Preparation throughout the year is vital if you want to do well in matric, says Claremont High School matriculant Kauthar Floris, who plans to study medicine after scoring seven distinctions and an 89% aggregate, with 90% for maths and 94% for science.
“I treated every assessment like an exam,” says the Athlone teenager. “I tried to do well in all my assessments, assignments and class tests. This way I studied hard and obtained maximum marks. This helps you accumulate marks and secure your understanding of the work. So when you prepare for an exam it will feel like revision. I also did a lot of past papers. Past papers give you a general idea of what to expect so that you’re well prepared.”
She says she found online learning hard and the reopening of schools after the hard lockdown also wasn’t easy.
“Our school has a small premise so even when school resumed not everyone could be at school at the same times and grades had to alternate. This was another challenge our school had to deal with.”
She says if you’re writing matric this year it’s a good idea to have a plan for the future. And with hard work, dedication and a passion for what you want to do anything is possible.
“Always do your homework,” she says. “Homework is a way of letting you know what are your weak points so that you can work harder on that. I always read about the subject topic beforehand. I would try to understand the topic on my own so when the teacher explains it, I already have a general understanding and the explanation from the teacher would just solidify my understanding.”
She attended the Engen Maths and Science Saturday classes programme in grades 11 and 12 which gave her extra support and resources such as textbooks, worksheets and tutors.
The programme offers supplementary maths, science and English tuition to underprivileged pupils in grades 10 to 12.
Claremont High life science teacher Hajirah da Costa says most of the school’s pupils come from lower to middle socio-economic backgrounds and many were badly affected by the pandemic.
“With families losing their jobs and learners not having sufficient food or resources for online teaching, one of the main challenges was trying to ensure as far as possible that every learner could successfully continue with learning from home during lockdown.”
The school appealed to parents and the public to donate food parcels, data, as well as second hand electronic devices that pupils could use during lockdown.
“Many teachers had also started using technology more than they had ever anticipated,” Ms Da Costa says. “The pandemic has released an inner strength we never knew we had. It has taught us to be more compassionate, flexible and resilient.Teachers check in more often with learners who have been struggling financially and emotionally during this ongoing pandemic and this allowed us to build stronger relationships with them.”