What effect does an after-school science, maths and English enhancement programme have on grade 10 to 12 students' learning of physical science?
The main purpose of this study was to determine whether a Physical Science intervention programme that has been running for three years at St John’s College for selected Grade 10-12 students from under-resourced schools in inner city Johannesburg, has had any impact on the final academic results of these selected students in the National Senior Certificate examination. There is little international or local research that deals with third world academic extension and enrichment programmes, particularly with respect to South Africa. A mixed methods case study on the programme was carried out. Numerical data was collected over a period of three years to be used to determine the effectiveness of the programme. Interviews with the participants and teachers on the programme were conducted and surveys were carried out with participants on the programme as well as students who were not on the programme from the three partner schools. The three instruments used in the research provided different forms of data which produced findings that were combined to look for common trends and understandings. The data collected from the surveys, interviews and term scores were coded, captured organised, analysed and interpreted. Among the more significant findings were: (a) Not all of the participants on the programme showed academic improvement; (b) The overall academic improvement of the two groups researched was marginally better than their peers who were not part of the programme; (c) In the view of the participants, the intervention had a greater influence on their academic achievements than the actual findings from analysis of the numerical data indicated; (d) There are a number of factors that determine the success of the programme; (e) The self-motivation is an important determinant for success of individuals on the programme. These findings could assist current programme organisers and institutions that seek to introduce similar types of intervention programmes in the future.