Star Schools is a supplementary education service provider that has been delivering and facilitating turnkey teaching, learning and management solutions to basic education since 1968, with a specific focus on grades 10, 11 and 12.
As a registered service provider to the Gauteng Department of Education (GDE), we have been working in close collaboration with the department for more than four decades, and all our materials and programmes are developed in line with the national curriculum and tailored to meet the specific needs of South African high school learners.
Star Schools’ success in improving South Africans’ access to world-class education through the provision of top-quality supplementary educational products and services is unrivalled. Thousands of grade 10, 11 and 12 learners have achievedimproved high school results through our Saturday School, Matric Rewrite and Incubator programmes.
Star Schools’ shareholding structure constitutes a sustainable black shareholder base, of which is 42.5% is black-owned, and 15% is held by the Advtech Group.
STAR SCHOOLS HIGH
Star Schools High is located in the vibrant city of Johannesburg, South Africa’s economic hub, where learners are exposed to an open teaching and learning architecture that comprises a seamless integration between face-to-face and digital delivery methods.
Mystar Education & Business Solutions specialises in the development of customised end-to-end vitual learning solutions, offering a supply chain that encompasses the full spectrum of pedagogical, business, operational and technical services.
Published quarterly, the Star Talk e-newsletter, keeps Star Schools employees, partners and clients up to speed with the latest developments in the organisation.
Star Schools aims to build a stronger South African community by meeting the country’s literacy and education needs through the provision of an easy-access, high-value and high-impact learning experience, as stated in our original vision and mission.
To make world-class solutions accessible to all.
Provide affordable, sustainable world-class education solutions any time, any place, anywhere.
It was around 1968 when two men, one an English language specialist and the other a scientist, realised the financial potential of presenting extra lessons in English and science to groups of students, rather than individuals. The language specialist was Jacques Shellshop, while the scientist was none other than William Smith, who went on to become the country’s best-known and most popular television science and mathematics teacher.
The classes proved to be so successful that Shellshop and Smith were soon joined by a maths teacher and later, biology, history and geography teachers. It wasn’t long before the classes had evolved into a Saturday morning programme, aimed at preparing matric students for their final exams.
In the early seventies, the classes moved to the Witwatersrand University campus, where they remained until 2011. Over the years the programme came to be known as the Saturday School. It was soon followed by the Winter School.
Most of the founding members eventually moved on to other occupations, but Smith decided to turn the school into a formal business. “The Star Schools” was registered as a private company, the name being generated from a relationship with The Star newspaper, which owned a 50% equity in the new organisation.
During the political unrest of 1986, Aggrey Klaaste, then editor of The Sowetan, conceived the idea of a Rewrite school to assist learners who had lost out as a result of the examination boycott of that year. He approached Smith, who agreed to take it on.
Other rewrite programmes in existence at the time were permitted to register learners for the supplementary exams, usually written in March. Smith advocated, however, that three months was not enough time to teach learners who had lost out on an entire year of study.
Following intervention by Klaaste, the Ministers of Finance and Education sanctioned learners who registered for the Star SchoolsMatric Rewrite programme to write their final exams at the end of the year, effectively giving them the entire academic year for tuition. Additionally, it was decided that on passing the final exam, the learners’ statement of symbols and matric certificate would be amended to reflect the new results.
Around 950 learners registered to receive weekly tuition in the subjects for which they registered. Classes were held at the Witwatersrand University campus, and the first Star Schools Matric Rewrite exams took place at the end of 1987. The learners achieved an average pass rate of about 72%.
During the early nineties The Star sold its shares in the company and agreed that the name could be changed to Star Schools. Smith left the company in 1994 and Roger Briggs (current Chairman of the Board) became CEO until Atul Patel’s appointment in 2005.
Star Schools’ teaching methodology is based on four key interrelated components:
Learners are introduced to key concepts and theoretical aspects, which are broken down into their root components. This enables the learners to develop a working understanding of the underlying principles of the content.
Learners are guided through examples and activities so that the application of key concepts and theory can be demonstrated. This phase also acts as the first level of assessment, as the educator is provided with a snapshot view of the learner’s level of understanding and ability to practise the skills that have been taught.
The process of learning and understanding is always difficult when what is taught seems to have no bearing on everyday life. This stage contextualises learning within the real life context, showing learners how what they are learning will enrich their lives and understanding of the world around them. The purpose here is to illustrate that all learning is an interrelated process of gaining greater insight into oneself and one’s surroundings.
This stage tests the learner’s competency in key learning areas, with a view to providing a platform for proactive interaction and continuous corrective action that effectively closes the loop between ‘Expose’ and ‘Assess’. Assessments are deployed online, offline and through mobile technology. Additionally, the assessment framework provides a means of evaluating the usability and quality of the content, as well as the achievement of learning objectives.
As part of its corporate social investment portfolio, Star Schools has partnered with the Sunshine Centre Association, a non-profit organisation that provides early childhood intervention day care facilities to children with physical, developmental and intellectual disabilities.
Star Schools participated in the 2015 Casual Day campaign and raised more than R23 000 in the sale of Casual Day stickers on behalf of Sunshine centre.
Staff regularly visit the association’s early intervention centres in Craighall, Eldorado Park and Elsburg to interact with the children and learning practitioners.
Additional assistance is provided in the form of mentoring and skills transfer in various projects identified by Sunshine Centre.
In association with G1 Media, Star Schools sponsored the production of a marketing video for Sunshine Centre, to be used as part of its fundraising campaign.