#BackOnTrack: Strengthening examination practice for Grade 10 and 11 learners

Western Cape schools now have the option of giving their Grade 10 and 11 learners more examination practice at the end of this year, to build up exam-writing muscle that was lost as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

A minute was sent to schools on 12 September 2022 advising them of this option to help learners get #BackOnTrack.

The minute offers schools the option of adapting the end-of-year assessment to an examination format where a greater variety of questions can be asked, allowing for more in-depth testing and practice in answering such questions under examination controlled conditions, so that learners are better prepared for future exams.

For the past two years, Grade 10 and 11 learners have not written full-scale exams. The amended Programme of Assessment was designed to allow for more teaching and learning time in response to the time lost during disruption during the Covid-19 pandemic, and proposed one 2-hour controlled test per content subject as the end-of-year assessment.

As a consequence, learners have not been getting enough examination practice. When they get to matric, they must write full-scale exams in all their subjects, which constitutes two subject papers in most content subjects and three subject papers for the languages. Many learners find this challenging because they are out of practice.

We cannot simply wait until matric to help these learners get #BackOnTrack – the work starts in earlier grades to ensure that they are in the best possible position to succeed in their National Senior Certificate exams.

The minute does not change the weighting of the test, or the content to be covered, to ensure that it is a fair assessment.

Schools that want to take up this option to adapt the format of the end of year assessment must apply to their district office for approval before the end of the 3rd term.

This #BackOnTrack intervention adds to the one announced at the start of the 3rd term: that Foundation Phase learners would spend more time on Reading and Mathematics at school each week, to reverse learning losses in Grades 1 to 3.

A #BackOnTrack communications campaign will also be launched, reaching out to parents as they play such a big role in supporting their children’s learning. The message will be shared through radio, social media, billboards, and online adverts. Parents can visit the ePortal for a range of resources to guide and support them.

Let us all work together to reverse the learning losses caused by the pandemic, and to make sure our children get #BackOnTrack!


 

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