Rustenburg takes top title

Premier Hellen Zille and Western Cape MEC for Education Debbie Schäfer congratulates Rustenburg Girls High School principal Michael Gates after it was announced that the school was the top-performing public school in the province for matric 2016.

Rustenburg Girls’ High School was officially announced as the top-performing public school in the Western Cape, followed by Bloemhof and Westerford high schools, at the National Senior Certificate (NSC) Awards, held at Leeuwenhof, on Tuesday January 10.

Rustenburg pupil Hanna Clayton also placed third in maths in the country.

The school’s new principal, Michael Gates, was thrilled with the achievements.

“What an exciting way to start the year,” Mr Gates said. “This is well deserved, as staff, pupils and parents have worked hard, and all girls have achieved to their full potential. Hannah and her fellow students have inspired the rest of the girls in the school to also give their best academically and in the extra activities offered by the school.”

Mr Gates was deputy head at Manor House Girls’ School in the UK for eight years and also previously taught at Sir William Perkins’ School for Girls, in Chertsey, in the UK.

He said he was excited to be apart of the dynamic school and would strive to maintain the environment that allowed the girls to excel.

“I am excited to be a part of such a vibrant and active school. I totally believe in girls’ education, as this offers girls the opportunity to achieve outside of any preconceived bias, giving them the opportunity to excel in academics, sports and arts, developing into leaders of the school and community.”

He said the school was “very proud” of Hannah who was a “fine example of how one can balance an active extramural programme with academic commitments”.

Western Cape Education Department (WCED) spokesman Paddy Attwell said that overall Rustenburg had come fourth in the province with independent schools taking the top-three spots.

“Rustenburg has a long history of excellence in the matric exams, and lived up to this track record once again in 2016. We will continue to learn from Rustenburg’s excellent example,” said Mr Attwell.

The school maintained its 100 percent pass rate and also achieved 99.3 percent Bachelors passes among the matrics who managed to clinch 581 individual subject distinctions.

Mr Gates credited encouragement, support and a listening ear for the school’s achievement.

He encouraged all pupils to take pride in their work, revise regularly and make good notes as the year progressed, so that they had plenty of time to work through past papers in preparation for their final exams.

“If a particular subject interests you, take time to read and learn more outside of the curriculum. Thank you to all the staff who have played a role in the success of our girls this year including those keeping our buildings and facilities neat and tidy to ensure a healthy learning environment,” Mr Gates said.

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