Subject Choice

Grey High School offers a wide range of subjects, which provides for a balanced and comprehensive curriculum. Below follows a description of each of the subjects offered in order that a student may make an informed choice. Strict selection may take place in subjects for which there is a high demand. In most cases, marks achieved in the Grade 9 June examinations are used as a basis for selection. However, behaviour and attitude are also taken into consideration. Every effort is made to accommodate the student's choice.

 

Subject Choice (Grade 10 -12)

In August of each year our Grade 9 students write a series of Aptitude Tests, conducted by Professors Mark and John Watson of the NMMU Psychology Department, in order to assist them with their choice of subjects for their Grade 10, 11 and 12 years. The results of these tests are provided to the students and their parents early in the 4th term, providing them with an opportunity to analyse the results and study the relevant recommendations. This is followed by a Subject Choice Meeting towards the end of October between the staff and parents in order to discuss individual concerns and queries. This meeting also provides Professor Mark Watson and various Heads of Departments with an opportunity to address the parents on the subject choice process. Together with the provision of voluntary career counselling by the School Counsellors, this process ensures that a calculated and informed decision is made by our Grade 9’s with regards to their subject choice.

 

Subject Choice Forms

Subject Choice Form for Grade 9 (to be completed in Grade 8)

 

Subject Descriptions

The following information can be used as a guideline for making subject choices:

 

LANGUAGES

ENGLISH
English Home Language is a compulsory subject as this is an English medium school. Students are taught to communicate efficiently, effectively and correctly and they are trained in comprehension, general grammar and oral skills. Strong emphasis is placed on improving the students’ own critical skills and on their ability to correct their own writing. Literature forms an increasing part of the required work and therefore good reading habits are very important.

In the junior Grades the literature course concentrates on developing good reading skills and habits, with some work on poetry and film. The senior literature course expands on this with the study of drama - Shakespeare - and a more formal approach to poetry, novels and short stories.

AFRIKAANS
All students are offered either Afrikaans as a Home or an Additional Language.

ISIXHOSA
isiXhosa is an African Language belonging to the Nguni group of African languages. Students may continue with Xhosa in Grade 10 as an Additional Language, but this is only for students whose home language is isiXhosa They therefore take isiXhosa as an Additional Language instead of Afrikaans. The curriculum includes a general study of language, a literature component covering poetry, novels and short stories and emphasises effective communication.

 

SCIENCES

MATHEMATICS
This subject requires the ability to deal with numerical concepts on an abstract level. The FET band builds on the work done in Grades 8 and 9, so 50% for the Grade 9 examination is a suitable benchmark for likely success in Grade 10 and above. Success in Mathematics can only be achieved with self-discipline and regular hard work. For those who have enthusiasm and motivation, Mathematics is a stimulating and rewarding subject.

MATHEMATICAL LITERACY
Mathematical Literacy is a more practically-based mathematics course. All mathematical concepts covered are done so within the context of real-life applications which makes this subject ideal for students who struggle with the abstract concepts of mathematics. It is a practical and interesting alternative to pure Mathematics.

PHYSICAL SCIENCES
The Grade 12 curriculum covers Physics (Electricity and Mechanics) and Chemistry (Physical, Inorganic and Organic). In Grade 10, light, waves & magnetism are also studied and a basis is laid for the Chemistry in Grade 11 and 12. Throughout the three years, the entire year’s work is examined at the end of each year and most of the Grade 11 syllabus is included in Grade 12.

Students who do not get over 65% for the science component of Natural Science in Grade 9 (and approximately the same mark for Mathematics) should not consider taking Physical Science as it is a subject which requires logical thought and continuous hard work. Students can expect to have to complete a number of projects and practicals.

LIFE SCIENCES
The Life Sciences involves the systematic study of life in the changing natural and man-made environment. This systematic study involves critical inquiry, reflection and the understanding of concepts and their application in society.

The objectives of the course are to foster an understanding of fundamental principles, and to promote an awareness of biological relationships and an interest in conservation (particularly locally). We also aim to make the subject enjoyable by relating human biology to the lives of our boys e.g. diseases, and how certain life-style choices affect their lives. The ecological section of the course includes a field trip to the Rocky Shore. The new NCS syllabus includes: Cell and Molecular Studies; Basic Life Processes in Plants and Animals; Environmental Studies; Biodiversity and Biomes.

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
The curriculum covers various aspects, of which programming and problem solving form about 50%. This needs a great deal of logical thinking and it has been proven over the years that students with marks less than 70% for Mathematics and for their First Language battle to master this component of the work.

On the theoretical side aspects like data representation, binary logic, hardware, software and networking are covered, as well as the social implications of computers on our lives.

Those students wishing to study this subject will need a keen interest in computers, but spending days on end in front of a computer (e.g. playing games) is by no means an indication of guaranteed success in this subject.

COMPUTER APPLICATIONS TECHNOLOGY
This course has some similarities to the compulsory Knowledge Network ® course being followed by all Grades 8-11 students – however there is a theoretical component.

 

ARTS AND HUMANITIES

HISTORY
History is a study of man, of his mistakes and of his development. The syllabus in Grades 10, 11 and 12 follows the passage of mankind over the past three centuries. In Grade 10 various themes are studied: The French Revolution, the Napoleonic era, the reaction to Revolutionary ideas in Europe. With regard to South African History, the following themes are studied: The events which led to the Unification of South Africa (1910) as well as the period in South African History: 1910 - 1924.

Success in History is dependent on an enquiring mind, a willingness to think and a determination to work hard. Analytical and logical thinking and a good general knowledge is encouraged. A project forms part of the course work.

GEOGRAPHY
Geography studies the world in which we live and how man interacts with the natural environment. The main themes are Physical Geography, Regional Geography, Human Geography and Mapwork Skills, which integrates the aforementioned disciplines.

VISUAL ARTS
Art is a full and demanding course requiring creative ability on the one hand and a determination to work hard on the other. The curriculum comprises of two aspects: History of Art studies the work of different artists and artistic periods and by Grade 12 comprises a full three hour examination and two theory projects. In the practical component, students will be expected to undertake a number of projects both at school and at home. Students wishing to choose Visual Arts should realise that many hours must be spent at home completing practical projects.

MUSIC
Music is offered as a full subject, which enables the student who has some musical ability to develop his talent. Candidates who have a measure of self-discipline and determination are ideally suited to this course of study as an enthusiastic approach to regular instrument practise is required.

The requirements of the subject include: Practical Instrument Work; Music Theory; Aural Training; Ensemble Work. (The latter category is catered for at Grey in the most comprehensive way possible).

At the discretion of the department head, a second instrument may also be studied if the student shows the ability to absorb the added workload and if teacher timetable space can be allocated to this.

Tuition is offered on a remarkably wide range of instruments at Grey. In rare instances where a student studies an instrument which is not offered at the school, the services of an outside teacher may be sought and mutual co-operation between the teacher and the school ensures that all of the student’s needs are catered for.

 

COMMERCE AND OTHER FIELDS

ACCOUNTING
Accounting focuses on measuring performance, and processing and communicating financial information about economic sectors. This discipline ensures that ethical behaviour, transparency and accountability are adhered to. It deals with the logical, systematic and accurate selection and recording of financial information and transactions, as well as the compilation, analysis and interpretation of financial statements and managerial reports for use by interested parties.

BUSINESS STUDIES
Business Studies is structured to develop the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values which are necessary for students to participate responsibly, productively and effectively in business activities in both the formal and informal sectors. The subject investigates how private and public enterprises can be best managed to achieve profit and other objectives while providing goods and services which satisfy human needs. It also deals with how individuals, through performing critical business roles, can participate and contribute positively to the South African and global economies. In no way whatsoever is it any kind of pre-requisite for any Commerce or Business Science degree at any university.

ENGINEERING GRAPHICS AND DESIGN
Engineering Graphics and Design (Technical Drawing) is the medium of communication used by engineers and architects in the design and production of goods, processes, services and systems. In this subject, students are expected to communicate effectively using verbal, written, visual, graphical communication and mathematical skills as applied to manufacturing, engineering and technology. This subject includes:

Applications and principles of mathematics and physical science;
The disciplines of mechanical, electrical and civil engineering;
Application of codes of practice as laid down by the SABS.


Specific content areas are:

Grade 10: Drawing instruments; standards and techniques; Dimensioning; Orthographic projections; Axonometric projections; Sectioning; Geometric constructions.
Grade 11: Freehand drawings; Engineering graphics; Curves of inter-penetrations; Developments; Perspective drawing.
Grade 12: Structural components; Working building drawings; Electrical working drawings; Mechanical systems.

A background knowledge of orthographic and isometric drawings as taught in Woodwork in Grade 8 and 9 at Grey High School would be a prerequisite when choosing Engineering Graphics and Design in the FET phase. Mechanical, Civil and Electrical Engineering as well as Architecture and the building industry are career possibilities.

LIFE ORIENTATION
Life Orientation is the study of the self in relation to others and to society. It is concerned with the personal, social, intellectual, emotional, spiritual, motor and physical growth and development of students, and the way in which these dimensions are interrelated and expressed in life.

Life Orientation guides and prepares students for life, and for its responsibilities and possibilities. It is an inter-disciplinary subject that draws on and integrates knowledge, values, skills and processes embedded in various disciplines such as Sociology, Psychology, Political Science, Human Movement Science, Labour Studies and Industrial Studies. It equips students to solve problems, to make informed decisions and choices, and to take appropriate actions to enable them to live meaningfully and successfully in a rapidly-changing society.

 

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