Overview of the Programme
The University Preparedness & Support Programme (Post-Matric) programme is designed for students who want to acquire a deeper understanding of mathematics, physics, and chemistry and improve on their English language skills before they go to study engineering or science at university. The programme content is more orientated towards first-year university studies than the school curriculum, yet students are given the opportunity and support to re-write subjects for which they did not obtain an A symbol in matric, so as to improve their chances of qualifying for scholarships.
Teaching is provided by fully-qualified mathematics, physics, chemistry and language teachers. Through intensive engagement, collaboration and exposure, the programme aims at developing academic strength, meta-cognitive skills and a sense of personal responsibility.
The core of the programme comprises instruction, tutorials and laboratory (experimental) work in mathematics, physics and chemistry. The Mathematics course includes usage of programmable hand-held calculators and a fully-equipped computer laboratory. The programme also includes short modular courses in areas like computer proficiency, technical drawing, scientific reading and technology.
The programme is housed at Ukuqonda House on the campus of Grenville High School, in Rustenburg.
Operational Challenges and Future Plans
From the start of the programme in 2004, it has become progressively difficult to attract high performing students to the programme, possibly because of the increase in availability scholarships for students.
The founding sponsor of the post-matric programme, Impala Platinum, has decided to reduce its sponsorship for the post-matric programme to only sponsoring 10 to 15 students per year. However, other funders like Kumba, Lonmin and Xstrata are moving in to fill the space, each planning to sponsor 5 to 10 students. Kumba has already sponsored 3 students in 2008, 6 in 2009 and 5 in 2010.
We plan that from 2011 onwards, only students who have achieved at least a C symbol in their grade 12 Mathematics and Physical Science examinations will be considered for the programme. The assessment medium that will be utilised as part of the post matric year will be the Cambridge AS/A Level examinations in Mathematics and Physical Science.