Academic Programme

ACADEMIC PROGRAMME

OVERVIEW

Pretoria Boys High School is a state school and operates under the Gauteng Department of Education. The curriculum is broadly governed by the provisions of the Senior and FET curriculum documents. Pupils write the National Senior Certificate Examination in Form V (Grade 12), the public examination, which for successful candidates, results in the awarding of a school-leaving certificate.

PBHS matric groups generally achieve 100% pass rates in the NCS examinations and in excess of 80% University Entrance Passes. This places it among the top achieving schools in South Africa.

The school is fortunate to always be fully staffed with suitably-qualified teachers. The policy on class sizes is to limit these to a maximum of thirty pupils, although in senior classes there will generally be fewer than this number.

In terms of physical facilities, the school has, in addition to standard classrooms, access to a full range of specialised rooms including science laboratories, computer centres, and technical subject workshops. There is adequate physical accommodation for pupils and teachers, with the number of teachers who share classrooms being kept to an absolute minimum.

This philosophy of the school is to pursue high academic standards and to extend pupils academically. Research assignments are set within most subjects. A number of subject departments undertake day excursions and even three day educational tours.

The management of the academic programme is the responsibility of the Head of Studies who reports to the Headmaster. Subject Departments are the responsibility of Heads of Subject who meet on a weekly basis with their staff and fortnightly with the Head of Studies.

FORM I (GRADE 8) SUBJECT CHOICE

COMPULSORY LEARNING AREAS

English Home Language
Economic and Management Sciences
Life Orientation
Mathematics
Natural Sciences
Social Sciences
Technology

PLUS THREE COMPULSORY ADDITIONAL SUBJECTS (WITH OPTIONS):

1. First Additional Language:

(Only ONE of these subjects MUST be selected)

  • Afrikaans
  • Sepedi
  • French*


*
PLEASE NOTE: French may ONLY be taken as a 1st Additional Language if a boy has Immigrant Status. Please see the Immigrant Status Form below if your son qualifies.

2. Second Additional Language*:

(2nd Additional Language must differ from the 1st Additional Language. Only ONE of these subjects will be taken)

  • Sepedi
  • French
  • German


*Due to teacher and timetable constraints, two choices need to be made for the
2nd Additional Language.

3. Art and Culture:

(Only ONE of these subjects MUST be selected)

  • Music*
  • Art and Culture


*Due to teacher and timetable constraints, only 60 boys will be selected to take Music, the remainder of the boys will take Art and Culture. Please read the Music Information Sheet
BEFORE deciding on Music as a subject. Prior experience in the field of music is highly recommended but not obligatory. Should your son choose Music, he and you will be required to attend a meeting in November for which details will be supplied closed to the time.

NOTE: The following selections are at the discretion of the School and NOT a choice made by parents.

  1. Advance Programme Mathematics is a subject offered to boys with exceptional ability in Mathematics.
  2. Certain boys will be offered Supplementary English, instead of a 2nd Additional Language, based on Grade 8 English results. In the interim, please CHOOSE ONE OF THE 2ND ADDITIONAL LANGUAGE OPTIONS ABOVE. Your son will only be considered for the Supplementary English class should it be deemed necessary in order to advance his aptitude in this language.

FORMS III, IV AND V (GRADES 10, 11 AND 12) SUBJECTS

1. Compulsory Subjects

  • English Home Language
  • Life Orientation

2. First Additional Language

(Only ONE of these subjects MUST be selected)

  • Afrikaans First Additional
  • Sepedi First Additional
  • French First Additional

3. Mathematics

(Only ONE of these subjects MUST be selected)

  • Mathematical Literacy
  • Mathematics

NOTE: Boys doing Advanced Programme Mathematics in Grade 9 will automatically be placed in Advanced Programme Mathematics in Grade 10.

We reserve the right to request changes to a boy’s subject portfolio should a particular combination prove to be impractical.

4. Physical Sciences AND / OR Life Sciences

5. Final Subject selection

If one selection has been chosen from number 4 above, then two selections need to be made from the choices below. If both Physical Sciences and Life Sciences have been selected, then only one choice must be made from the subjects listed below. (A pupil takes a total of seven subjects, excluding Advanced Programme Mathematics).

  • Civil Technology
  • French (Offered as a 2nd Additional Language)
  • Geography
  • German (Offered as a 2nd Additional Language)
  • History
  • Information Technology*
  • Music
  • Visual Arts
  • Accounting OR Business Studies

*If not accepted kindly indicate 2nd subject choice

STRUCTURE OF THE NATIONAL SENIOR CERTIFICATE

7 SUBJECTS
Compulsory Subjects

  • 2 Languages: one language at Home Language level and the other Language at 1st Additional Language level
  • Mathematics OR Mathematical Literacy
  • Life Orientation

PLUS 3 Subjects Of Choice

Any 3 other approved NCS subjects (See appropriate table) of which a maximum of 2 may be languages other than Home and 1st Additional Languages.

The following restrictions apply at PBHS when making your subject selection:

  • It is compulsory for every boy to choose a science i.e. Physical Sciences and/or Life Sciences.
  • A boy may not select two commercial subjects i.e. he may select Accounting or Business Studies, not both.
  • A boy may only select one 2nd Additional Language i.e. French or German, not both.
  • A boy will be selected for Information Technology based on the results of the first round of the Information Technology Olympiad, in addition to his Grade 8 and 9 English and Mathematics track record.

SYNOPSIS OF SUBJECT DESCRIPTIONS

  • About financial information and transactions, and the compilation, analysis and interpretation of financial statements and managerial reports.
  • Equips one to make informed financial decisions in business and social contexts.
  • Investigates how formal and informal enterprises can be managed to achieve profit and other objectives and how these enterprises can contribute to economic growth.
  • Equips one for informed, productive, ethical and responsible participation in the formal and informal economic sectors.
  • Focuses on concepts and principles in the built environment and on the use of practical skills and scientific principles in the technological process required to improve this environment.
  • Addresses knowledge, skills, values and attitudes relevant to construction processes and environmental sustainability.

Engineering Graphics and Design (EGD) teaches internationally acknowledged principles that have both academic and technical applications. The emphasis in EGD is on teaching specific basic knowledge and various drawing techniques and skills so that the EGD learners will be able to interpret and produce drawings within the contexts of Mechanical Technology, Civil Technology and Electrical Technology.
The specific aims of EGD are to teach the following:

  • Graphical drawings as the primary means of communication in the technological world
  • Specific basic content and concepts within the contexts of Mechanical Technology, Civil Technology and Electrical Technology
  • Various instrument and freehand drawing techniques and skills
  • Solving technological problems through graphical drawings
  • The application of the Design Process from conception to completion
  • The implementation of CAD (Computer Aided Drawings/Design) as a drawing method.

Career prospects include all areas of various Engineering fields, Architecture, Design Technology and Teaching.

  • Explores physical and human processes and spatial patterns on Earth over space and time.
  • Equips one to make sense of the physical and human worlds and to understand the many different forces such as environmental deterioration and movement of people that influence these worlds.
  • Focuses on change and development in society over time and space.
  • Equips one with the capacity to make informed choices to contribute constructively to society as a result of having an insight as to how the world has evolved.
  • Focuses on the solution of problems through logical thinking, information management and communication and the development of computer applications.
  • Equips one to use the facilities of technology and operate it purposefully and effectively and to access, retrieve, store, organise, manipulate, evaluate, maintain, analyse, interpret, present and communicate information.

ENGLISH
English Home Language is a compulsory subject, taken by all students at Pretoria Boys High. The syllabus from Grade 8 to Grade 12 includes literature, language, speech and creative writing.
Our vibrant and inspiring English Department offers a range of extra-curricular activities such as debating, public speaking, quizzes and drama. Through these activities our students are encouraged to read more widely, speak more confidently and write more clearly.

AFRIKAANS 1ST ADDITIONAL

Afrikaans is one of eleven official languages in South Africa and is widely spoken across the country.The main focus of this subject is to help our boys communicate effectively in Afrikaans. This is achieved through written work and oral assignments, that work together to improve their vocabulary and communication skills.

During their Matric assessment there are four main components:

  • Paper 1: Comprehension, Summary and Language
  • Paper 2: Literature
  • Paper 3: Essay writing and transactional writing.
  • These three papers (Paper 1, Paper 2 and Paper 3) are written at the end of the year.
  • Paper 4: Oral component.

This paper (Paper 4) is assessed internally during the course of the year and moderated in August by external moderators.

SEPEDI

In this subject our learners are taught to communicate effectively in Sepedi, both verbally and in writing. This is achieved through the application of Sepedi in creative and real-world contexts. This will aid them in their future endeavours whether it is in a social, educational or occupational context.

FRENCH

French will stand our learners in good stead should they wish to pursue careers in international relations and diplomatic studies. It may also proof useful in number of different careers such as law, engineering, construction, medicine, hospitality, tourism and commerce.

By the time they reach Grade 12 our students are expected to have a proper command of the language, and should be able to apply critical thinking and reasoning in a literary and oral context.

The French course comprises an oral, aural and written component, with emphasis placed on mastering basic grammatical structures and concepts.

GERMAN

Germany is one of Europe’s largest economies, and there are also a large number of high profile German firms operating in South Africa today. Thus a working knowledge of the German language may prove highly advantageous to our learners with regards to their future career prospects.

During the course of their studies our learners will be taught to communicate effectively in German. This will entail reading, writing and speaking in German

LIFE ORIENTATION

Life Orientation is the only non-examinable subject in the FET course. However, your son will not be promoted or issued with a National Senior Certificate (NCS) without providing concrete evidence of his performance in Life Orientation. All evidence of your son’s performance will be reflected in his portfolio.

The focus of Life Orientation is to equip our learners with the skills and tools they’ll need to manage their lives in a responsible and positive manner.

  • Involves the systematic study of life processes and the interdependence of components in the natural and man-made environment.
  • Equips one to understand the relationships between Life Sciences, technology, environment and society through scientific processes.
  • Focuses on the use of mathematical skills in financial calculations, problem solving, the study of space, shape and measurement, and data handling.
  • Equips one to reason creatively and logically in a mathematical context about problems in the physical and social world and in the context of Mathematics itself.

MATHEMATICAL LITERACY

  • Focuses on the use of basic mathematics to solve problems in everyday situations and to make sense of information presented in mathematical ways e.g. tables, graphs, diagrams and texts.
  • Equips one to think numerically and spatially in order to interpret and critically analyse everyday situations and to solve problems.

ADVANCED PROGRAMME MATHEMATICS

Advanced Programme Mathematic is aimed at those students who have a real passion for the subject and have an exceptional aptitude for Mathematics.

The study of Advanced Programme Mathematics will empower our learners to extend their mathematical knowledge. In so doing they will learn how to use sophisticated mathematical processes to solve complex quantitative arguments in a creative and critical context. This use of high level mathematics could prove pivotal in the pursuit of careers such as actuarial science, operations research, mathematical modelling, economic and industrial sciences, video game special effects, engineering, computational mathematics, theoretical and applied physics, and statistical applications.

  • Encompasses music performance, style, listening, theory, interpretation and history of music.
  • Promotes access to opportunities of musical understanding, expression and communication through the performance and creation of music.
  • Investigates physical and chemical phenomena through scientific inquiry, scientific models, theories and laws to explain and predict events in the physical environment.
  • Equips one to learn, construct and apply Physical Sciences, and accommodates reflection and debate on its findings, models and theories.
  • Focuses on the broad field of creative practice that involves the hand, the eye, the intellect and the imagination in the crafting of two-dimensional and three-dimensional objects.
  • Equips one to make practical and aesthetic decisions in the development of a coherent body of work and become actively involved in shaping physical, social and cultural environments.

IMMIGRANT STATUS

Pupils not taking an Official South African Language as a 1st Additional Language:

Definition

  • An Immigrant Candidate is: (Reference: Government Gazette No.34669 of 10 October 2011)
  • A pupil who is a dependant of a Diplomatic Representative.
  • A pupil who enrolled at a South African school during or after Grade 7.
  • A pupil who began his schooling at a school in SA and has attended school outside SA for two or more consecutive years after Grade 3 or its equivalent and before Grade 9 or its equivalent and has subsequently returned to SA.


Such a Candidate must be in possession of:

  • the relevant Official Documentation issued by the Department of Home Affairs; and / or
  • the relevant Official Documentation issued by the school where the pupil entered the South African school system for the first time.

GDE Regulation: Circular 9 of 2006


Note: Failure to submit the relevant documentation to Pretoria Boys High School with your Application Form will result in your son being placed in a South African Language class.

  • If a pupil meets the requirements to be given Immigrant Status and wishes to obtain an endorsement (university entrance) he should take and pass:
  • one university language (English Home Language) AND a language from Group D (French, Greek, Italian, Portuguese, Arabic, Latin, Urdu, Hebrew, Hindi, Spanish, Gujarati or Tamil); OR
  • English Home Language and his mother tongue language on the Advanced Level through the University of London. This subject must be written within 6 months prior to, simultaneously or not more than 6 months following the Grade 12 Final Examinations.

MUSIC AT BOYS HIGH

PHILOSOPHY

Pretoria Boys High School has an active and vibrant Music Department. There are in excess of 180 boys taking music as a subject, each one learning to play an instrument and studying various aspects of the theory of music. Many boys start the subject never having done any formal music before their arrival here. Others continue with the instrument that they have started while at primary school or take a second instrument. The orchestral instruments on offer are the flute, clarinet, French horn, trumpet, trombone, tuba, violin, viola, cello and double bass. Non-orchestral instruments such as the saxophone, piano and guitar are also offered. All boys are obliged to play four practical assessments a year. In addition to these, boys may enter for external examinations through the Royal Schools of Music.

The result of such an extensive teaching programme is that there are many extra-curricular activities. There is a full symphony orchestra, representing all the instruments of the orchestra and consisting of over 60 musicians. There is also a Dixie Band consisting of 11 members, which plays music in a Jazz style. The Wind Band, consisting of 25 members, plays Big Band and popular music. Several smaller ensemble groups exist: two string quartets, a cello ensemble, a guitar quartet, a saxophone quartet and a Brass Choir which accompanies the organ at every Friday assembly. The school choir is also an extension of the Music Department’s activities and consists of over 50 boys. In addition, there is a long tradition of presenting musical productions at the school. For this purpose, soloists, a chorus and an additional band or small orchestra are utilised.

Our philosophy is inclusive and we first try to establish if a new boy is interested in learning to play and read music in a formal way, and then ascertain if he has the sustained application and disciplined approach, which the study of music requires. If these attributes are present, the sky is the limit. We have had countless boys who start with no musical background and pass the Grade 8 Royal Schools of Music Examination.

A boy must have his own instrument so that he can practise daily and develop his technical competence and musical understanding. The cost of individual lessons is carried by the school and, as a result, it must be considered a privilege to take music as a subject.

For full details on taking music as a subject at PBHS, please click here to download the document