Basic statistical information about Manzomthombo is provided by the Western Cape Education Department: click on the image below. According to the statistics, all learners in the school have isiXhosa as their home language, and they are taught in English. In Grades 10 and 11, roughly half the learners take mathematics and half take mathematical literacy. In Grade 12, the numbers on roll are reduced, from over 300 to about 160, and of these remaining learners, about 75% take mathematical literacy.
The school also has a FaceBook page.
One teacher, Memory Dizha, is taking part in the FaSMEd research.
What’s happened so far …
We visited Manzomthombo Secondary School on 13th November 2014. Memory was waiting for us and took us to a computer room where a teacher was doing some revision with some learners at the front of the room. We sat in the back and we discussed Memory’s possible involvement in the project. Although she had mentioned the project to some of her colleagues none of them joined us but she said that she would talk to them again.
Memory has many commitments and she is very busy, so she is not sure how much time she can give the project. However, we assured her that we will help her prepare for any lessons she teaches for Fasmed. She was also concerned about driving all the way to Muizenberg for cluster meetings. We assured her that we would try to help her get there or perhaps organise a meeting at a more convenient location.
Memory wants to take part in the project and we have agreed that Memory will begin by teaching one lesson and we will take it from there.
We met with the principal, Mr Matiso briefly. He indicated that he was fully supportive of Memory taking part in the research and said that he would be happy if other members of the maths department wanted to. He asked how else we might forge links between AIMSSEC and the school, and we volunteered to run a workshop on formative assessment, either for the maths department or for anyone from the whole staff who wanted to come along.
Memory taught an ordinary lesson on 5th March, on the topic of exponents. We took observation notes and produced a report on the lesson. Memory was given the report and invited to comment, but it seems they were happy with the report.
She taught the research lesson on exponents on 10th March. She had arranged that she could use the regular mathematics lesson as well as half of the learners’ interval time. We have produced a report on the lesson and shared it with her.
Memory wanted to present something of her experience to a wider audience, so together we prepared a presentation for the national conference of the Association of Mathematics Education in South Africa (AMESA), which was held in July 2015. Memory presented in the ‘How I teach’ strand.
On 17th August Memory taught the Time-distance graphs lesson and we produced a report.
We showed her the lesson we had produced for grade 9 revision for Regis, at Fairmount School. She said she wanted to use it with her research class so we prepared it and took it to school on 4th November, when she taught it. We are preparing a report on the lesson.