Timeless Teachings in a Changing World
ACE Ministries’ comprehensive educational system is driven by dedicated individuals who motivate and support parents in their quest to help their children reach their maximum potential in school and in life. A Unique Educational Approach
For more than three decades, ACE has delivered a successful Christian-based international schooling system that provides a rewarding education alternative, relative to learners’ needs. This program utilizes results-driven processes rather than conventionally applied time-focused education curricula.
ACE recognizes that each child has a unique learning style with God-given abilities and talents and has developed a learning approach that accommodates learners’ individual capabilities.
The curriculum makes it possible for the learner to achieve their full academic potential. This is the foundation upon which future learning is built.
From preschool to grade 12, each learner discovers how to:
set goals and meet deadlines
develop critical-thinking skills
think creatively and independently
The ACE programme covers the critical outcomes and minimum standards of the National Curriculum Statements (NCS) as prescribed by the Department of Education in South Africa. This includes Learner and Teacher Support Materials (LTSM’s).
The concept of Accelerated Christian Education was started by Dr Donald and Mrs Howard in 1970 in Garland, Texas. Since then ACE has spread to over 142 countries around the world with warehouses located in the USA, Australia, U.K., Canada, Philippines and South Africa.
The office located in Durban has been operating since 1988 and serves all schools using the ACE system in African & Scandinavian countries. Since its beginning, Accelerated Christian Education has launched over 3 700 schools in total, of which over 750 schools and 1 200 home schools are currently active. There are presently over 26 500 students in Africa/Scandinavia involved in this system.
This educational system has been widely accepted by universities and other academic institutions around the world and is registered with the local department of education.
The Accelerated Christian Education School of Tomorrow program is an American based program that has been adapted for South Africa and meets the requirements of the S.A. National Curriculum Statement. It is an individualised learning style that makes use of printed packages of materials known as PACES (Packages of Accelerated Christian Education), which are intended to ensure that pupils can advance at their own speed rather than as part of a year group. Pupils are expected to complete 12 PACES per year per subject.
There are pre-school PACES available for the Early Years Foundation Stage and this is mapped to the Early Years Foundation Stage early learning goals. A table showing the relationship to the equivalent S.A. National Curriculum is available in schools and this provides a useful guide to age-related expectations. Pupils in year 1 first follow the PACES ABC’s. Then the full curriculum with PACES 1001 to 1012.
ACE schools normally revolve around the ‘learning centre’, of which there may be more than one in a school. The learning centre is usually a large room which has ‘offices’ or Learning stations around its walls. These are where pupils work for most of the day. There is a supervisor’s desk, a scoring station where pupils can mark their own work at regular intervals, and a table for the tests which must be done at the end of each unit of work. Educators do not have the title of teacher, but there are ‘Supervisors’, who are responsible for answering pupils’ Academic questions, as well as assistants known as ‘Monitors’ who have received training from ACE South Africa and who participate in regular in-service training. Educators also have access to manuals, which provides considerable details about the ACE course and how it is implemented and managed.
Schools using the ACE program have a compulsory core curriculum of six subjects: English, Afrikaans, Word building (formal grammar), Mathematics, Social studies (History and Geography) and Science. There are also optional PACES available in additional subjects such as Bible reading, and at secondary age level there are a number of ‘elective’ subjects which pupils can choose.
Pupils work at their own speed through the PACES in the main curriculum areas, but they are expected to plan their own work each day by setting themselves goals in terms of the number of pages that they aim to complete. In case of difficulty they are able to ask for help from the Supervisor by raising a flag on their learning station. At frequent intervals, pupils mark (‘score’) their own work, and the Monitor checks that the pupil has scored correctly. At the end of each unit of work there is a supervised test in which they must achieve a score of 80% before they can move on to the next PACE. Pupils who fail to get a satisfactory grade have to re-take the unit. In addition to the PACES, there are structured video and computer programmes available to support some work, particularly in early reading and science.
School of Tomorrow
The School of Tomorrow programme is unique. It provides learners with the opportunity to develop their abilities to their maximum potential. Although School of Tomorrow is a technically complex system, it makes use of well-researched learning techniques and motivational methods. The technical description of the School of Tomorrow is: Progress Motivated Individualized Programmed Learning. This method is not widely used in South Africa, so it bears some further explanation.
The School of Tomorrow has developed and produced an individualized curriculum composed of 144 core units, called PACEs, which relate to the 8 learning areas of the South African curriculum. These learning areas include the following core subjects: Mathematics, English, Afrikaans, Social Studies (history and geography), Science and Word Building (spelling). In the upper secondary level, students can choose from over 30 additional options covering subjects such as art, business studies, computer studies, additional sciences, French, English Literature, etc.
A student starting on the School of Tomorrow preschool programme will accelerate through academic material at his own pace.
A student transferring from the conventional system does not start on the course, which his chronological age indicates. Instead, he takes a diagnostic test, which determines what his actual performance level is. Once this is known, a prescription or individually tailor-made programme is created for that student. In this way, no able student is held back and less able students can learn at a rate appropriate to their needs.
The School of Tomorrow SA meets the requirements of the National Curriculum Statements at all levels. Though School of Tomorrow follows a predominantly international curriculum, additional academic work is supplemented to meet local requirements.
In a conventional system, students progress through school on the basis of chronological age. Recent research and experience show that this may not be the best way to teach students. It leads to classes being composed of students at many different levels of achievement. The accepted criterion for promotion to a higher level is the passing of an end of year assessment. This promotion by achievement should produce the desire in the student to perform well and is called progress motivation. The School of Tomorrow has adopted some aspects of this philosophy, only promoting students to the next level of work when a satisfactory grade has been attained. Normally the pass mark is 80%, although in some early courses the pass mark is 90%. A student has to master the material before passing on to the next unit, so this method is referred to as Mastery Learning.
The School of Tomorrow uses a technique of programmed learning called linear programming. This means that a base level of ability is assumed and students proceed through the programmed PACEs at a rate they individually determine. Motivation is maintained by setting of short and long-term goals. As the key concept in programmed learning is mastery of concepts, regular testing ensures this.
Concepts in the units are repeated several times. Programmed learning has been proven one of the most effective ways of mastering key concepts. This method is used extensively in the UK by the Armed Forces, industry and commerce in training programmes.
This Record of Achievement contains a list of all the subjects the student has completed in order to qualify for the Grade 12 College Entrance, beginning at Level 9 through to Level 12. Please remember that the School of Tomorrow system is based on performance and achievement and not chronological age.
On completion of the ACE Curriculum at Chazon Tekna students will complete The General Education Diploma as an exit exam. This diploma is integrated into your child’s schooling career at Chazon Tekna.
A GED® is an international high school credential which is recognized and listed on the South African Qualifications Authority framework (SAQA) as a an NQF level 4 matric equivalent. It is also recognised by Universities South Africa (USAF) as well as UMALUSI. It can be used to further your studies at higher education studies both in South Africa and internationally.