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Grade 11: Focus

Focusing Inspiration

In a world full of choices, a boy must captain his own ship.

For every Hilton College boy, the journey until now has immersed him in a richly inspiring world, helped him understand the true nature of himself and others, and taught him to express himself authentically. Grade 11 is when every boy learns to dive deeply, to make the best choices for himself. To purposefully navigate the enormous possibilities he faces. And to concentrate his energy in carving out the next chapter in his story.

A compass of his very own.

In grade 11, every boy must begin to figure out the direction in which he’ll head after school. A lot of collective energy goes into his applications for national or international universities or colleges. We take career guidance seriously – he’ll have the support of a wider team to help him gain clarity on what is the best fit for him. If he has his sights on studies in the United States, he can sit his SATs right here. Hilton College is an official SAT testing centre. We are also a National Benchmark Testing centre – keeping South African university options wide open. To this end, grade 11 is a year of academic acceleration and rigour.

Critical thinking is critical.

Every boy must become skilled at developing an informed, considered opinion. Grade 11’s flagship project is the extended essay, which he’ll complete over a term and a half. He’ll need to immerse himself in a topic he’s curious or passionate about, weigh it up, and deliver a measured 3,000-word research-backed thought piece. Past topics have ranged from the ethics of cryogenic sleep for space travel to the mental health implications of social media in adolescents to the obstacles facing large-scale solar energy projects in South Africa. Each boy works with a personal supervisor to stretch his metacognitive skills by considering extensive data to form an opinion.

Finding his calling through big city exposure.

By exploring diverse realities out in the ‘real world’, a boy discovers the occupations that resonate with him. On the week-long grade 11 tour to Gauteng, boys engage in an action-packed itinerary that takes them from corporates and institutions to nimble entrepreneurs and places where history was forever changed. From a wide-ranging and exciting menu of encounters with people and places, each boy chooses 10 to 15 experiences. These could range from Joburg Theatre to law practices, telecommunications giants, engineering and insurance firms, Chris Hani Baragwanath hospital, Investec, Shaun Keeling (Olympic rowing medallist), fine dining restaurant Marble, the Apartheid Museum, PWC, Liliesleaf Farm, Pitika Ntuli (artist), marketing heavyweight Khaya Dlanga, a tour of Soweto, the Circa/Everard Read gallery, the Constitutional Court, Wonderboom and Onderstepoort.

Step up and become a leader.

The grade 11 leadership week equips boys with a vital toolbox for the coming matric year and the wider world he’ll soon be joining. The programme includes practical workshops on how to run a meeting, how to focus leadership most effectively and how to use their powers of influence.
Grade 11s also join the open age group in sport, playing as understudies to the grade 12s and learning from them. The year culminates in the grade 11 dance and Speech Day when leadership roles are announced.