Subjects

Subject Choices in the FET Phase (Grade 10 - 12)

Choosing subjects for the final phase of your high school career can be a daunting task.

An excellent starting point is giving consideration to possible career paths. Even without specific clarity, students should be able to identify their broad interests:

  • Are you interested in languages or art?
  • Do you love numbers and the challenge of mathematical problems?
  • Is grappling with scientific issues more your thing?

The next step is to look at what form of tertiary study appeals to each student. If Engineering has already been identified as something of interest, Physical Science and Mathematics will be essential. This will not be the case if a student foresees their future in the Arts and Social Sciences fields. It is advisable to keep options open as many Grade 9 students do not know yet what their particular direction will be after school.

In selecting subjects it can be tempting to allow the following points to heavily influence and, ultimately sway choices:

  • Which teacher or teachers teach a particular subject.
  • What subject your friends are choosing.

It is important to remember teachers change and the goal is each student’s subject choice. It is their performance in a particular subject which will aid their move towards their future studies. A subject chosen as a result of peer influence may not appeal to the long-term vision a student has for themselves. This must be a perfectly selfish selection.

ENGLISH

Key Skills

  • Communication: listening, speaking, reading and writing - the basis of learning in all areas.
  • Exploring personal, national and global issues through exposure to a wide range of texts.
  • Expressing ideas and options.
  • Critical awareness: recognizing values and attitudes in texts.
  • Correct application of language structure.
  • Correct application of language conventions to fit different contexts.

AFRIKAANS

Key Skills

  • Die leerder is in staat om te luister en te praat vir verskillende doeleindes en teikengroepe en in ‘n verskeidenheid kontekste.
  • Die leerder is in staat om te lees en te kyk vir begrip, om krities te evalueer en om op ‘n wye verskeidenheid tekste verugvoer te lewer.
  • Die leerder in staat om vir ‘n wye verskeidenheid doeleindes en teikengroepe te skryf en aan te bied deur konvensies en formate gepas vir verskillende kontekste te - gebruik.
  • Die leerder is in staat om taalstruksture en konvensies gepas en doeltrefend te gebruik.

LIFE ORIENTATION

Key Skills

  • Critical thinking
  • Empathy
  • Decision-making
  • Responsibility for personal well-being and that of others
  • Tolerance and respect for the opinions, religious beliefs and views of others
  • Sensitivity to human rights
  • Concern for the environment
  • Leadership
  • Awareness of health issues - importance of correct nutrition and avoiding diseases of lifestyle, as well as the importance of recreation and physical activity  

MATHEMATICS

Key Skills

  • Problem solving skills - the learner is able to recognize, describe, represent and work with numbers and their relationships to estimate, calculate and check - solutions.
  • The learner is able to investigate, analyse, describe and represent a wide range of functions and solve related problems.
  • The learner is able to describe, represent, analyse and explain properties of shapes in 2- and 3-dimentional space with justification.
  • The learner is able to collect, organise, analyse and interpret data and establish statistical and probability models to related problems.

Tertiary Education

Mathematics is the basis of many careers in the South African system. Most university studies in Science, Engineering, Medicine Architecture and Commerce require Mathematics, as do some diplomas at colleges or universities of technology. Some faculties at universities will accept Mathematical Literacy. Please read the document: Mathematical Literacy or Mathematics in the Admission Requirements for University  

MATHEMATICAL LITERACY

Key Skills

  • The learner is able to use knowledge of numbers and their relationships to investigate a range of different contexts which include financial aspects of personal, - business and national issues.
  • The learner is able to recognize, interpret, describe and represent various relationships to solve problems in real life and simulated contexts.
  • The learner is able to measure using appropriate instruments, to estimate and calculate physical quantities, and to interpret, describe and represent properties of - and relationships between 2- and 3-dimensional objects in a variety of orientations and positions.
  • The learner is able to collect, summarise, display and analyse data and to apply knowledge of statistics and probability to communicate, justify, predict and critically interrogate findings and draw conclusions.

Tertiary Education

At present some Universities have indicated that they will not recognize Mathematical Literacy as a Mathematical Qualification. Please read the document: Mathematical Literacy or Mathematics in the Admission Requirements for University  

ACCOUNTING

Key Skills

  • Communication
  • Problem solving
  • Organisation and management skills
  • Analytical evaluation of information
  • Create “financial awareness” - LIFE SKILL

Tertiary Education

Its main function is to prepare those who will go into the general field of business directly after school, or after qualifying at a university or colleges and universities of technology. It is recommended for those who intend to read for a B.Com or B.Econ at university or any of the business-related diplomas at colleges and universities of technology.  

GEOGRAPHY

Key Skills

  • Observation
  • Application of skills
  • Analysis
  • Research
  • Data handling
  • Map reading
  • GIS (Grade 10)
  • Spatial analysis

Tertiary Education

Geography is recommended for career fields such as Cartography, Climatology, Education (primary , secondary and tertiary teaching), Environmental Management, Journalism, Marketing, Regional and Urban Planning, Remote Sensing, Research, Tourism and Travel, Hydrology, Geography, Economics, Public Relations and Health Sciences.  

HISTORY

Key Skills

  • The ability to read critically, to analyse data and to draw valid conclusions (Research and Retrieval)
  • The discipline and skill to carry out research into original documentary sources (interpretation)
  • The sensitive handling of language so that arguments, propositions and hypotheses can be made precisely and lucidly (Communication / Discursive Writing)
  • A clear understanding of the moods and attitude of a given time (Empathy)
  • An understanding of Cause and Effect
  • The ability to read widely and recall and apply relevant information (Recall)

Tertiary Education

While history is not a prerequisite for any tertiary course, historical method is fundamental to all reading, thinking, research and writing in the Humanities and in many of the sciences. History is a great help in the study of all Social Sciences including Journalism, Law and Literature, etc. History offers the student a critical look at the past, a polished writing ability, and the potential to formulate complex arguments relating to almost any topic.

PHYSICAL SCIENCES

Key Skills

Conducting investigations Interpreting data Solving problems Communicating and presenting information and scientific arguments Recalling, stating and discussing prescribed concepts Applying and evaluating scientific knowledge

Tertiary Education

Physical Science is the basis of many areas of scientific study, including Electronics, Engineering, Medicine etc. Many of the technology diplomas at Technikons require or recommend it, as do many degrees in the faculties of Science, Engineering, Medicine, Veterinary Science, etc.

BIOLOGY

Key Skills

  • Identify and question phenomena
  • Plan an investigation
  • Data collection and manipulation
  • Analyse, synthesize and evaluate data
  • Communicate findings
  • Interpret and make meaning of knowledge
  • Application of everyday life
  • Explore and evaluate scientific ideas - past, present and future
  • Motor skills relating to laboratory work
  • Translation

Tertiary Education

Aspiring biologists may find employment after completing a bachelor’s degree program in biology, biological sciences or a related scientific field. Courses may cover topics like ecology and evolution. Some programs may offer students the option of specializing or concentrating in a particular field like microbiology or zoology. All of these fields include laboratory courses, which allow students to perform experiments and develop conclusions about concepts in their respective fields

HOSPITALITY STUDIES

Key Skills

  • Hospitality Studies equips the learner with the skills and knowledge needed in the food and Beverage Industry and the Accommodation Sector. These skills include basic food preparation and cooking techniques, and food and beverage services.
  • Hospitality Studies encompasses the development of operational and organizational skills that will contribute to the macro- vision of hospitality and tourism and the development of an ethic of service excellence in South Africa.
  • Hospitality Studies embraces the spirit of inclusively by providing generic hospitality principles applicable to a diverse range of cultures, traditions and operations.

Tertiary Education

  • Food and Beverage Management
  • Professional Cookery
  • Hotel Management
  • Guest House / bed-and-breakfast Management
  • Events Management
  • Services Management
  • Catering Management
  • Community-based Tourism Services
  • The subject provides enough scope for the learners to pursue the additional career pathways of hotel reception, accommodation services, fast food services or self – employment opportunities in the catering field.  

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

Key Skills

  • Problem Analysis and Solving
  • System Design
  • System Implementation
  • System Testing
  • Communication through electronic media
  • Competence in Applications

Key Factors to Consider

  • This is a highly specialized subject that will require complete dedication and hard work.
  • There are no short cuts. You cannot get away with doing the minimum academically.
  • You should have the character traits of a programmer: attention to detail, tenacity, the ability to work under pressure and good time management.
  • You will probably have to spend a great deal of time over weekends programming in Java.

COMPUTER APPLICATIONS TECHNOLOGY

Key Skills

  • Word processing, Spreadsheets, Databases
  • Hardware, Software and Computer Management
  • Network Technology
  • Internet Technology
  • Information Management
  • Social Implications

Tertiary Education

Given the prevalence of computer usage in our daily lives, it is important to maximize our understanding of how their utility can be maximized. CAT provides such an opportunity. If you are considering pursuing a career that is dependent on computers CAT would be beneficial.  

VISUAL ART

Key Skills

  • Record and analyze observations and ideas for different purposes and audiences (including Information Technology)
  • Discuss and question critically
  • Organize and present information in visual diary
  • Investigate, combine and manipulate materials and images
  • Apply and extend their experience of a range of materials and process refining their control of tools and techniques (e.g. drawing, painting, print-making, - sculpture, collage, and mixed-media)
  • Experiment with and select methods and approaches, synthesize observations, ideas and feelings and make images and art works
  • Analyze and evaluate their own and other’s work
  • Adapt and refine their work and plan and develop this further in the light of their own and other’s observations

Tertiary Education

  • Architecture
  • Fine Art - Drawing, Painting, Sculpture, Print-making, Multi-media, Mixed media, Ceramics
  • Design - Graphic, Industrial, Interior Design, Fashion, Set Design, Jewellery, Textile etc.
  • Film-making  

DESIGN

###Key Skills

  • Design is a creative, intellectual, problem-solving process involving problem identification, planning, research, innovation, conceptualization, prototyping and critical reflection. This process typically results in environments, systems, services and products that may be unique or intended for mass production, hand – crafted produced by mechanical and / or electronic means.
  • Design is concern with issues of purpose, functionality and aesthetics in shaping the social, cultural and physical environment to the benefit of the nation.

###Tertiary Education

  • Photography
  • Surface
  • Product
  • Graphics
  • Animation
  • Fashion
  • Architecture
  • Stage design and much more

BUSINESS STUDIES

Key Skills

  • Identify and analyse challenges in the macro-environment
  • Research
  • Formulate arguments
  • Reflect and Assess business ventures
  • Apply creative thinking to respond to challenges
  • Discuss and debate
  • Conflict Management skills

Tertiary Education

This subject equips the learners with a sound foundation to participate in future business, commerce and management studies. It opens the door for students to enter a business or to create self-employment.