During the eighth grade, the learners start to experience the end of their childhood. Intellectually they become stronger and begin to understand the bigger picture of the world that surrounds them. The curriculum illustrates relationships – especially the one between people and the environment, science and history.

History as the human experience

An emphasis is placed on the experience of the individual in a rapidly changing world. The teacher strives to link history to the present time, highlighting how human life has been changed by events such as the Industrial Revolution and through technology.

South African history allows the learner to explore the human struggle for freedom and equality, and biographies of influential individuals help students learn about complex political landscapes through the eyes of historical figures. This lends a very human, relatable quality to the study of history which in turn works alongside geography where trade and communications between nations are explored.

The poetry of language

English lessons introduce the learner to short stories and various poetic forms which are used to encourage each student to explore their own creative potential. Grammar and vocabulary are improved through this literature and learners continue to explore different methods of writing, including summaries, business writing and research papers. The Class 8 group works together to create a play, based on one of the stories dealt with in the year. It is here where all aspects of play production are explored.

The dimensions of maths

Mathematics continues by building on the algebra taught in the previous year and extends to factoring and solving quadratic equations. Learners practise many skills that have been taught over the years and they grow masterful in working with integers, fractions and decimals.

Geometry introduces the learner to solid geometry where the five platonic solids are taught and constructed. The Pythagorean theorem is extended to include three-dimension, and volume and surface area is applied to as many solids as possible.

Challenging concepts through science

Human anatomy and physiology are introduced during the science lessons with a focus on the skeletal system. The learner gets to see how form and function unite in the creation of the human skeleton and the role of the muscles, the senses, the nervous system, and the brain are also examined.

Eighth grade physics investigates light by gaining a better understanding on concepts such as the origin of colour and diffraction. Chemistry takes an holistic approach to the periodic table which leads to further introduction to chemical reactions.

Art in time

The learners are taken on a journey through time in the creative art lessons as they explore the primitive art of great ancient civilisations and work their way towards modern art in the technological age – a journey that allows  design and creative skills to grow.

Craft and handwork activities let technology arise within the lessons and the learners partake in woodwork, sewing on machines, copper beating and macramé.

Class 8 is a very important year socially, and the learners spend the year bonding as they continue their journey into high school. It remains vital that they learn to work together and build healthy, social relationships.

As a class, they continue to refine communication skills and explore ways to remain warm while becoming unique individuals. 14-year-old learners not only want to move out into the world, they also want to alter it, to conquer it, and to leave their mark upon it as a way of defining who they are. They begin to see the world differently, coming face to face with the raw facts of reality.

It is the task of the adult to strengthen the individual forces inherent in these learners and to stand firm before them with inner strength and conviction so that they may discover their own strength and way of life.

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