Curro revamps Cape Town school into digital campus

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JP le Roux, executive head Curro Foreshore.
JP le Roux, executive head Curro Foreshore.

JSE-listed independent education provider Curro is fundamentally adjusting to digital learning, revamping one of its schools into a digital education campus that prepares learners for the fourth industrial revolution.

The group says its Cape Town-based technology-driven school, Curro Foreshore, is undergoing a makeover, and once completed, it will equip learners with critical skills they will need to navigate the future.

Curro Foreshore was the first school in the group to adopt the DigiEd model, providing a curriculum that focuses on mathematics, science, robotics and coding, in addition to more traditional subjects.

With more than 450 students enrolled this year, the group says learners previously used computers on a shared rotation model at times, but in 2021, each child will have a dedicated computer to maximise concentration and a sense of ownership.

Curro says ensuring each child has a dedicated desktop computer meant redesigning and renovating the school.

“Instead of shepherding kids into traditional classrooms, the school more closely resembles a modern co-working space. As of 2021, learners at Curro Foreshore will be placed in specific learning pods, and will spend most of their day in these pods with their own computer.

“A boon for parents is that the DigiEd model means no homework – and convenient drop-off and pick-up times – since the school day runs from 08:00 to 17:30. This allows learners to complete all their work at school, with access to their teachers if they encounter any challenges.”

According to Curro, classes are set up to be more flexible, since the DigiEd model has a more self-directed learning approach.

“Students log into an online learning platform where there are videos and other resources covering the topic under discussion, which they work through by themselves. However, they have constant access to teachers who can assist with questions and ensure every learner understands the work.”

Curro has appointed JP le Roux as executive head of the flagship technology-driven school.

Le Roux was previously head of mathematics and deputy principal at Cedar House School in Cape Town.

“The DigiEd model is much more than just an innovative learning experience and we are committed to giving learners an edge in the world.

“We have the opportunity to provide a safe, accessible and affordable learning space for all learners,” says Le Roux.

“Our school provides a quality learning environment that ignites creativity and imagination, and develops critical thinking and problem-solving skills, as well as out-of-the-box thinking.”

The revamp of Curro Foreshore comes on the back of growing demand for digital learning, which was prompted by the COVID-19-induced national lockdown, which began in March.

The lockdown affected normal schooling, pushing schools like Curro to turn to digital learning as an option.

In May, Curro launched a learn-from-home model with CAPS curriculum-aligned online material created and taught by its teachers.

CEO Andries Greyling also revealed technology is playing an important role in preparing students.

He said 60 000 devices connect on Curro’s closed network and data used daily equals 22 terabytes, with 43 703 Microsoft Teams collaborations every day.

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