned upon, and this subject allows frank and honest skepticism in the desire to gain knowledge and depth. We tackle the issues challenging the teenage mind, like the separation between genders, questions in belief and faith, relevance of Judaism in the modern world, in a healthy and open dialogue.
Jewish History is unparalleled in the history of nations. In a lighter weekly class we traverse the story of our survival and triumphs as a people, and our gifts to the world around us along the way.
The calendar plays an essential role in Jewish literacy and lifestyle. This course geared to the practical celebration, teaches the laws of the Shabbat and Holidays, the laws, customs, and meanings of the days and its rituals.
Prayer. In addition to daily prayers, Shacharit and Mincha, we explain the meanings of the words and structure of the prayer book to allow for meaningful moments of meditation and davening.
Books of the Prophets. In addition to general Jewish History, we learn Navi, the Biblical accounts of our earliest periods, and discover the meaning and relevance of the stories to us.