Johannesburg, 21 May 2020: Curro Holdings, the country’s largest independent education provider, is launching Curro Online – the group’s first online school that offers a flexible yet structured education model, with classes taught by current Curro teachers.
“We’ve been developing our digital education offering for some time now, which is evident with our recently launched DigiEd model. As part of the design process, we decided to rethink how home-schooling and distance learning is currently being offered. We set out to understand the frustrations of parents, and the learner, and how best to serve them and came up with a different proposition,” says Curro Online Business Manager, Jay Paul.
“One such concern is that most home-schooling solutions do not prepare the learners for the technology-heavy 21st Century and hence we focused our curriculum on Maths, Science, Coding and Robotics. As Covid-19 continues to impact our country, we also identified a need among parents who are struggling to juggle home-schooling with their own work, or are looking for an online programme that will still give their children access to class-time with qualified teachers. Many parents are also concerned about sending their children back to school once schools reopen, especially those with immune-compromised family members living in the same household. Curro Online is a response to all these pressing needs,” says Paul.
Paul stresses that Curro Online is not a home-schooling model, where parents need to take on the responsibility of teaching and continuous supervision. It is a learn-from-home online model that is aligned with Curro’s enhanced CAPS curriculum. The model’s online material is created and taught by Curro teachers. There is a structured timetable in place for the learner that needs structure, as well as the option to be flexible for those that work well at their own pace. The timetable includes teachers initiating each class, and guiding learners through pre-set material on the online platform. The parent thus assumes a smaller supervisory role similar to the role they would normally fill (e.g. checking that the learner has done their homework), and can rest assured that the academic process is taken care of by the Curro teachers.
“The teaching model combines flexible learning through pre-set learning material on our learning platform, with live interaction whereby learners can ask teachers for help and also receive detailed feedback on their progress,” he says.
For parents that would like greater flexibility in their child’s life, the Curro Online platform has an easy-to-follow curriculum with a variety of video material, recorded live lessons and other learning material. “Each learner can choose which material best suits their learning preference, and then complete a variety of assignments and assessments for us to test their understanding,” adds Paul.
Unlike other online schooling options that rely on a rotation schedule of tutors, Curro Online will be taught by a dedicated Curro teacher per subject per grade for the whole year. Having dedicated teachers for each learner allows them to actively track the progress of the learner and intervene pro-actively when needed. The school will be English-medium and initially offer grades 4 to 9, with new grades being phased in every year. Learners in Matric will write the IEB examinations.
As with all Curro models, the focus is on the holistic development of the learner. The learners will not study in isolation, but rather in small classes. They will also have group projects assigned to them, where projects will be done in small groups of four. Through such projects, they will learn the skills of coordinating projects in a virtual work-from-home world that we find ourselves in. Extra-curricular activities will be available at existing Curro campuses, and Curro Online learners will also have access to an educational psychologist for virtual consultations, if needed.
“We believe this model is ideal for families who wish to provide a high-quality independent school education for their child, and have the flexibility to return them to a physical school with little disruption to their academic career at any point in the future. Our model ensures that parents can continue to focus on their work commitments and all other responsibilities, and take off the pressure to teach their children. And, of course, it’s an affordable independent education model, which is what Curro’s vision is based on.”
Curro Online is a viable solution for the growing need of parents to ensure their child’s academic career is not disrupted by current world events. It is a solution that aligns with the needs of the fourth industrial revolution, and will prepare the learners for a technology-rich future, where work-from-home possibly becomes the norm.
The lyrics to Mr JC's song:
THERE'S A PLACE I KNOW
There's a place I know
With love and joy on show
Where I can be myself
With books on every shelf
Curro is the place I know
Where people learn and grown
Where skies are always blue
A school that really cares 'bout me and you
There's a place I know
Where dreams take off and grow
Where we respect and share
Learn how to care
Repeat the chorus x 2
Mr JC's musical message to Curro learners
Muhammad Zia, a Grade 6 learner at Curro Aurora, is asking President Ramaphosa to read his poem to the nation. As an avid poet who has had to stay at home during the lockdown, he decided to pen down a poem for the nation titled ‘THE UNKNOWN’.
Curro Holdings, South Africa’s largest JSE-listed independent school operator, has recently appointed Mr Chad Moses as Executive Head of St Dominics Newcastle in KwaZulu-Natal, a campus in the group’s Select School model. Mr Moses’ role will take effect on 1 July 2020.
As Executive Head, Mr Moses looks forward to his tenure of leading, guiding and supporting the learners, staff and families at the school. He has gained more than ten years’ experience in the independent education sector, nine of which have been spent in management roles.
Prior to joining Curro, he was the head of school at Reddford House: The Hills since its opening, and was instrumental in the significant growth of the school in terms of academic, sporting, cultural and outreach development. Under his leadership, Reddford House’s first Matric group (2018) achieved a 100% pass rate with 88% of the learners achieving a Bachelor Pass and 12% Diploma Pass.
A dedicated, hardworking individual who strives for excellence in all that he undertakes, Mr Moses is a lifelong teacher and learner at heart. He is currently studying toward his Masters Degree in Education Management and holds a Bachelor of Education (Honours) Degree in Education Management, Law and Policy Studies.
Driven by a passion for education, St Dominics can look forward to positive growth under Mr Moses’ leadership.
Johannesburg, 30 April 2020: Curro Krugersdorp, a school in the Curro Holdings group, has stepped up in the fight against COVID-19 in South Africa by offering the services of their two 3D printers and school staff. The printers have aided in the printing of protective face shields, which have recently been donated to Helen Joseph hospital and Panorama Retirement Village for medical workers currently fighting against the virus. The school gives special thanks to Ms Magdelene de Kock, Computer Applications Technology teacher at Curro Krugersdorp for all her time and effort with this initiative.
Curro, South Africa’s largest JSE-listed independent education provider, follows a 21st Century education approach, resulting in many schools within the group having 3D printers on site. These printers have been utilised to print the head band and shield components for the shields.
In order to mobilise the 3D printers during the national lockdown, Curro had to apply to the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) for an essential services permit. “Each individual who has gone on site to the school has had to carry this document and the relevant permits indicating that we are assisting with a specific service,” says Annemarie Lombard, Executive Head at Curro Krugersdorp.
“While the country is in lockdown, we feel grateful that we’re able to help in this manner and will continue do to what is necessary to assist in fighting this pandemic,” Lombard concludes.
I am a teacher at Curro Aurora and we were motivated to write during our lockdown. Curro Holdings challenged its employees to enter a competition hosted by head office called, ‘Vasbyt’ – powerful word in reality. Taking in the information around me I decided to write from my heart, my perception of what COVID-19 is and its relationship to us, ‘people’. I believe this is collective pain that each and every one will encounter and that this is a lesson larger than life.
Cornered Collectively by the Coveted COVID-19
How quietly she stretches out, clutching the universe to her, clawing her way into human lungs,
sucking their very breath, their life force. Unknowing to us she twirls around the globe tightening her forceful power, squeezing away at the universe.
She is multi -faceted thus difficult to catch nor manoeuvre out of lives. Billions of humans, intellectually privileged species, yet none of us could see her coming. She came like a thief in the deep of the night and stole our well-being. Making certain to tell us in no uncertain terms that life's choices would no longer be ours.
COVID made it very clear in her very acts, ‘I'd stay put right within your communities, I will take
away your bread and leave your cupboards bare, I will steal your freedom and make you yearn
for better health, I am pick-pocketing your pocket, your hearts and souls. I'm snatching your
world and making it mine, I am the hijacker and you are only but a human who thought that the
choices were yours’.
‘Let me tell you that that's not all I'm taking away. Tears you will shed; pain will be felt.
Disharmony, discontentment and disconnection are the 3s that will bring you down to your knees
yearning for the end of me and the survival of you. And this is non-negotiable you smart humans.
You, your friends, communities, loved ones, are all part of this challenge collectively. And
collectively you will be notified of any change to my status. I can tell you this though, wherever you experience a hole of pain there within is your learning. Be quick to learn and practise your learning, mend your ways and thread the world in the tapestry of love once again.’
And the chaos began, the world was in plight, flight we wanted but there was no place to hide.
The images were and are being publicised for all to see. Statistically millions infected, many have
left our land. Sadness pervaded every soul, nook and cranny. The world was shattered from the
mighty COVID. Scientists tried their very best, health workers claimed every waking moment.
Graves were dug in bulk; no goodbyes were allowed to put loved ones to rest. Darkness pervaded every human.
Prayer of every sort was sent, yet all went wrong in the human life. Leaders of every kind knew that it was time. Lockdown! Quarantine!
PLAN A. All for the sake of saving lives, plan A was implemented. This in itself became a catch 22
situation, lockdown meant the massive fall of economy. Poverty and strife was the other
diseases to be endured. And there was NO plan B in sight. What now the people said, conundrum! It was the most difficult conundrum. COVID whispered in her fiery voice,
‘From one person to another, the universe has been pleading with you’: Learn! And practise your
And then the humans had no choice. They began to pull away from the rat race, taking deep breaths, ignoring the darkened mind space, thinking more deeply about what they wanted to bring forth from this learning and back into their life. This was their chance to define a new version of new normalisation, a rare and truly opportune experience to leave behind the misdemeanours, rise with what works best in their lives, that which bring with it gratitude, acceptance, creativity, and wholesome a human life. Simplicity was the key to making their lives richer and fuller.
In the time of isolation, they found ways to make their families happier in a holistic way. Vital aspects of life were top prioritisation and it was implemented throughout all aspects which previously was taken for granted. And then life began to take a bend, most clearly witnessed in each household, country was tolerance, tolerance to live with what they had and yearning for none. During this trying period a deep care, the empathy for one another which was lacking before became paramount in various acts witnessed. Unity amongst most. This was seen in many supportive global spaces, a meal dropped off for a neighbour, a Zoom birthday party, sharing with others, adapting and changing human behaviours, a kind word a comforting call, the most important one was seen in people's attitude, we are no better than the other.
All of this human behaviour change was shown in their acts of love. And as humans they wanted
to define their lives, their country, the world accordingly. Most knew that this was their chance to
do that, the biggest opportunity they have ever gotten to learn and grow, to be better humans.
Even though the number of infections grew daily the human population held strongly together
with deep faith in their hearts that someday soon an intellectual human will beat her COVID.
He or she will come up with the all-healing vaccine that will destroy this plague.
That day is on the horizon. It was coming closer and closer. And when that day will dawn all of
the universal bells will toll with the glory of love, unity and oneness. Each and every human will fall to his knees not only from the gratitude of defeat of the massive plague but a thankfulness for the opportunity to learn and grow, to discard the habits that inhibited his holistic growth. The knowledge that the magnitude of human chaos was clearly brought upon ourselves and the lesson learnt was to be remembered for all times from generation to generation.
‘The demolition and reconstruction of the human mind and bringing together the human kind.
And this I have no doubt will soon be celebrated in every thought, word and act across every
space of mankind, from corner to corner of the universe. And all will be well like time after time over ages and eras mankind will once again live harmoniously as one.’