The Art Department
The Art Department aims to develop students’ aesthetic, imaginative and critical creative and thinking skills. This aim is achieved through the implementation of a well balanced programme, starting from the compulsory art curriculum at junior level ( Form 1&2); “O level”; and senior “ A level” programme levels. Through the study of different processes and media, students are encouraged to learn and practise in a broad range of techniques (2 D, 3 D & installation) so they can be adequately prepared for a wide range of professional endeavours.
The Biology Department is a large department and has a team of well-qualified staff. Biology remains a popular subject choice, but there is sometimes a tendency to view it, erroneously, as a ‘soft-option’ science. The laboratories are well equipped and maintained and the department has a competent trained technician to manage the numerous practical activities required.
Biology is offered at all academic levels, and these satisfy the entrance criteria for most international universities and colleges. Indeed, many of the College leavers are currently studying very successfully abroad. The courses offered provide a good basic background for a multitude of career options – agriculture, sport, research, health and medical and conservation.
The Business Studies Department has grown into one of the largest at the College. Three subjects are offered – Economics, Business Studies and Accounts. These are offered at both Cambridge IGCSE and at AS/A level. Business Studies and Economics are also offered There is no doubt that, increasingly, students are seeking to pursue careers in business and this has resulted in a rapid growth in the popularity of these subjects. Over half the students at the College are studying one or other of the business subjects.
The College boasts two well established chemistry laboratories for a department of three members of teaching staff. The department prepares pupils to sit Cambridge IGCSE, AS and A. An important part of the latter is research based projects where pupils are required to investigate chemistry aspects of their choosing. The department aims to produce capable scientists who can investigate many aspects of chemistry in a safe and accurate manner. The theoretical teaching program is underpinned by an extensive series of laboratory practical investigations.
The English Department at St John’s is large, with a complement of seven to eight, full-time teachers. From Form One, all boys study both English Language and Literature and by the start of the “O” Level syllabus, have a good foundation in the study of prose, poetry and drama, including Shakespeare. Based on the results in the Form Two November examinations, classes are “set”, although at the end of Form Four, all pupils write IGCSE Language (Extended not Core) and IGCSE Literature.
Since 2008, all Lower Sixth students write L6AS English Language, ensuring the increased facility in the use of English which this course provides. Optional in Lower Sixth is Literature in English. This involves the study of four texts and the writing of two examination papers at the end of the year. For “A” Level two further texts are studied and there is an “unseen” paper involving poetry, prose and drama.
All pupils study French until the end of form two whereupon they decide whether to continue to I.G.C.S.E. level. Following I.G.S.C.E., French is offered. The French department adopts a communicative and dynamic approach to language learning utlilising as many audio visual aids as possible and ensuring that a second language is meaningful.
IGCSE Physical Education is offered from Form 3 and top graduates have the option of pursuing the Professional Fitness Trainers Certificate offered by the Exercise Teachers Academy for professionals, based in South Africa.
Geography in St John’s seeks to provide an understanding of different communities and cultures throughout the world accentuating awareness of the contrasting opportunities and constraints presented by different human and physical environments. St John’s offers geography at IGSE and A/S History.
Through teaching of the evolution of economies, dynasties, families, politicians and society the aim of St John’s history department is to introduce learners to rigorous questioning, problem solving and historical thinking. The history department regularly facilitates international tours to Europe.
Equipped with up-to-date personal computers and latest releases of E-Learning platforms the ICDL course is compulsory for all students with Sixth Formers able to complete the A+ Certification.
At all levels St John’s mathematics department hopes to instill in its students an interest and a love for problem solving. At IGCSE, maths is offered at the “Core” or the “Extended” Level. Sixth Form pupils may choose to study for the Cambridge “A” level syllabus. Students enter the Mathematics AS examination after their first year.
Promoting a well-rounded knowledge of musical instruments, voice, theory and history each junior is given the opportunity to play a full array of instruments. Choices include marimba bands, pipeband, choirs, electric bands and certain orchestral instruments. St John’s participates annually in the NIAA Music Eisteddfod with the Pipe and Marimba bands regularly touring to South Africa, Scotland and Germany. Plays, a Christmas carol service and productions in conjunction with the Performing Arts Department are a regular feature of the music calendar.
Physics is the key to all worthwhile professions, from the obvious fields like engineering and medicine to the “less illustrious” areas like accountancy and even law. Physics is a popular choice at St John’s College on account of excellent success rates and the manner in which students and teachers enjoy the subject.
The Shona department boasts an excellent modern language teaching and learning library and educational field trips have become a tradition. Shona is compulsory for all students in Forms 1 and 2.