The Oaks School
Our School – “Make a Difference”
‘February 2016, OAKS has 380 pupils on roll. The age range is from 6 – 18 years. There are 9 classes of pupils, 1 – 6 in the Primary and Junior Secondary 1, 2 & 3 (equivalent to UK Year 7, 8 & 9).
The charity employs eleven full time native trained teachers, which includes a head-teacher. There are two classroom assistants, one virtually dedicated to Class 1 and the other to support Maths & Business Studies. They are both engaged in Distant Learning, similar to our Open University, training for a Teaching Certificate.
The school building is ‘L’ shaped in design. It has a large hall which is multi functional. During the week it is a classroom, on a Sunday it is a church and once a term it is a school hall for parent’s meetings.
There is a school office, 10 classrooms which includes the hall, a library/ staff workroom, caretakers room, large storeroom and toilet facilities for boys and girls.
The class sizes vary. The designation is 40 pupils / class, which should give a maximum school total of 360 pupils. However, this figure has to be flexible, not all children are promoted to the next class each school year.
Fluctuation is also caused when families move district from time to time in search of work or village children are sent to live with relatives for schooling purposes.
All donations are greatly appreciated and WILL make a difference. If you are able to contribute, large or small, please do so today!
We have achieved great things but we need your help to continue
JSS – Junior Secondary School
Our sixth set of primary school exam results, January 2016 were very pleasingly once again a 100% pass. Our 6 year record to date is 100% pass rate year on year. Our staff, pupils and community are to be congratulated.
In consequence, after much deliberation and taking into account the aspirations of our parents (see – Survey Results – under Transparency), we decided it was time to expand into Junior Secondary School – 1, 2 & 3. There was no JSS facility for our community within easy walking distance.
In Sierra Leone JSS is equivalent to our Lower Secondary Years 7, 8, & 9. We commissioned the building and furnishing of two new classrooms for 40 pupils JSS 1 to open at the start of September 2013 and JSS 2 September 2014. We have been able to accommodate JSS 3 into our original building with further provision of furniture.
When the NPSE results are released all parents apply to the JSS of their choice. Usually there is a standard set for each school – the pass rate is 230 points from a maximum score of 500, below which you will not be accepted.
Our criteria is 250 points & above. Our policy has been OAKS students first, followed by those living within close proximity to the school, plus, we will always look favourably on any qualifying pupil from a financially challenged background. In consequence, there will be interviews. If applications are high, perhaps even an entrance test.
As this is our first foray into another tier of education this will be a huge learning curve for us all. As with the primary NPSE, there is a national exam at the end of the JSS three year term known as BECE (Basic Education Certificate Exam).
Nationwide 76,000 pupils have sat BECE in 2013, with candidates from 672 JSS schools. We are based in the Southern Region from which 11,737 candidates have been entered; ten of whom are ex-OAKS students. We are thrilled that our 1st small cohort of 10 pupils, Class 6 – 2010, have all pursued their education to this level.
Our ex-pupils have demonstrated their continued success, whichever school they have chosen to attend. OAKS pupils are welcomed by all other Junior Secondary Schools in Bo, they are now known to be reliably well versed in all elements of the core curriculum which are the essential building blocks for future attainment.
June 2016 our Junior Secondary will have 30 pupils sitting BECE, 12 boys and 18 girls. The results in August will then enable OAKS young people aged 14 – 18 to pursue Senior Secondary School at other facilities in Bo Town. There is no provision for this tier of education in the Bo District area except for one expensive private facility, known as SOS and even that is some distance for pupils to travel.
We are currently researching how we could expand to offer Senior Secondary School. We have access to a large area of land near to OAKS, known as ‘The 24 Town Lots’, approximately a 3 acre site. However, we would need to find matched funding to build and considerable sponsorship to pay for a qualified work-force.
However, based on our track record we are hopeful that we will be successful in attracting partners to help us to develop and provide desperately needed educational facilities.