Schools produce outstanding matric results

Top performer at Westerford High School and third best maths pupil in the country, Liam Gurney, with his mother Penny on the left and his brother, Kyle.

When the 2018 matric results were released by the Department of Basic Education last week, it was revealed that local schools had produced not only the the top performer countrywide at a Quintile 5 school but also other stand-out performers who did their families and schools proud.

Overall schools in the southern suburbs did well, with Rondebosch Boys’, Bishops, Cannons Creek, Herschel Girls’, Rustenburg Girls’ High School, Vista Nova School and Westerford High School maintaining their 100% National Senior Certificate pass rate for the past four years.

Justine Crook-Mansour from Rustenburg Girls’ High School was the top performing pupil in the country with a passing aggregate of 97.8%.

“When my name was called out when I was sitting on stage at the national matric awards ceremony, I couldn’t quite believe it. I did not expect to do so well because my matric year was an extremely challenging one, not only in terms of the workload but also because of certain family problems,” said Justine.

She achieved above 96% for all of her seven subjects, with history being her top mark at 100%.

Liam Gurney was Westerfrod High’s top performing pupil with a 94.3% aggregate and he achieved the third best maths mark in the country.

Liam’s mother, Penny Gurner was very happy with Liam’s results.

“I am incredibly proud of him. He always works hard, he doesn’t go to school without doing his homework and he is disciplined. Since he started getting marks in the 90% region I’ve left him under his own steam,” she said.

Tim Schlesinger was Rondebosch Boys’ top performing pupil, achieving nine distinctions.He also has the second best maths mark in the country, achieving an impressive 100% for the subject.

Rustenburg Girls’ High School principal Michael Gates said: “I am incredibly proud. Everyone who has achieved well has done so with hard work.”

Rondebosch Boys’ principal Shaun Simpson said excellent results stem from the boys’ hard work, dedicated teaching and the unwavering support of the “wonderful community that is Bosch”.

Sans Souci Girls’ High School and Pinelands High School also improved to a 100% pass rate while other top performing schools include SA College School (SACS) that maintained its 100% pass rate from last year; Livingstone High School with a 99.3% pass rate; Claremont High School with 96.8%; Windsor High School with 96.6%; Groote Schuur High with 95.8%; Thandokhulu Secondary School with 91.5%, Harold Cressy with 90.7% and Trafalgar High School with 86.1%.

Salt River High had a 54.2% pass rate, up from 53.7% the previous year, Walmer Secondary School had a drop in its pass rate with 76% compared to 97.6% the previous year while Rosebank Progress College had a pass rate of 82.8% down from 92.5% and Y2K College achieved a pass rate of 69% compared to 89.5% in 2017.

Zonnebloem Nest managed to improve its pass rate from 69.4% in 2017 to 84.2% in 2018 and Rhodes High School improved from 70.7% in 2017 to 80.2%.

The Western Cape’s matric pass rate of 81.5%, was the third highest in the country with Gauteng leading the way with an 87.9% matric pass rate, followed by the Free State with 87.5%.

Congratulating the Western Cape matriculants and Gauteng on their first place, Education MEC Debbie Schäfer, said her department focused on the quality of the passes and the retention of as many pupils as possible in the school system.

She said there were significant improvements in all quality indicators, including an increase in Bachelor passes with an increase in the number of candidates achieving this from 19 101 in 2017 to 21 492 in 2018; mathematics with the province achieving the highest pass rate, increasing from 73.9% in 2017 to 76%; and physical science with the province achieving a pass rate of 79.5%, an increase from 72.0% in 2017.

Ms Schäfer said they believed that retaining more pupils in the system and giving them the opportunity to pass the National Senior Certificate exam was more important than “losing” pupils along the way so that schools could achieve a higher pass rate.

The province has the highest retention rate from Grades 10 to 12 in the country, at around 63%.

She said once the results had been analysed further, department and curriculum heads and district directors would engage on a strategy for improving the results at the end of 2019.