On the ground
School Support Program
The XL School Support Program (SSP) is an innovation-based program that is designed to bring long-term, sustainable change to the teaching and learning at schools. It combines the best of tech and teacher, online and on-the-ground.
We supply the schools with suitable classroom tech – including laptop, projector, speakers and screen, along with all the necessary cables. These can be packaged into a simple, portable “Tech Box” to enable it to be shared between different teachers, and secured at the end of the day – or part-installed (e.g. screen and projector) to facilitate easy use.
The main objective of the program is to empower teachers with resources, training and mentorship to enable them to give the best possible support to the learners. The key resources include:
- Videos to complement their instruction (mostly XL Videos, CAPS-aligned and custom-made for the content and context)
- Written materials to assist with examples, practice and assessment
- Other materials – such as PowerPoints & recommended websites
Beyond this we encourage teachers to explore and collaborate to build their own confidence and unique set of resources.
To assist teachers in their own Personal Development, we run hands-on training sessions at the outset, giving teachers confidence to cross the tech-divide for the first time, or advance their skills. And then we remain connected with our teachers through virtual support, e.g. via WhatsApp groups, and in-person support via our teams on the ground.
One of the huge advantages of this program is that it leaves a lasting legacy with the schools, both in terms of equipment which remains with the school community, and the upskilling and up-resourcing of the teachers themselves. This means, once the program has been running for a number of years, with layer after layer of input, it has the potential to have a massive impact on the quality of teaching and learning.
CAMPS & WORKSHOPS
Holiday Camps and Walk-in Workshops have been a traditional intervention method for a long time with the Department of Education. They can be highly effective and were heralded as part of the reason why the Class of 2019 breached a national pass rate of over 80% for the first time 1. We consistently see a marked improvement in the learners’ performance on our programs, on average 15-20% improvement over the large range of subjects and topics covered within just a few days.
Whilst camps can require a significant amount of resources to run well, a major advantage of camps and workshops is the intensiveness of the revision program, where a great deal of work can be covered in a short amount of time. One is also often able to recruit some of the top teachers to assist pupils who may not have the privilege of quality instruction in their usual context.
Additionally, if the camp is well managed, one can create an highly conducive work atmosphere, enabling the pupils to get through significant amounts of revision and practice. On our camps we also aim to saturate the program, in and out of class, with inspiration and motivation – knowing that if one is able to ignite the enthusiasm of a learner, the battle is all but won.
Here are some highlights from some of the camps we have run over the last few years.
XL 360 Teacher & Leadership Development
John Maxwell, one of the world’s top leadership experts, has coined the phrase,
“Everything rises and falls on leadership.”
There are few places where this is more true than in a school. An outstanding Principal, is perhaps the number one factor in bringing a turn-around in a school’s performance. Therefore, developing high levels of motivation, skill and knowledge – not just in the Principal, but in the teams that support them, especially the Senior Management Teams and School Governing Bodies – is paramount to enabling transformative and lasting improvement.
This program consists of 3 key ingredients:
- XL360 Summits (large gathering, once or twice a year)
This is a big and inspiring event over one or two days depending on the situation. Teachers and Leaders are invited to join together and enjoy an inspiring and celebratory conference. Excellent speakers are selected both from the local, national and international context as appropriate – some live and some via videocast. The main goals of the Summits are to give a huge dose of motivation, as well as some initial practical insights into different aspects of the education process.
- Mentorship Groups (small local groups, meeting each week)
These insights are then expanded upon and embedded through the week-on-week support of peer-to-peer mentorship groups. This helps immensely to maximise the impact of the Summit, and seeks to build a culture of collaboration, interdependence and accountability.
- Continuing Professional Development (individual, ongoing)
Each individual is also encouraged to pursue the personal development through completing online courses and attending additional workshops provided by ourselves, and other organisations. This ties in with the SACE system of CPTD points that the teachers can earn, and all aspects of training and learning are rewarded with the appropriate points.
- XL360 Summits (large gathering, once or twice a year)
Resources - VIDEO & WRITTEN
As food is to a chef, so resources are to a teacher. These are the ingredients at your daily disposal to create a meaningful and memorable learning experience. Some of the most valuable resources are intangible and absolutely free – such as our imaginations and curiosity. But a carefully chosen and well-used practical resource – such as a model, video, experiment or newspaper article – can bring a concept to life.
Therefore, we spend a large amount of time and energy in creating and curating outstanding resources for teachers. In particular, something that has a high impact and lasting value is the use of videos. Through the feedback from the hundreds of teachers using our videos, we have found that using videos in class has the following advantages:
- Increase the sensory experience of the learner, boosting learning and retention
- Improve the engagement and concentration levels of the learners
- Give flexibility to the teacher to pause, discuss, rewind, apply etc.
- Are outstanding for explaining complex concepts
- Assist with classroom discipline
- Can be a whole lot of fun!
XL began its journey 10 years ago as a tuition centre for Physical Science in Bryanston, Johannesburg. We have since added Maths as well and have a second branch in Claremont, Cape Town.
Extra tuition is often misunderstood as something only required for pupils who are battling with a particular subject. However, if a child had a flare for gymnastics or the violin, as parents we would do whatever we could to get the best coaching to help them excel.
This is our approach at XL Maths & Science – our goal is to offer personal tuition to help pupils excel. So whether they are really struggling and are simply looking for a solid pass, or aiming for a top top mark to get into a particular institution after school – we aim to support each pupil in growing from where they are, to be the best they can be.
Here are a few reviews:
“XL not only provided me with a high level of academic support, but also the confidence building that encouraged me to push myself – achieving a distinction.” – Navjothi (Grd 12 Pupil)
“Your classes have helped tremendously. Gemma did very well in her last test, her marks went up a whole 22%.” – Christele (Grd 10 Parent)
“Just want to express our greatest gratitude for taking Tshiamo from being a D to a B student within 3 months.” – Moja (Grd 12 Parent)
“Steven’s marks have improved dramatically since joining you. His marks for this year have been excellent, proving that whatever you are doing WORKS!!!” – Mary-Anne (Grd 11 Parent)
“My daughter Reabetswe is sooo grateful for the program and thinks that you and your tutors are excellent.” – Mapule (Grd 10 Parent)
Visit our tuition website for more information: