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The Grade 4 to 7 department covers the Junior and Senior departments and has a total of twelve classes. Our classes are named after colours and each class contains learners of mixed ability. Individual learners’ needs are met through the careful planning of the teachers in order to support and challenge the learning. Pupils are encouraged to work in different ways and there is a broad balance of teaching and learning styles catered for so that all can achieve their full potential.
Pupils have opportunities to work individually as well as in collaborative group activities to enable the rate of progress through the curriculum to be appropriately targeted and tailored to their developing academic needs. While attainment is important at Gateway, we also value the progress that pupils make on a day to day basis. Different formative assessment methods are used to monitor learners’ progress. In Grades 4 and 5, we have 3 main mixed ability classes and a fourth class for pupils who work at a slower pace. These smaller classes cater for the needs of those learners who need more individual attention and who benefit from working at a slower pace than would be found in a mixed ability class.
In Grades 6 and 7, we have three main mixed ability classes only. Remedial teachers go into the classes and work as assistant teachers to help learners who struggle to grasp concepts quickly.
As a school we have Expected Student Outcomes that guide all our teaching and preparation. Our ultimate goal is to produce a student who meets all the requirements listed in our Expected Student Outcomes.
We have a set of values we have agreed to teach across the school. As we teach the values, we also cover what we want to instil in our pupils in order to achieve the Expected Student Outcomes we want to see as a Gateway Community.
At the end of each grade, pupils are expected to have grasped the concept taught during that year in preparation to move to the next level. Revision of work done during the previous grade is done before new concepts are introduced.
The child should be able to demonstrate their understanding of concepts taught by producing good results in both Mid-Year and End of Year class tests.
Work covered in the classrooms is based on the ZIMSEC (Ministry of Education) and Cambridge Primary Syllabi. The Grade Sevens also cover the CHISZ syllabus. We were the first school in Zimbabwe to write the Cambridge Primary School examination i.e. in 2005 and ever since our pupils produce very pleasing results each year. At the end of primary school, ZIMSEC examinations are compulsory and Cambridge Checkpoint examinations are optional. As a school, we teach from a Christian perspective and this means that we integrate the Bible into all our teaching whenever possible.
The following Special Days and variety of academic activities are done:
Maths Day and Language Day
Maths day is usually held during Term One while language day is held during Term Three. Teachers prepare a variety of fun maths activities to be done inside or outside the classroom. Pupils interact freely with their peers as they follow instructions and do the given activities throughout the morning. On Language Day, similar things happen but this time pupils would be doing language activities.
Open Days or Consultation Days and Projects Day
We hold two Open Days annually one during term 1 and the second during term3. We encourage all parents to make appointments with the school to see their children's books and discuss their children's work with the class teacher. We hold a combined Open Day and Projects Day during Term 2. Teachers display a variety of projects in the school and parents are welcome to visit the hall before or after meeting with their child’s teacher to discuss the child’s progress.
During term 2, instead of holding an open day we have an Interact Day. On this day parents come to their children's classrooms between 1100hrs and 1250hrs (the earlier the better). The children will be at school so each child shows his/her books to his or her parents, takes them round the class showing them his/her work on class walls. The parents do not discuss their child's work with the class teacher. They only discuss with their child. However, they are allowed to make an appointment with the teacher and speak to him or her on a different day. The teacher's job on this day is to observe how the child interacts with his/her parents only. Soon after the parents have seen their child's work, they take the child home.
Public Speaking Competition
There are two sections in this competition; the prepared speech (half a minute for juniors/ a minute for seniors) and then the unprepared speech (impromptu). One member of staff co-ordinates all of the public speaking activities. During round one all pupils prepare a speech and they are all given an opportunity to share their speech in front of their class.
The teacher selects the best two pupils from each house for round two, teachers in each grade get together with their classes and the house winners from each class give their speeches whilst all pupils from their grades listen.
Teachers select the best two juniors and three seniors from each house. The final or round three is held in the school hall and parents are welcome to attend. In this last round, external judges are invited and competitors get an opportunity to give their prepared speech first then later they are given a topic as they enter the hall and they only get a chance to think about the topic whilst they walk up the stage. This is always a very interesting time to watch and listen especially to young Grade 4 pupils who are good public speakers.
Seniors and juniors run separate competitions on the same day. Marks are added per House and the winning house gets a Trophy. The best junior and senior public speakers enter the Inter-school competitions.
Pupils who come first in the Inter-house Public Speaking Competition represent Gateway in the Inter-Schools. The standard in these Inter-Schools Competitions is very high.
Similar to the Public Speaking Competition, we also hold separate Inter-House Spelling Competitions for the Juniors and Seniors. During Round One, every pupil takes part in the competition because the test is written in classes. From each House, two competitors are selected to represent the house at Junior and Senior levels.
Our best spellers then move on to take part in the Inter-School Spelling Quiz. This Competition encourages pupils to learn to spell a variety of words. Gateway Primary School organises the Inter-Schools Spelling Quiz.
Inter-House General Knowledge Quiz
The Inter-House General Knowledge Quiz encourages parents to work with their children. It gives pupils a wide knowledge of the world around them. However, the GK Quiz is held at Inter-House level only and not Inter-School.
The Wildlife and Environment quiz is based on 10 categories of Wildlife, the environment and current affairs in Zimbabwe. The content that the children tested on is set by Wildlife and Environment Zimbabwe. The children who have an interest in the wildlife and environment attend the club once a week to learn about the facts. Visits are made to places such as the bird garden and botanical gardens which help to reinforce the facts and give the children some first-hand experience. The children who spend a lot of time outdoors are normally eager participants. Some of the children participate at Inter school level at the Mashonaland Preliminaries.
As a department, we participate in various national events. Every year, we take part in the National Allied Arts Competitions like Literacy Festival and Speech and Drama. Our pupils also take part in the Standard Newspaper story writing competitions called Cover to Cover.