Education Plus

Hi All

When I was attending high school in the second half of the 1960s, all of the pupils were taught from the same basic syllabus – students considered brighter were given 4 years to complete O level whilst the rest took things a little more slowly filling the gaps with technical (very practical) subjects like Woodwork and Metalwork.  Those of us that were in the A1 stream all started off impressing teachers with distinctions in Maths and French winning the major school awards. Being in boarding school had its downside in that we had to do prep (homework) in the same environment as the B2 students. The latter would chat us up and have us (repeatedly) explain the principles of Simultaneous Equations, Differentiation, and Integration. In hindsight, I feel that this mixing had an adverse effect on our overall performance come “A” Level and the more distinguished “S” (Scholarship) level that a few of us wrote.

Then about 20 years ago I started hearing about the IB (International Baccalaureate) program which was being taught to some of the more astute students at St John’s College. My understanding of IB was that it was for the clever kids who were prepared for hard work and a more rounded finish to their schooling education. 
Last Friday night I attended a cocktail party at the Oakwood Academy where we guests were introduced to the seemingly similar, yet more applicable, OSSD emanating from Canada.  The Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) promises a more robust curriculum allowing gifted students the opportunity to replace the 2 year “A” Level setup with a more intense 10-month plan. OSSD is being accepted for entrance into internationally respected universities like Oxford, Berkeley College and the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia.  The Oakwood Academy is a brand new secondary school with a fairly large double storey classroom block situated on Piers Road and now boasts 140 students.

OSSD Pupils study 6 or 7 subjects with Maths and English being mandatory and learning can either be done online or in the better-suited classroom environment as Oakwood are offering from February 2022. Children that are more academically inclined need constant stimuli with intellectually challenging goals so that they don’t lose interest in learning and fall by the wayside. Way back in 1969 a couple of us passed 2 “A” Levels with very little extra effort in Lower 6th (1st year A level).

How I wish that there had been something like OSSB available back then so that we too could have reached our true potential! If you would like to know more about OSSB call 0775-096-330- email info@oakwood.ac.zw .

Yours Still working.

Mike G.

Zambezi Elephant Fund – a little reminder for anyone wanting to donate to the Zambezi Elephant Fund for my New York Marathon attempt Sunday week – click here

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