Knowledge Network will be trading in Australia under the trademark KnowNet.
           
 
Release date 04 May 2009
   

 

 

 

 

 

SUCCESS OF ILAMM / PROGRESSIVE LEARNING PROGRAMME AT GREY HIGH SCHOOL
(the Grey High School streaming model)
 
The Knowledge Network Progressive Learning Programme is based on a series of project-based sessions. The sessions are well structured and enable the students in a variety of ways. It caters for the students who have minimal skills whilst at the same time can extend students with advanced skills. We find that the students focus on the project/tasks whilst having fun – a key element in high school students. We have been using this particular programme since the beginning of 2002, and have found it to have a high efficacy whilst at the same time being cost-effective and value for money.

Our Implementation Strategy

Our strategy has been refined over the years to maximize the effectiveness of the programme, and to consolidate the methodology (ILAMM). The Grade 8’s start on Level 01, which they complete in the first half of the year and Level 02 is then completed in the second half of the year, i.e. Grade 8’s complete two Levels in one year (6 months each). Grade 9’s take the whole year to complete the Level 3 Extended 01 programme. Thereafter, the students are streamed according to ability/achievements. Ideally, Grade 10’s complete Level 4 with Grade 11 completing Level 05. We felt that an intense approach to this curriculum would focus the students on applying the knowledge and obtaining the necessary skills. This also has the advantage of freeing up students in Grade 12 to concentrate on their other subjects. However, we have been finding that Level 01 and 02 has been under pressure over the past two years from a time perspective to complete the allocated sessions. This can possibly attributed to the following factors:

  •  incoming Grade 8’s are not as numerate and literate as in previous years (reading, writing, comprehension)
  • class sizes are bigger • increased external factors (sport, travelling, illness etc.)

Reporting

Reports are issued to students at the end of Terms 1, 2 and 4. We use our own report at the end of Term 1, which includes the following information: • Name • Class • Level • Student % (based on the Skills Evaluation) • Class Average % • Grade Average % • Total number of lessons • Total number of lessons attended

Note: Percentiles no longer form part of the actual reporting method, and schools should have converted to the number system with comments (1-6), we will continue to use percentiles as a means of bench marking our students for ICT, until such time as Knowledge Network adjusts their criteria for a Certificate/Diploma. We feel that percentiles are an acceptable method of analysis in this situation.

Streaming

All Grades follow the Level 01-05 Standard curricula, except for Grade 9 where the Level 03 Extended 01 curriculum is used. At the end of Grade 09, we assess their competency based on the Level 03 Extended 01 examination. On achieving a minimum of 70% (and obtaining a Certificate), they are allowed to proceed to a Level 04 class, whilst those not achieving the standard repeat Level 03 in Grade 10, i.e. they are streamed according to ability. This happens again at the end of Grade 10. In effect, in Grade 10 we have Level 03 and Level 04 classes that run concurrently. In Grade 11, we have Level 04 and Level 05 classes that run concurrently. Level 03 is the minimum standard which our students should attain. Our first class of Level 05’s was in 2004, and as can be seen by the streaming model, not all students will reach Level 05. We currently have 34 students in the Level 05 class.

Rewrite Examinations

We introduced the concept of rewrite examinations; these take place twice yearly, usually at the end of the 1st and 3rd terms. This allows our students to move into a higher Level class, should they not have achieved the Certificate (70%) the first time around. They can rewrite for as many times as they wish as long as they are in Grades 8-11. They are extremely popular and students need to register and an examination fee is charged per examination. It is understood by the students and parents that school fees include the curriculum and examinations, except any extra examinations. It is a minimal cost, which essentially covers the printing of the certificate and any courier charges.

Skill Evaluations and Level Examinations

The Skill Evaluations and Examinations are well structured and cover the various skills comprehensively, doing so in the allocated time frame of 1 hour. The examinations are set by Knowledge Network, and include comprehensive instructions and a marking rubric. It is marked by the teacher (mentor), and scripts are couriered to Knowledge Network for moderation – only those who have 69% and above are sent for moderation. One of the key aspects is the reading and interpreting of the evaluations – it is surprising to see how few students actually read what they are required to do. This is a global trend, and we are working on this aspect with our academic support team. We use Readers are Leaders to monitor and evaluate the students literacy level.

Certification

All students achieving 70% or more receive a Certificate under the auspices of Knowledge Network. Students really value these, but it is in Grade 11 that they see the real benefit, when successful students obtain the Diploma.

Since 2002, we have issued the following number of Certificates and Diplomas:

Level 01 Certificate  508
Level 02 Certificate 561
Level 03 Certificate 344
Level 03 Extended 1 Certificate 253
Level 04 Certificate 376
Level 05 Diploma 115
Outreach Certificates 67
Total 2,224

Efficacy

This is based on the number of Diplomas awarded based on the Level 05 class size after streaming, according to successful prior completion of all the Levels, i.e. all students must have obtained all Certificates from Level 01 - 04.

2005 17 ex 18 94%
2006 16 ex 31 52%
2007 29 ex 33 88%
2008 23 ex 30 77%

“Partners in Education”

We have implemented the Knowledge Network Progressive Learning Programme using ILAMM, and I would recommend this programme to anyone who wishes to have essential business ICT skills, amongst other skills, that can be utilized effectively after school.

Network

Numerous network changes were implemented this year. Fast and reliable access to data has always been vital to the smooth running of the school. At the beginning of 2008, steps were taken to improve network performance and availability whilst building on the existing infrastructure.

From a performance point of view, the network backbone was upgraded to 1Gbps. The fibre optic infrastructure that was installed at Grey a few years ago is now being used to its full potential. All the computers in the computer rooms now connect at 1Gbps. We have standardised on Cisco networking equipment, the international benchmark.

In order to provide maximum uptime of server resources, critical data areas run in a clustered environment. In this configuration, a single server failure will not result in a loss of connection to the Data Servers or Microsoft Exchange Server data.

The server environment makes use of virtualization to maximize the use of the server hardware that has been purchased. Virtualization allows more than one virtual server to run on a physical server machine. The servers have been installed using the Novell OES2 operating system for the Data Servers and Windows Advanced 2003 Server for the Exchange Servers. Novell ZenWorks is used to deploy applications to workstations and control access to network resources. Mail Marshall is used to monitor and filter email. We have implemented an automated call logging system (Request Tracker) for reporting problems, this runs on a Linux server – this has saved us time in monitoring and resolving users’ problems.

Sibelius and PhotoScore are installed in all 3 computer laboratories, the boarding house laboratory and music laboratory for the music students. In line with our commitment to stay abreast of technology, and as part of our rollover system, one of our computer rooms was upgraded with 36 computers.

We currently have 3 computer laboratories, a boarding house laboratory, a music-, EGD- and 2 remedial laboratories for student use. All classrooms are networked for the teacher’s use. A 512k Business ADSL connects the network for communication.

C I Townsin
Director: ICT
Grey High School
Port Elizabeth, South Africa
2009-05-04

 

 

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Date of update: 22 March 2010