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Grade 8 & 9

Almost all boys enter the school in Grade 8, although a few do arrive in Grade 9. The aim at this level is to lay a broad foundation of cognitive, and other, skills for a boy's later academic career.


An attempt is made to introduce boys to as many subjects as possible, so that when they have to choose subjects for a National Senior Certificate (NSC) course at the end of the Grade 9 year, boys will have had experience of the subjects they choose and staff will have some idea of a boy's ability to handle the chosen subjects. This is designed around facilitating ‘a plan for each Hilton boy’ in terms of a boy’s academics. Subjects are taught in mixed ability classes (apart from Mathematics, a top English class and First Additional language (Afrikaans and IsiZulu) classes) in Grade 8. In Grade 9, this philosophy persists.

Boys are also exposed to other areas of a more general nature in the form of subjects such as Chaplain’s period, Counselling, Information and Communication Technology, Design Technology (included in Physical Science), Dramatic Arts, Visual Art and Music. For able boys, there are adequate opportunities for extension, either within Departments, or within the school, while effective and thoroughgoing academic support forms a cornerstone of our philosophy.  A full-time academic support specialist is available and a Director of Academic Support oversees the functioning of this department.

This programme is organised according to the requirements of the national Curriculum and Assessment Policy statements (CAPS) although significant independence is exercised in terms of specifics, as well as approach. 


Boys in Grade 8 experience a class which is called The Learning Journey. The overall aim of this programme is to introduce foundational skills and ways of working which will prepare the boys for a successful, rounded and fulfilled career at Hilton. Ultimately, this is the gateway to a learning pathway that continues through a boy’s academic career, leading up to the Extended Essay in Grade 11 and One Research Task in matric. The format is a workshop-style experience which integrates useful content with IT skills and practice in academic research, reading and writing. The emphasis is on learning tools and skills which will make the boys effective users of their various devices so that they can be successful students who effectively manage their lives at high school and beyond.


At the end of Grade 9, after a comprehensive guidance programme arranged and facilitated by the School Counsellor, a boy will choose his subjects for the Further Education and Training (FET) phase (Grades 10-12) and the National Senior Certificate (NSC) examinations at the end of Grade 12.

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