Our students follow a British curriculum - what that looks like at each level

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Posted on: 11 Sep 2020

We are often asked about our curriculum. It's not Cambridge, it's not CAPS, it's the UK-based curriculum, Pearson Edexcel.

By combining world-class qualification standards with a forward-thinking approach and international content, Pearson Edexcel qualifications are the ideal pathway to the top universities – offering today’s learners access to tomorrow’s global and unlimited opportunities. 

(Learn more about our accreditation here)

Rick Greener, our principal at Valenture Institute explains the difference between Pearson Edexcel and CAPS, saying "The most significant difference between the SA and UK curriculum is in the curriculum design. The UK curriculum is inherently geared towards getting students to apply their knowledge and understanding. Assessment is therefore geared towards higher-order thinking skills (cf Bloom's taxonomy)."

Content is broadly similar between the SA and UK curriculum but it does vary from subject to subject. At what stage the content is taught, can also be different. However, the most significant difference doesn't lie so much in the content but in the expectation of what students need to do with the content.

At Junior High level (Grade 8 and 9) there is a skills and application focus rather than on content knowledge. 

When students reach International GCSE level (Grade 10 and 11), the curriculum design covers a large breadth of knowledge within each subject and there is then less emphasis on depth. 

In terms of the SA/CAPS curriculum, it has more focus on subject matter content and therefore has a more academic slant at the equivalent stage. Exams are more focused on assessing knowledge and understanding, while the UK curriculum's focus is on applying knowledge and understanding.

(Learn more about our subject offering here

When students reach AS and A Levels (Grade 12 and 13) they'll find these grades to be much more academically rigorous than matric. 

"It is far closer to 1st-year university," says Greener. 

There is an even greater depth in the content covered (than SA curriculum) and in the expectation of applying the information rather than recalling it.

Students are thus better prepared for tertiary studies, where there is more emphasis on the application of knowledge (universities like students who have taken the UK-based curriculum).

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