LisaAnn started her teaching career in 1988 at Florida Park High School. In 1998, LisaAnn was appointed to St Peter’s College as a founder member of the school. In many ways this is where some of the creative ideas around the structure of Calibre Education started. In that critical first year, in a school of only 80 students and 6 staff, the College was afforded the luxury of flexibility in meeting the individual needs of students. LisaAnn was appointed as the Director of Staff and Students, which again allowed her to develop an understanding of the needs of individual students.
LisaAnn was appointed as Deputy to Christian Academy in 2004. This was a very small school with very small classes and was another ideal environment in which she could explore the concept of successfully meeting the academic and social needs of young people beyond the restrictions of traditional schooling.
LisaAnn has two sons – Dylan and Bradley. Dylan had always found mainstream school easy, but Bradley had contracted cerebellitus as a toddler, which meant that in his developmental years, he had been compromised, and as such, needed a more supportive academic environment. Bradley, while very strong in his verbal skills, found writing and the processing of written information very difficult. It was this experience with Bradley, in mainstream schools, that consolidated LisaAnn’s awareness of the importance of the needs of the individual child. This launched her on a quest to find new ways to educate young people, and so LisaAnn resigned from formal education and started Calibre Education (as CTG), after completing a course as a Life Coach. LisaAnn’s aim was to create a compassionate and relevant service that supported young people in mainstream schools, and developed programmes around their individual needs.
In 2007, LisaAnn was approached by a desperate parent about the possibility of her own son, Daniel, receiving a ‘homeschool’ education. LisaAnn agreed to look at a way of supporting a homeschool curriculum and the model of Calibre as an education center was born. By the end of 2007, 14 young people enrolled in the pioneering Calibre Centre. In 2007, the first 7 students wrote Matric as private candidates with Calibre Education as a Support Center.
Today, Calibre Education is a growing tribe of unique children united by a common goal in a system that remains faithful to LisaAnn’s original vision.
Adam Dobson started his teaching career at Woodmead School near Chartwell after graduating from Wits with a BA Ed in 1992. Woodmead was a school that had successfully taken on the restrictions imposed on private schools under Apartheid, and was recognised for its different approach to schooling.
Adam later joined St Peter’s College in 1999, and was instrumental in the development of the curriculum and academic programme in the founding years of the College. During this time he worked closely with LisaAnn in a range of groundbreaking and creative cross-curricular experiments.
The College, able to experiment with a clean canvass, was committed to new systems and identifying best practice for academic success. Everything, from the meaningful implementation of IT, to the physical functionality of the school buildings, was re-thought in the St Peter’s project and it was unafraid of breaking the traditional mould of private school education in South Africa.
Adam flourished in this environment and began to realize that well-managed programmes under-pinned by sensible strategic outcomes could change a child’s experience of any learning environment. As long as the teacher was committed, most challenges to learning could be neutralized.
Adam went on to be appointed as the Academic Deputy in charge of Academics at the College.
After a long detour, LisaAnn and Adam’s paths crossed again in 2008. Ignited by LisaAnn’s new vision at CTG, an old partnership was given new direction and by 2009 he had joined LisaAnn.
Together they have built a reputation as a formidable team that challenges and disrupts conventional thinking in education.
Centres providing home education tuition (up to Grade 9) or Post-compulsory phase tuition (Grades 10 -12) cannot generate their own material and all students must have access to materials compliant with the national curriculumʼs guidelines and imperatives. Students at Calibre are enrolled with Path-Finder Curriculum Services. This is an Educational Materials Provider and ensures students and parents in Grades 4-12 have all the tools and materials they need to obtain accredited, CAPS compliant results, accepted by schools in South Africa.
The Curriculum Provider, Path-Finder, is responsible for setting the broad schedule of work and assessment for each Grade, in line with the National Curriculum, and CAPS (Curriculum Assessment Policy Statements). Path-Finder has developed materials and programmes which are congruent with the specific needs of the Calibre tutoring model. Calibre Education is responsible to ensure each young person has a unique programme which allows them to work through the material in small groups, at their own pace, to ensure that all the content has been covered and that the young person is confident they have a clear understanding of the material. Calibre Education manages all assessments and marks and submits all requirements to Pathfinder and the examination body.
Calibreʼs tutors augment the material received by individually focused methodology; the use of IT, fieldtrips and a creative and dynamic approach to learning in small groups.
The Examination Body
Grade 10-12 students, who are part of the Post-compulsory schooling phase (which is available when turning 15 years of age) write the examinations through the South African Comprehensive Assessment Institute (SACAI) and obtain a Matric Certificate which is indistinguishable from those obtained through mainstream schooling. SACAI has provisional accreditation with Umalusi (the countryʼs quality assurance body in education), and they are a recognised provider of examination and assessment services, and manage the Continuous Assessment, Portfolio and Examination requirements of Calibreʼs Grade 10, 11 and 12 students , ensuring that all National Senior Certificate requirements are satisfied.
Calibre has had a long and successful relationship with SACAI and hundreds of Matric students have successfully passed through Calibre’s doors with a recognized Matric certificate to go on to study in South Africa or abroad.