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Education is so much more than just facts and figures. It must equip students for an ever-changing world, broaden their thinking to enable them to cope with a wide range of diverse circumstances, and empower them to constantly problem-solve.

The St Columba’s curriculum has been designed to prepare students for real-world challenges by instilling a range of practices, life skills and evergreen learning methodologies that energise individual student’s natural thirst for knowledge.

To better understand how we achieve this, we’ve deconstructed the elements involved into several sections as follows.


CAPS Curriculum which allows for easy integration from most schools
The CAPS curriculum followed at St Columba’s Online is registered with the Department of Education. This registration is critical for the official recognition of your child’s education when they integrate into either public or independent high schools.

The CAPS curriculum has been designed to provide learners with the opportunity to acquire and apply knowledge and skills in a meaningful way to their own lives. Key objectives of the curriculum include:

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  • Active and critical learning that encourages questioning, critical thinking, and a broad range of perspectives.
  • A coherent and logical progression of knowledge from grade to grade enabling learners to build on concepts as they progress.
  • Human rights, environmental awareness, social justice, and inclusivity are key themes in the curriculum.
  • The curriculum has the depth and breadth comparable to curriculums in other countries.

 In our many years of experience students leaving St Columba’s having utilised the CAPS curriculum, have adapted well to either a Public High School curriculum or the IEB syllabus of the Independent High Schools. 


The St Columba’s  teaching team are passionate about the opportunity to provide students with new and exciting learning engagements.
Our teaching team consists of highly qualified and SACE (South African Council of Educators) registered teachers. Every teacher at St Columba’s, as per the Department of Education requirements, has police clearance and is checked against the Sex Offenders role.

In addition to the high standard of qualification and registration, the St Columba’s teaching teams partake in a wide variety of official and spontaneous ongoing skills development and training.
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The Syllabus offered at St Columba’s includes a range of languages, Singaporean Maths, Coding and Business Skills
A key focus for every teacher at St Columba’s  is to equip your child with the skills they need to thrive in a dynamic marketplace and community in years to come. The breadth and depth of the subjects taught at St Columba’s  includes the following:


As the official language of business around the world, being able to read, converse and express thoughts, ideas and opinions in a persuasive and audience targeted manner remains a critical cornerstone of any society.

The St Columba’s English teaching team is passionate about literacy, the power of the written word, and exciting opportunities for students to express themselves. 

Key developmental objectives for the English syllabus include:

  • Access to knowledge through increased reading ability
  • Critical thinking and perspective development through exposure to global literature
  • Self-expression, social skills, and increased confidence as students engage in discussion, presentation, and debate.


Afrikaans remains the third most spoken language in South Africa, with almost 7 million people as first language Afrikaans speakers.  Afrikaans is also closely linked to Dutch and German, providing learners with a secondary internationally and locally useful language to empower communication later in life.

The St Columba’s Afrikaans teaching team is passionate about the opportunity Afrikaans provides learners to participate in a language with deep cultural roots and vast indigenous knowledge and history.

Key developmental objectives for the Afrikaans syllabus include:

  • Communication and language skills that increase understanding and access to conversation with a wider range of people.
  • Increased language cognitive development through exposure to a different language system
  • Problem solving and critical thinking development as students learn to express themselves using a different language.

Natural Science

Having a keen awareness of the world around them has always been important. With many children spending hours in fantasy landscapes such as computer games, the laws of physics and science are not as naturally discovered as previous generations of children who spent more time outdoors.

The St Columba’s Natural Science teaching team is passionate about introducing the exciting world of the sciences to students, facilitating student’s experimentation and exploration a wide range of scientific concepts

Key developmental objectives for the Natural Science syllabus include:

  • The development of a curious approach to the world around them
  • Experience based learning
  • Scientific concept and in-depth knowledge acquisition


In the instant gratification society, we live in, History introduces perspective, empathy, and the opportunity to understand how people in society have interacted with each other in different circumstances. Appreciating how events in life shape the actions and reactions of others enables students to think more critically of their own life choices.

The St Columba’s History teaching team is passionate about bringing History to life by helping learners to relate to the people in these stories and giving them a deep appreciation and perspective on the limitations of the environments in which History took place.

Key developmental objectives for the History syllabus include:

  • An appreciation for the power of choice
  • How events shape human behaviour
  • A curiosity about society, people and how people overcame the challenges of their age


Teaching learners the problem-solving principles found in Coding provides them with the educational tools they need to thrive in a technology led world. Should you select for your your child to participate in the St Columba’s Online Coding syllabus the exciting world of coding is taught through a structured and increased knowledge program which introduces the principles and thought processes of coding.

The St Columba’s Coding teachers are passionate about the mental training in technology-based problem solving that the Coding syllabus affords students.

Key developmental objectives for the Coding syllabus include:

  • Understanding and applying the principles on which technology is built
  • Problem-solving skills development

Lateral thinking development Assessment (This would be a square.  Mouse over text:

(Measuring the progress of students empowers the teacher and the learner to better understand areas of development)


Zulu is the most spoken language in South Africa with over 12 million people as first language Zulu speakers.  As a result, functional, spoken Zulu is an important part of the St Columba’s syllabus as we strive to equip learners with the language skills they will need to thrive in South African society.

The St Columba’s Zulu teaching team is passionate about introducing this beautiful language to learners in an engaging and stimulating manner.

 Key developmental objectives for the Zulu syllabus include:

  • Understanding and communication of a third language
  • Cultural and indigenous knowledge sharing through traditional songs and story telling
  • An appreciation for the nuances of the language


St Columba’s follows the Singapore Maths syllabus which is in line with the CAPS curriculum and provides a highly effective methodology for teaching mathematics that develops lateral, progressive and critical mathematical thinking skills in students.

The St Columba’s Math teaching team are passionate about challenging students to think more deeply, to stretch the concepts they have learnt and to apply mathematical knowledge from previous lessons.

 Key developmental objectives for the Math syllabus include:

  • Making math relevant and relatable to a student’s current frame of reference
  • Deep understanding of mathematical concepts
  • A mathematical, knowledge, based approach to problem solving


Helping learners understand the cause and effect of environmental influences on every day life is key to their positive engagement and participation in the world around them. Geography provides a structured learning process whereby students are introduced to globally important themes that build deep knowledge and understanding of their environment.

The St Columba’s Geography teaching team is passionate about providing students with a wide range of current examples and individually relevant interactions that help learners to understand their personal impact and responsibility to the environment.

Key developmental objectives for the Geography syllabus include:

  • Cause and effect thinking development
  • Student’s direct influence on globally important systems
  • Knowledge, understanding, appreciation and curiosity about the world we live in

Economic and Management Sciences (EMS)

Developing students who are proficient in business, accounting and entrepreneurship not only provides critical life skills but also prepares our Grade 7 students for High School Accounting and Business Studies.

The St Columba’s EMS teaching team are passionate about awakening the inner entrepreneur in every learner and assisting them to understand fundamental business and market principles in a practical and applicable manner.

Key developmental objectives for the EMS syllabus include:

  • Introducing a fundamental understanding of business and economics
  • Entrepreneurial knowledge and skill development
  • Leadership skill and problem solving application
Key to every aspect of education at St Columba’s is the fair and accurate assessment of the level of knowledge acquisition and skill mastery a student has reached as we work with learners in the education process.

The St Columba’s teaching team utilise a methodology of assessment called the Bloom’s Taxonomy 2001. This process of teaching, learning and assessment has been interrogated by cognitive psychologists, curriculum theorists, instructional researchers, and testing and assessment specialists. Bloom’s Taxonomy 2001 provides a framework, within which individual student’s strengths can be recognised and celebrated, and weaknesses can be identified and worked with.

6 Levels of knowledge

The structure of Bloom’s Taxonomy 2001 looks at 6 levels of knowledge mastery which are incorporated throughout the St Columba’s Online syllabus in age and knowledge appropriate tasks and assessments:



The recall of facts and basic information. This includes asking students to make lists, to duplicate, to memorise and to repeat.



This requires students to explain ideas or concepts and includes asking them to discuss, describe and classify information.



Students are required to use information in new situations. This includes students solving, demonstrating, and interpreting knowledge.



Students are required to draw connections between ideas and includes organising information as well as comparing and contrasting ideas.



At this level of mastery students are expected to be able to justify a stand or decision through logical arguments, appraisal, defending or supporting an idea.



Finally, when students have mastered the knowledge, they are expected to be able to produce new or original work based on the work of those who have gone ahead of them. This includes design, formulation, authoring and construction.
St Columba’s partners with parents to ensure that the learner reaches the 6 level of knowledge mastery on their own. The rigorous assessments of a students level of matery, both in class work and through tests ensures that students progression and mastery of knowledge is tested regularly so that any work a learner may be struggling with is picked up as quickly as possible. This ensures that the learner, teacher and parent are able to quickly adjust and correct problems with particular material, concepts or learning issues providing more educational certainty for all involved.
The assessment of our learners is structured as follows
Cycle tests once per week
Exams written in June and November
Ongoing in class assessment
Homework assignments


Recognising the hard work of students is key to their continued motivation
One of the key aspects of motivation is a clear understanding of the goals and potential reward for hard work.

St Columba’s students and parents are invited annually to an education awards evening where students are recognised, not only for excellent academic results but also for effort and progress as each learner strives to be the best that they can be.
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