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Primary Curriculum—Interview with Mr Talke from Drakensberg Primary

Drakensberg Primary School, opted for the Excellent version for grade 4, 5, 6 and 7.

I thank you kindly for your time and look forward to our next meeting!

  • This is an interview with Mr Shane Talke, who uses the CS4A curriculum with grades 5, 6, and 7. He has Afrikaans medium classes and some English medium classes.
    • Greta: Morning Mr Talke. Will it be alright if I observe the class for a while and can we talk after the lesson?
    • Mr Talke: No problem, we have 10 minutes left in this lesson.
    • Greta: (From interaction with the learners I can tell that they are very confident and are obviously enjoying their lesson. It is an Afrikaans Grade 5 class)
    • Greta: I see the kids are enthusiastic, how do you feel about the curriculum?
    • Mr Talke: It‘s very nice once it is on all the computers, we had only one problem, and that is if the kids save at the end, they save over the existing file, so I have to walk around and make sure that they do save as and go to their own folder. I do that in the beginning of the lesson, and then they can start the activity.
    • Greta: Of course that must be a hassle. We can prevent that problem by making the files Read-Only before you put them on the computers. That way the learners are forced to go to save as and change the name or location.
    • Mr Talke: Ok, We‘ll do that from now on. The curriculum came on DVD so I first had to copy it onto a CD because our computers only read CD‘s. But that‘s OK.
    • Greta: I see you have printed some of the curriculum. Which parts did you print out?
    • Mr Talke: Only the Teachers Guides. There is no time to use all the assessments so I choose one of them and I‘ll print that out when I need it.
    • Greta: Have you printed any of the learners‘ work or examples for the class room or posters?
    • Mr Talke: No, we haven‘t. There is no printer in the classroom at the moment so that would be difficult.
    • Greta: How much time would you say is taken up for preparation and or admin for these lessons?
    • Mr Talke: Preparation takes me about half an hour a week, I just go over the activities for all my classes for the coming week, which is grades 5, 6 and 7‘s, I do the activities for myself. Hardly any time is spent on admin.
    • Greta: Is the curriculum easy to understand; are there any difficult parts?
    • Mr Talke: It‘s a very nice program and you know exactly what‘s going on. There is no wasted time; everything is explained step by step.
    • Greta: Wow, that‘s nice to hear, that was precisely our intention! Can I ask what qualification and / or experience you have with regard to computers?
    • Mr Talke: I did Advanced Office with a local college and taught TD with CAD and 3D Design, so I have a few years of computer experience under my belt.
    • Greta: Nice, I‘m delighted! Maybe you would consider getting an ICDL? (I explain briefly that is an internationally recognised qualification on general computer literacy and that candidates need to pass the 7 exams to get qualified. Mr Talke would not need to attend class, he could just do the diagnostics and the exams only!)
    • Greta: Do you feel that there should be an Afrikaans version of the curriculum?
    • Mr Talke: Yes, it would be nice to have some activities in their mother tongue.
    • Greta: What general comments do you have on the curriculum? Can you give us any tips for improvement?
    • Mr Talke: It‘s very user friendly and the kids enjoy it a lot! Some are quick to finish and then I give them the next activity. The teachers Guides could use some more explanation in some places, e.g. which colours to use. The LEARNIBG plan GROUPS ALL THE Word activities first and then the Excel activities etc, but it looks like different in the Teachers Guide.
    • Greta: Hmm, that‘s interesting; we will need to check that out. The sequence is supposed to be the same, although the teacher can obviously change that if he/she wants to.

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