Language is a tool for thought and communication. It is also a cultural and aesthetic means commonly shared among a people to make better sense of the world in which they live. Learning to use language effectively enables learners to acquire knowledge, to express their identity, feelings and ideas, to interact with others, and to manage their world.

English is a West Germanic language that was first spoken in medieval England and eventually became a global language. It has been developed over the course of more than 1000 years. English is the largest language by number of speakers and the third most spoken native language in the world.

Our English Home Language course consists of four genres at FET level (grade 10 – 12);

  • Language
  • Poetry
  • Novel
  • Drama

English First Additional Language consists of three genres at FET level

  • Language
  • Poetry
  • Short Stories

At the GET level (grade 8 – 9) the English Home Language course consists of

  • Language
  • Poetry
  • Folktales
  • Short Stories
  • Novel

Educators: S Matthews (Subject Coordinator), M Abbas,U Hendricks, C James, E Jansen, F Jassiem, B Moonasar, M November, E Vale.

Die aanleer van ‘n Eerste Addisionele Taal behoort leerders in staat te stel om:

  • taalvaardighede te verwerf wat nodig is om akkuraat en gepas te kommunikeer, met inagneming van die teikengroep, doel en konteks
  • met vertroue en genot te luister, praat, te lees/ kyk en te skryf/ aan te bied. Hierdie vaardighede en houdings vorm die grondslag vir lewenslange leer
  • eie idees, sienings en emosies, mondeling en skriftelik, met vertroue uit te druk en te regverdig ten einde selfstandige en analitiese denkers te word
  • die addisionele taal en verbeelding te gebruik om menslike ervarings uit te beeld – en te verken
  • die addisionele taal te gebruik om inligting te verkry en te bestuur
  • die addisionele taal te gebruik as ‘n instrument vir kritiese en kreatiewe denke.

Onderwysers: G Nyman (Subject Coordinator), B Davids, N Kamies, A Leendertz, W Wouters.

IsiXhosa is an African Language belonging to the Nguni group of the African languages. IsiXhosa is a very rich and deep language that is spoken by the majority of South Africans living in the Eastern Cape. It is also one of the official languages of South Africa.

Oaklands High School offers IsiXhosa as two subjects;

  • IsiXhosa First Additional Language (Grade 10 – 12)
  • IsiXhosa Home Language (Grade 10 – 12)

The study of IsiXhosa includes a general study of language, a literature component, covering poetry, novels and drama, and emphasises effective communication.

Many universities have made it compulsory for undergraduates to learn IsiXhosa.

Our mission, at Oaklands High School, is to teach learners how to speak, write and use language effectively as a tool for communication as well has develop a love of languages.

Educators: Q Sidinile (Subject Coordinator), Z Ngqambuza, N Mabizela.

The mission of the mathematics department is to provide an environment where students can learn and become competent users of mathematics and mathematical application, to instil analytical and logical thinking among students and promote Mathematical thought enabling them to become life-long learners, to continue to grow in their chosen professions, and to function as productive citizens. It is our belief that the rapidly changing technological advances have created a fluid and dynamic world for this generation of students. We can no longer predict and plan for the problems that these students will need to solve when they enter the work force. Therefore, we must make sure that our students have the core knowledge, and the skills to apply that core knowledge, to a variety of situations that are known and unknown to us at this time.

Mathematics and Mathematical Literacy are two separate subjects, which differ significantly from each other, with regards to content and the skills that they require students to develop. Compared to Mathematics, Mathematical Literacy is a far more practical subject, designed to equip students with the knowledge and skills they require to cope with everyday decisions, which involve Mathematics at some level.

Exercises are heavily contextual and involve the development of life skills relating to topics such as personal finance, foreign exchange, measurement, maps, trends, break-even points, quotations, data handling and the critical interpretation of the information presented by the media. Mathematical Literacy is essential for those who plan to pursue tertiary studies in Law, Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities, Teaching, etc.

Please note that, while it is possible to move from Mathematics to Mathematical Literacy, it is impossible to do the reverse.

Physical Sciences provide the foundation for students to ask the big questions about the nature of the universe from the scale of atoms all the way up to our own galaxy, and everything in between. Students will learn:

  • to understand the hidden workings of the world around them
  • communicate their ideas in a scientific context
  • conduct experiments
  • analyse data and draw meaningful conclusions
  • think creatively about real world problems
  • understand the role that science and technology plays in today’s world.

The subject is divided between Physics and Chemistry, and students will have many opportunities to perform experiments for themselves in both disciplines, which together with tests and other forms of assessments, will form part of the year mark. While it is important that students have a basic competence in Mathematics, curiosity is essential, and students are encouraged to ask questions as this is the very nature of scientific inquiry. While Physical Sciences is not necessarily difficult subject that it is often made out to be it is vital that students work consistently throughout the year.

Pure Mathematics is compulsory in order to do Physical Science. A successful science student will have shown that they are able to problem-solve, work hard and engage with abstract concepts. These are all critical attributes for someone wanting to pursue tertiary studies, and many causes require that students have Physical Science.

Career choices:  B.Science, Engineering, Medicine,Dentistry, Teaching, etc.

Life Sciences is the scientific study of living things from molecular level to their interactions with one another and
their environments. It use certain methods for broadening existing
knowledge, or discovering new things. These methods include formulating hypotheses and carrying out investigations and experiments as
objectively as possible to test these hypotheses. Repeated investigations are carried out and adapted. The methods
and results are analysed, evaluated and debated before the community of scientists accepts them as valid.
By studying and learning about Life Sciences, learners will develop:
  • their knowledge of key biological concepts, processes, systems and theories
  • an ability to critically evaluate and debate scientific issues and processes
  • greater awareness of the ways in which biotechnology and knowledge of Life Sciences have benefited humankind
  • an understanding of the ways in which humans have impacted negatively on the environment and organisms living in it
  • a deep appreciation of the unique diversity of past and present biomes in Southern Africa and the importance of conservation
  • an awareness of what it means to be a responsible citizen in terms of the environment and life-style choices that they make
  • an awareness of South African scientists’ contributions
  • scientific skills and ways of thinking scientifically that enable them to see the flaws in pseudo-science in popular media
  • a level of academic and scientific literacy that enables them to read, talk about, write and think about biological processes, concepts and investigations.

Geography is the study of human and physical environments. The subject combines topics related to physical and human processes over space and time. It helps us to understand our interconnectedness among groups of people, and between people and their environment. The main themes are physical and human geography. Physical geography examines natural processes and features including the atmosphere, landforms and ecosystems. Human geography investigates the activities and impact of people on the earth.

The Specific Aims of Geography are:

  • acquiring the ability to interpret the distribution and processes of physical and human phenomena
  • understanding the dynamic inter-relationship between physical and human world
  • locating places and the relationship between them according to scale
  • transferring skills from the symbolic to the verbal and vice versa
  • promoting the use of geographical information systems
  • committing to sustainable development
  • creating an awareness of development in the world

Geography aims to develop learners with skills to enhance the spatial arrangements or management of places in socially just, democratic and peaceful ways.

Educators: T Davids (Subject Coordinator), A Parker, F Thomas.

History at Oaklands High School is not geared towards the mindless absorption of facts.  Rather, you will be taught to develop skills which can serve you well in both your future careers and your private lives.

Skills such as:

  • Independent thinking
  • Research skills
  • Analytical skills

It is the mission of the History department to produce a young adult who recognises the injustices of the past and understands the need for a politically and economically inclusive society. Furthermore it is our aim to produce activist citizens, hence our emphasis on the study of the Civil Rights Movements and the Black Conscioucesness ideals. In short, we aim to produce leaders who are independently-minded individuals in any career of their choosing.

History is a subject which opens up certain obvious career paths – teaching, research and museum or archival work. It also provides an excellent preparation for a career in law, administration, government service, journalism or politics. Moreover, many businesses like to employ people who can generally be relied upon to think independently and exercise sound judgment – critical skills developed in History.

Educators: JB Smith (Subject Coordinator), M Abbas, N Hendricks, E Vale, W Wouters.

Accounting focuses on measuring performance and processing and communicating financial information about economic sectors.  This disciple ensures that principles such as 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, interpretation and communication of financial statements and managerial reports for use by interested parties.

The subject encompasses accounting knowledge, skills and values that focus on the financial accountingmanagerial accounting and auditing fields.  These fields cover a broad spectrum of accounting concepts and skills to prepare learners for a variety of career opportunities.

The subject, Business Studies, deals with the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values critical for informed, productive, ethical and responsible participation in the formal and informal economic sectors.  The subject encompasses business principles, theory and practice that underpin the development of entrepreneurial initiatives, sustainable enterprises and economic growth.

Business studies will ensure that learners:

  • Acquire and apply essential business knowledge, skills and principles to productively and profitably conduct business in changing business environments.
  • Apply basic leadership and managerial skills and principles while working with others to accomplish business goals.
  • Are motivated, self-directed, reflective learners who responsibly manage themselves and their activities while working towards business-goals.

Technology is a subject that contributes towards student’s technological literacy by giving them opportunities to:

  • develop and apply specific design skills to solve technological problems
  • understand the concepts and knowledge used in technology education and use them responsibly.
  • solve problems creatively.
  • work collaboratively with others in groups.
  • gain practical skills

The subject introduces students to basics needed in all Engineering fields. Students gain ideas in the way engineers apply scientific principles to practical problems. Students will build bridges, cranes and towers. They will work with mechanical and electrical systems.

Students will combine thinking and doing in a way that links abstract concepts to concrete understanding. Technology will provide students with some experience to help them make career choices at the end of grade 9.

Physical Science (grade 10-12) is linked to technology in the FET phase.

Career choices: Engineering, Artisans, Quantity Surveyors, Architects etc.

Life Orientation (LO) equips learners for meaningful and successful living.  Thus, Life Orientation is the study of the self in relation to others and society. It addresses skills, knowledge and values about the self, the environment, responsible citizenship, a healthy and productive life, social engagement, recreation and physical activity, careers and career choices.

The Life Orientation Department at Oaklands High School aims to develop learners holistically, scaffolding skills for lifelong living.  Learners are encouraged to think critically before making decisions. Life is beautiful and exciting, but life also poses challenges and obstacles.

Thus, in life, stop to think before making decisions.

Active engagement in the classroom through discussion as method of inclusion, encourages participants to be part of the Construction Team, whilst forging their own narratives in life. Learners participate in active discussion as agents who live and experience their own stories. This encourages team building, enquiring attitudes – skills needed to participate as citizens in a democracy.

Career choices: Engineering, Artisans, Quantity Surveyors, Architects etc.

Educators: M November (Subject Coordinator), B Davids, P Dendere, N Hendricks, N Kamies, A Leendertz, M MacMinn, B Moonasar.

Creative Arts at Oaklands High School encompasses three foci viz Visual Art, Dance and Drama.

Creative Arts is a subject which lends itself to learners experiencing a sense of enjoyment, a feeling of confidence and fulfilment. They provide contexts in which children learn to express their thoughts and emotions, use their imagination and develop creativity.

At Oaklands our lessons are structured and CAPS aligned but we also sometimes provide alternative options which arts lends itself to depending on circumstances.

VISUAL ART: Arts enrich our pupils’ ‘aesthetic experiences’ by helping to stimulate creativity and imagination. It provides them with the means of exploring and recording their environment and develops powers of observation and creative thought, whilst equipping them with artistic skills they could use in later life. Our school also participates in the WCED Art Gala where we achieved second prize at grade 9 level.

DANCE: Dance affords learners the opportunity to develop social skills,  teamwork skills and express themselves freely as they interact with other learners or perform individually. The Hip Hop dance genre is offered as an extra-mural at our school and Oaklands learners have the option of attending these after school classes. Last year we had an Oaklands learner participate in Kwazulu Natal in the Hip Hop championships and this year one of learners has been selected as well.

DRAMA: Our learners appear to be naturally skilled in drama and eagerly participate in lessons which are presented in a non- judgmental way. Learners are provided with a safe space in which to express themselves. They enjoy the opportunity granted for freedom of expression, which takes place in a structured environment in which they play a part in establish the class ethics or rules. This increases their critical awareness of the roles and purposes of drama in different times and for different purposes.

Educators: E Jansen (Subject Coordinator), N Kamies, M MacMinn, A Manuel.