Spotlight on matrics

The top three achievers at Wynberg Girls' High are from left Aaiisha Dout, Meg Anderton, and Tasha Ainsworth.

Jubilation filled the air last week when thousands of matrics across the province received their much anticipated results.

A total of 43 725 pupils in the Western Cape sat for the National Senior Certificate (NSC) examinations and 86 percent of them passed – a 1.3 percent increase from the previous year.

Wynberg Girls’ High School was rated the “top state school” in the district after achieving a 100 percent pass rate during the 2016 NSC exam – an increase from 99.5 percent the previous year.

Principal Shirley Harding said she was very pleased with the results. According to Ms Harding, of the 174 pupils who wrote the exam, 166 obtained a Bachelor’s pass. The school had 331 subject distinctions, 40 pupils achieved four or more subject distinctions and of the 17 subjects offered, ten pupils obtained an average above 70 percent and three above 80 percent.

“The results are a reflection of the quality of teaching at the school. Our pupils had put in the hard yards throughout the year and have been duly rewarded,” she said.

Norman Henshilwood High School, in Plumstead, also achieved a 100 percent pass rate compared to its 99.6 percent pass rate the previous year.

In 2016, 211 pupils sat for the exam and 194 of them clinched a Bachelor’s pass.

Principal David Millar congratulated the pupils on their performance, saying: “Viva high standards, viva. Down with mediocrity, down.”

He thanked the matrics, their parents and the staff “for making it happen” and said: “It never comes easy, but it is always worth it because our children come first. I am overjoyed. The children have done me and their teachers incredibly proud. A special word of sincere gratitude goes out to the teachers for their hard work. They rock.”

This year, Bergvliet High School clinched a 100 percent pass rate, an increase from the previous year’s 98.9 percent.

Kay Warne, the school’s marketing co-ordinator, said the school had also achieved an 84 percent Bachelor’s pass rate, which was consistent with last year’s all-time high for the school.

Ms Warne said the number of subject A’s had increased to 204 – the highest in six years.

“These results indicate once more that Bergvliet High School is truly a school of excellence,” she said. The top-three spots went to Melissa Scholtz, with 85.4 percent, and Stephanie Booysen, with 85.3 percent and followed closely by Paul du Toit, with 83.3 percent.

Plumstead High School principal Craig George said it was good to see the pupils rewarded for their hard work. “We did hope to get better Bachelor’s passes, but we are pleased with the results. All our hard work paid off, and it had a lot to do with the extra classes and mentoring organised by the teachers. I commend them for their efforts,” he said.

This year, 164 pupils sat for the exam and 158 passed. The school had a 96.3 percent pass rate and 87 percent Bachelors passes.

Despite experiencing a drop in the pass rate from 93.3 percent last year to 87.5 percent this year, principal of the Academy for Science and Technology, in Constantia, Greg van Schalkwyk views it as an “increase in the failure rate but an increase in the quality of passes”.

Mr Van Schalkwyk said 112 pupils wrote the exam, 98 passed and 58 percent of them received a Bachelors pass in 2016 compared to the 64.7 percent the previous year.

“I am not worried about the pass rate, as many of our matric pupils last year did not come from a strong maths, science and technology background,” he said.

The top pupil at the school is Vikyle Naidoo, with 95.8 percent and seven distinctions. Hot on his heels, is Zene Merton, with 92.5 percent and nine distinctions.

“Both of them have made it onto the Western Cape Education Department’s (WCED) merit list and will attend the ceremony held at Leeuwenhof on Thursday January 12,” Mr Van Schalkwyk said.

Springfield Convent of the Holy Rosary, in Wynberg, achieved a 100 percent pass rate with 84 pupils having sat for the exam.

Wynberg Boy’s High School achieved a 100 percent pass rate with 178 pupils having written the exam.

Zwaanswyk High School, in Tokai, made major strides this year by increasing its pass rate from 93.3 percent in 2015 to 98 percent in 2016.

Newly appointed principal Shandre Otto was very happy with the results but said there was always room for improvement. “We are also very excited that we were able to increase our Bachelors passes from 46 percent in 2015 to 54 percent in 2016,” she said.

South Peninsula High School, in Diep River, shone this year, with 98 percent pass rate for two years in a row and 82 percent Bachelors passes for 2016.

Acting principal Zeid Baker believes the quality of passes are better than last year’s, and attributes this year’s success to the hard work of pupils and teachers and the support of parents.

“Eighteen students of the 2016 matric class achieved A-passes, 34 achieved B-passes and 71 achieved C-passes,” he said.

Top pupil at the school, Nikita Heneke, obtained eight distinctions, including A’s in pure maths, physical sciences, life sciences and accounting.

“Nikita, who was accepted for medicine at Wits University and UCT, will be studying at Stellenbosch University this year,” said Mr Baker.

This year, the Western Cape had the highest number of Bachelors passes: 40.9 percent – leading Gauteng with 36.2 percent.

The class of 2016 also had a record-breaking pass rate of 77.2 percent in maths and 73.8 percent in physical science.

Education MEC Debbie Schafer said under-performing schools had been reduced from 27 in 2015 to 19 in 2016.