academics and creativity

At St Catherine’s Convent we acknowledge that a solid academic framework is an integral part of a successful future.  We do, however, accept that not all learners are academically strong and we cater for, and understand, that each learner is unique in their own way.  St Catherine’s Convent fosters the academically strong learner whilst ensuring that the creative learner is also encouraged and embraced. 

IEB Matriculation Examination IEB Matriculation Examination
IEB Matriculation Examination

St Catherine’s Convent prepares learners to write the Independent Examination Board (IEB) Matriculation Examination at the end of Grade 12. The IEB National Senior Certificate (NSC) is recognised in South Africa and is internationally benchmarked.  For 40 years St Catherine’s Convent has had a flawless academic track record in the Grade 12 final exams.  We have had 40 years with a 100% pass rate and many of our subjects achieve matric averages that are well above the national norm.  Most of our matriculation candidates achieve exemption and we have a high number of students who are admitted to tertiary education. 

starting with the littlest learners starting with the littlest learners
starting with the littlest learners

At St Catherine’s Convent we believe that the basis for successful learning is laid early on in a school career and we have dedicated and expert teachers who welcome and lead our littlest learners.  The sense of fun and achievement in learning that is instilled in our Foundation Phase creates a confident and capable learner for whom school is an adventure to be embraced each day.

International Benchmark examinations International Benchmark examinations
International Benchmark examinations

In addition to the external Grade 12 examinations, learners in Grades 3, 6 and 9 write International Benchmark examinations to ensure that the standard of education offered to our girls is of an excellent standard throughout their schooling.  Schools in countries such as Australia, China, Denmark, Britain and the USA write these International Benchmark examinations. 

St Catherine’s Convent learners are regularly placed in the top percentile of learners who write these benchmark examinations, proving that our standard of education is equal to, if not better, than that of other countries. 

Educators Educators

Educators regularly attend both regional and national subject conferences to ensure that their knowledge is up to date and to enable every educator to deliver quality education. 

St Catherine’s Convent also participates in the IEB Cluster groups, which are regular meetings where groups of educators from different schools come together to standardise their assessment levels and to share resources. 

This ensures that all the academic work done, particularly in Grade 12 is of the correct standard.


St Catherine’s Convent also fully complies with the CAPS (Curriculum Assessment Policy Statements) for each learning area, as set down by Umalusi, who are the Council for Quality Assurance in General and Further Education and Training. 

Girls in the High School are encouraged to participate in various subject Olympiads. The purpose of these Olympiads is to reinforce, stretch and enrich the learning that takes place within the classroom.

Olympiads Olympiads

The English Olympiad is written in the first term and a large number of learners volunteer to write this Olympiad. We achieve excellent results and have had learners who have placed in the top 10, top 50 and top 100 out of nearly 4 000 candidates nationwide. The Mathematics Olympiad is written in three stages. Certain marks have to be obtained by learners in each stage to enable them to compete further. Learners are encouraged to work through past papers, as this will definitely help them improve their mathematical problem solving skills and strategies. They can obtain papers with solutions on the following web site The World Knowledge Olympiad is a general knowledge Olympiad that tests a learner’s overall knowledge.

Learning via travels

International and local tours

St Catherine’s Convent undertakes international and local tours as a means of learner enrichment.  A number of international and local tours have take place and many more are in the planning stage.

Local Tours

St Catherine’s Convent also provides learners with the opportunity to participate in local tours.  These tours are the ideal opportunity to learn outside of the classroom, as well as to develop the camaraderie and unity that St Catherine’s Convent is so well known for. Our learners are provided the opportunity to experience tours that span a single day to tours that last for a week.
Our Primary School learners tour and stay over at interesting places such as the Vaal Dam and Klein Kariba.
In the High School, single day subject-specific tours are undertaken to such diverse places as Soweto, the Apartheid Museum, The Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens and the Planetarium. Our High School girls are also given the opportunity to participate in extended tours ranging from 3 days to 5 days to places such as the Drakensberg as well as to well-known Game Lodges in order to experience nature.

German Language Tours

Our learners who take German as an additional language also have the opportunity to visit Germany.  To date, a number of Germany tours have been undertaken and there are plans for more.  The learners visit historic and cultural sites to enrich their knowledge and experience of the German language.

United Kingdom 2011

In March/April of 2011 30 high school learners and 3 teachers embarked on a tour to the United Kingdom. They toured the cultural and literary sites in and around London with visits to among others, Shakespeare’s birthplace, Stratford-upon-Avon; the Jane Austen Museum; a Harry Potter tour through Oxford; Greenwich; the home of Rudyard Kipling as well as the common tourist destinations such as the London Eye and Madame Tussauds.

Italy Faith Tour 2012

In March/April of 2012 20 learners and 2 teachers went on an Italy Faith Tour. They visited well-known sites such as the Sistine Chapel, the Colosseum in Rome and Venice.


In July 2014 30 learners and 3 teachers undertook a 2 week tour to the United States.  After touching down in New York, we spent 4 days visiting all the tourist sites including the Empire State Building and the 9/11 Memorial.  We spend the 4th of July at famous Coney Island and watched their famous fireworks.  From New York we drove by coach to Washington DC where we visited the Pentagon, The White House, spent a day at the Smithsonian Museums and many other places of interest.  From Washington we flew to Orlando, Florida and spent a day at the Kennedy Space Centre and visited NASA.  We also spent two glorious days at Disneyworld, which was the highlight of the tour for many of the girls.   The two weeks spent in the USA were both informative and enjoyable and enriched the learners.