The academic programme at HERZLIA tried and tested over many years, is based on a sound educational philosophy that:
- the academic needs of children are best met when they are developmentally ready for each new challenge.
- children learn best when teaching is child-centred.
- children make most progress in an inclusive environment which respects everyone’s individual strengths and weaknesses.
- an academic programme cannot be viewed in isolation but must be steeped in the values of our forefathers.
- our academic programme must also be closely linked to the other three pillars of the HERZLIA system as well as to the wider society in which we co-exist.
- the child functions best when the school has a positive and close partnership with the parents.
- our teachers are regularly provided with professional development opportunities to ensure cutting edge classroom practice.
Our phases of education
The First Phase of a child’s education begins at the age of 18 months in our pre-schools. The child-centred approach of the teachers ensures professional monitoring of each individual through their four years of formative education, ensuring there is a strong focus on developing self-esteem and carefully nurturing each child’s potential.
The Foundation Phase, begins with Grade R in the pre-schools, where the children are phased into a slightly more formal desk-based curriculum interspersed with plenty of play and opportunities for creative, project-based learning. The children then progress to Grade 1 in one of our three primary schools where they are introduced to a much more formal academic environment.
With their formative skills now firmly in place, the pupils move into the Intermediate Phase in the primary schools where the academic programme becomes increasingly formal as they progress from Grade 4 – 6, culminating in their first formal set of exams at the end of Grade 6. During this phase we continue to follow the Department of National Education’s formal CAPS curriculum. Although assessment becomes much more test-based, it remains holistic including plenty of oral activities, assignments and project work.
At the end of Grade 6 pupils combine from our three primary schools into Grade 7 in the Middle School, where they will spend their Senior Phase years from Grade 7 – 9. During this time academic progress is measured more rigorously, although a much more relevant education takes place in the outside world. This time allows for the development of student leadership and encourages maximum participation in clubs, societies and sport, encouraging pupils to be involved in the community at large.
The Final Phase of education, the Further Education and Training (FET) Phase, takes place in the senior high school from Grade 10 – 12. Here the school has a carefully structured academic assessment programme that includes regular testing, projects and assignments. While the emphasis is on academics, there is time made available during the Grade 10 and 11 years for exciting programmes such as a community service projects, Gemilut Chassadim, science expos, life sciences camps, history trips, careers expos and work shadow. Encounter is a five day retreat for Grade 11’s run by Jewish Life and Learning. Students question and debate in an atmosphere that is mutually respectful, open and non-judgmental and also experience a fully observant Shabbat. HERZLIA also provides opportunities for pupils to visit Israel on various programmes.
The matric year is a very short one and the focus is on completing the academic requirements for matric and writing exams each term so that pupils can hone their study skills and exam writing techniques for the final matric exams.