Oakley House High School offers students who experience learning barriers the opportunity to achieve a National Senior Certificate.
Through direct instruction, multi-sensory learning, and technological supports, students build academic knowledge, executive functioning skills, study skills, and a heightened awareness of how they learn best.
Throughout our programme, we focus on teaching students compensatory strategies to self-manage their areas of challenge.
We have had a 100% Matric pass rate since our first Matrics in 2017, along with a number of Bachelor’s passes each year.
A unique destination for the education of students who learn differently:
Experience difficulties in learning in large traditional schools?
Need a mainstream style education with a specialist approach?
Need teaching tailored to how they learn best?
Aspire to achieve a National Senior Certificate?
‘#Plus1’ – a theme that encourages self-reflection and personal ownership in all aspects of each learner’s school experience.
The school gates open at 7am. If you have a phone you will hand it in, and pack from your locker if you signed up for one. You might check the notice boards for new postings.
Class teacher’s period is from 7:50 – 08:00. Hereafter, the day is divided into 30 minute lessons, mostly as double lessons, but sometimes as singles or triples. Staff stay in their classes and students move from class to class over the day.
First break is at 10:30 to 11:00. You are free to socialise and sit where you choose, but soccer is a popular breaktime activity. You might also have a Class Reps meeting, and Thursday is tuckshop. Being high school, you are responsible for your own food choices but sugary foods and drinks are not permitted.
On Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, your day ends at 14:45 with second break between 13:30 and 13:45. On Wednesday, second break is replaced by Utility Period (used for clubs, assembly, house events, or other things) and your day ends at 14:15. On Friday there is no second break and the day ends at 13:00. You might leave school slightly early one day a week if you are in Grades 10-12 and take electives off campus.
Afternoon activities start 15 minutes after school for an hour; whether you have an activity depends on your progress and involvement. You are free to go home when you are done, otherwise you need to be fetched by 16:30 at the latest.
At times, you might find yourself going on an outing, or raising funds for various causes by coming in civvies for a day. There might also be an evening event that you are helping out at as a school leader, or maybe there is a fun social event for students.
HIGH SCHOOL PRINCIPAL
James Buchanan is a BSc (Hons) graduate of UCT with 25 years in High School education. James began his career at Wynberg Boys’ High but has taught in a number of schools locally and overseas, holding various roles, including National Examiner for the IEB.
James has a passion for helping young people to be their best.
He has written a book called A Skills Standard for Budding Scientists, and has recently completed a Masters degree in study skills. He is married with two adult children.
Oakley House High School has a strong commitment to blended learning – conventional teaching supported by electronic devices. We view devices as tools and use them to provide special needs support, as a tool for notes and presentations, as a platform for e-books, and for organisation and communication. We use the Acer Chromebook R11 and all students are required to have their own device at school daily.
Oakley House High School follows the National CAPS Curriculum (CAPS). This facilitates learners moving into our school, or out of our school back into the mainstream system. Curriculum delivery and assessment are monitored by the Western Cape Education Department. Despite this we tailor both of these to maximise accessibility to our students.
Reports are a record of past achievement and a basis to plot future directions. Detailed reports are emailed to parents at the end of each term.
We try to keep the workload to only what is necessary. Meaningful homework has value, especially to students who take longer to learn. You can support homework as parents, bearing in mind that children are needing to become independent, and that doing homework for your children is detrimental on many levels. Homework is posted by staff via an app, visible to students, and parents who sign up.
Oakley House facilitates project completion by setting milestones for students. We write tests in class on an ongoing basis. Internal exams happen in June and November for Grades 7 - 11. Exam timetables are issued well in advance of exams to allow students adequare planning time. Exams are written in one of two daily sessions and students stay home when they are not writing.
Students are all expected to participate in a club in the Wednesday Utility Period. Clubs are designed to meet the students’ interests. Some current clubs are Coding, Photography, Hiking, Craft and modelling, and Paws & Claws. Students can participate in a wide variety of sport at nearby Bergvliet High School, playing in Bergvliet colours. Cross country is offered from our own premises.
Our system of Houses, overseen by House Heads, provides regular fun events, like Sports Day, throughout the year and creates an atmosphere of healthy competition. The whole school attends this compulsory camp event; it is a great opportunity for bonding, with the emphasis on fun, socialisation and self actualisation. Students get involved in one community outreach project per term. There are a few social events throughout year, e.g. Solstice Social Evening, Movie Night.
School Leaders, House Heads, and Class Representatives comprise our leadership opportunities, allowing students to grow as individuals and to have a voice in shaping their school.
All teaching staff are SACE-registered teachers, carefully selected for their ability to offer expert teaching and to connect with their students. Staff receive ongoing professional training through our in-house Oakley House Training & Support Centre. Subject teachers are specialists in their field and passionate about their subjects.
In-class facilitators assist students with exceptional needs and provide greater individual assistance, primarily with organisation and focus. The type and extent of facilitation is decided on an individual basis and decided by mutual agreement with parents as it comes at additional cost.
Our counselling department provides a safe, supportive, confidential space to assist students with social, emotional and behavioural needs. Counselling sessions are available free of charge on campus. Where necessary, we refer students externally for more specialised input, in which case, fees and payments is a private arrangement between therapist and parents.
Oakley House endeavours to support whatever concessions students are entitled to. Some common concessions are extra time, scribing, reading, prompting, use of a computer. Concession support is an additional cost.
We also offer, at no cost, supervised homework in a quiet environment where students can get on with homework after school, and supplementary lessons, geared towards subjects identified as needing extra support.
All students are exposed WiseUp, our own Learning and Study Skills programme with the principles being reinforced during class lessons on an ongoing basis.
Our grounds are completely enclosed and student movement onto and off the property is monitored. The school is equipped to deal with medical emergencies, with the back-up of rapid response paramedic services. Safety drills are practiced regularly.
Staff and duty students monitor break times. We do not tolerate bullying or unkindness in any form and such behaviours are addressed according to the code of conduct. As part of our commitment to a safe environment, learners may not carry cellphones during the school day.
We are proud of our school and we expect adherence to our values and code of conduct which address how we interact with others and our physical environment on a daily basis. While we have a relaxed approach to dress, we have a uniform and expect that it is worn properly. Standards apply to hair and jewelery, even though we have a pragmatic and gender neutral approach to these. We acknowledge laudable actions with merits, but likewise we use demerits for correction and Friday Reflection for more serious issues. We expect students to exhibit ownership of their academic progress and personal lives.
Textbook and stationery lists are made available on enrolment, with some items subject to changing WCED requirements. Parents are required to provide personal stationery items and textbooks required in the grade. Some e-textbooks are prescribed, though these can be supplemented by hard-copy versions. A separate photocopying levy is payable each year and goes towards costs of individual printing, and academic hand-outs and assessments throughout the year.
All new students are required to purchase an Acer Chromebook R11, which comes with the required Educational Licence if purchased via the school portal.
Medication should as far as possible be taken at home. Arrangements can be made for the school to administer medication, in which case medication must be kept and administered by the school (usually the Secretary) according to a signed agreement; students may not keep medication on their persons. Day to day medication will only be given with parental consent.