Study tips from Principals Academy

2019-07-30 06:00
Paul Cassar from the Principals Academy Trust shares study advice with learners at Sibelius High School.PHOTO: Racine Edwardes

Paul Cassar from the Principals Academy Trust shares study advice with learners at Sibelius High School.PHOTO: Racine Edwardes

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The Principals Academy Trust imparted some valuable knowledge to Sibelius High School’s matric learners as they head into their preliminary exam period.

The academy works with the University of Cape Town (UCT) to service socio-economically challenged areas of Cape Town by upskilling teachers and empowering learners. The academy works across areas including Athlone, Bellville, Franschhoek, Gansbaai, Genadendal, Grassy Park, Gugulethu, Hermanus, Hopefield, Khayelitsha, Kraaifontein, Kuils River, Langebaan, Manenberg, Mfuleni, Mitchell’s Plain, Philippi, Retreat, Simon’s Town and Vredenburg.

Deputy principal at the school Fuad Viljoen welcomed the guest speaker for the matrics on Tuesday 23 July and explained the role played by retired principal, Paul Cassar from the academy.

“Every second week I have a session with him so that he can guide me and give me advice – so what that means is that learning does not stop at Grade 12. When you receive your certificate, so many doors are going to open for you. It is up to you to make the conscious effort to step through the doorway,” Viljoen said encouragingly.

Cassar told the learners about his exciting work at various schools before he retired five years ago. Now, with the academy, he hopes to facilitate learning with matric learners, specifically.

“I work with 14 different schools and I am here today because matric is in my DNA, and I just want to see if I can help you make the most of a very difficult time – because the next few months are going to be a very difficult time,” he said.

“Matric is about the excitement – you need to feel it, but that excitement tends to wear off because of the work and the pressure that just increases and increases.”

He explained that the two subjects that all learners should pass with at least 50% are home language and first additional language. He then offered learners advice for effective studying:

. Find the learning style that suits you best. Some learners learn visually, others verbally and some through the use of sound. He encourages learners to learn in the way that suits them.

. When studying, get to what’s important. “We often study what we know, but it’s the work you may not have gotten to properly that you need to study,” said Cassar.

. Practise. He encourages that learners take in as much information during school, study for at least three hours after school and devote eight hours to studying each day – with breaks – during the weekend.

. Use flashcards to remember.

. Make use of other resources to facilitate better understanding. Do extra research.

. Teach someone else. Cassar says he learns best when teaching his teddy, but says it works just as well to teach fellow students or even parents. Teaching is one of the best ways to learn, according to him.

. Studying in a group helps, but you have to study and not waste time, he said.

. “Stay eager and do not procrastinate,” he said.

Matric learner Jade Spiyers said she learned a lot and found the talk by Cassar very helpful.

Another learner Casey Africa agrees. She said: “It was motivational for me and it should help all of us at school. The study methods are going to help everyone if we just put our heads to it.”V For more information on the Principals Academy Trust, visit


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