Not only do they have an average of 1.43 distinctions per person and a 98.38% pass rate, but every student who passed the Independent Examinations Board (IEB) National Senior Certificate (NSC) examination also achieved tertiary study entry pass rates.
A breakdown of the pass rate reveals that 85.45% (compared to 85% in 2013) achieved entry to degree study while 11.56% qualified for entry to diploma study; and 1.37% achieved entry for study at the higher certificate level. In addition, 63 students ranked within the top 5% of all IEB students in six or more subjects and achieved 80% or more in Life Orientation and another 60 students achieved within the top 5% of pupils in five subjects and 80% or more in Life Orientation.
King David High School Linksfield is one of the schools that has maintained its status as one of the top academic schools in the country for 2014. Boasting a 100% pass rate five of their students achieved an outstanding rating as they were within the top 5% of students in six or more subjects and scored 80% or more for Life Orientation. Another four achieved a commendable rating as they were within the top 5% of students in five subjects and scored 80% or more for Life Orientation. Twenty pupils were also placed in the top 1% of their subjects while two students also achieved 10 distinctions, two achieved nine and six achieved 8 distinctions.
“For the past 12 years there was no time where school wasn’t somewhere on my mind and so to finish off on such a high note is immensely fulfilling,” says Adam Krok, of King David High School Linksfield, who achieved 10 distinctions. In the New Year he plans on going to Paris to learn French at the Sorbonne University after which he plans on enrolling at an Ivy League university and hopes to be accepted at Princeton.
Greg Meyer, of King David High School Linksfield, who also achieved 10 distinctions, also plans on going to study overseas, either at Harvard, Stanford or the University of Pennsylvania. He believes that his results can be attributed to hard work and long hours. “Some people are naturally able to grasp concepts quicker than others but I believe success is primarily attributed to hard work. Those who desire good results will achieve them.”
According to Lorraine Srage, the Principal of King David High School Linksfield, “these wonderful statistics are testimony to the hard work and commitment to success of the students as well as the expertise and dedication of the school’s exceptional teaching staff. The class of 2014 is to be congratulated on these brilliant academic successes.”
Deputy Headmaster Alan Lachenicht of St Dunstan’s College also highlights that excellent results are not only attributed to the hard work put in by pupils and teachers over many years, but also from the exceptional support received from parents. He wishes all matriculants the best of luck as they embark on exciting new endeavors next year.
St Dunstan’s College achieved a 100% pass rate as well as a total of 94 distinctions from 94 candidates. Their top student Dennis de Gouveia who achieved 8 distinctions and was ranked in the top 5% of all IEB students in six or more subjects and achieved 80% or more in Life Orientation advises next year’s matriculants to, “get the marks you want for yourself and not for anybody else. Don’t be pressured by the marks other people get or the marks other people want you to get; work to your own abilities. Your future is in your own hands!”
One family, 22 distinctions
One family that has much to celebrate is the Beckerling family, whose triplets attend Helpmekaar Kollege. Not only did they achieve whopping 22 distinctions amongst them but sister Klara also ranked in the top 5% of learners in five subjects and scored 80% or more for Life Orientation as well as ranked in the top 1% in three subjects. When asked what it was like writing the matric exams with your siblings they said, “that having your siblings write the same papers as we did ensured that we always had the notes on all our subjects. Even though we mostly studied independently, we helped one another during our final examination especially before the science, mathematics and advanced programme mathematics papers often evoking intense debates at the breakfast and dinner table. “
Proud parents, Theo Beckerling and Adele de Wet admit that at times it was a challenge having three children writing the matric exams together particularly when Klara, Constant and Karl each wrote a paper, or even two. They advise their kids to do, “whatever you choose to do wholeheartedly”.
Despite being triplets not only do the three have very different personalities and interest but they all have very different plans for the year ahead. For the first time they will be separated as Klara will be attending UCT to do BSC (Marine Biology); Constant will be going to Wits to study BSC ENG (Chemical) and Karl to Stellenbosch to pursue a B Comm LLB.
“Helpmekaar Kollege is very proud of the collective performance of our matric class of 2014 who achieved a 100% pass rate with all pupils having the opportunity to further their studies at a tertiary institution. Two students ranked within the top 5% of students in six or more subjects and scored 80% or more for Life Orientation with one of them being in the top 1% in three subjects and the other in the top 1% in one subject. This truly remarkable performance includes an average of 2.9 A symbols per pupil and it continues the trend that has been set over the past couple of years at Helpmekaar Kollege.”
Painting the bigger picture
Anne Oberholzer, chief executive of the IEB believes that education is so much more than just the achievenment of good results. She points out that, “recent events in the history of our democracy has shown that our young people, who are about to assume their position as active citizens in our country, must be people who understand the realities of daily living in South Africa, have the ability to play an active role in addressing these realities and have the courage to speak up and act when they see the rights and freedoms, guaranteed in the Constitution, being undermined.”
She added that while good results are a personal milestone and has a significant impact on shaping one’s future, “the key role of education is to provide young people with the capabilities beyond academic prowess that make them rounded citizens who engage constructively and meaningfully with their world.”
President Michelle Bachelet from Chile believes that this constructive engagement should be encouraged in classrooms so children can discuss and debate contentious issues rather than have lessons where the teacher imposes his or her own ideologies on them. “It is such conversations that enable an understanding that every nation must build a common purpose and an understanding of the principle of mutual dependence,” explains Oberholze.
Of the 10 451 candidates from 191 schools across the country, 9 976 were full time and 475 were part time students. This year saw an increase of 396 learners that wrote the examination as a result of seven new institutions who joined the IEB as well as increases in learner numbers at existing schools.
Maths and Physical Sciences
While there has always been an emphasis on Maths and Physical Sciences in IEB schools, the new CAPS introduced in 2014 placed even more emphasis on these subjects. Approximately, 66% of learners offer Mathematics while the remaining 34% offer Mathematical Literacy. Of these learners, 88.6% scored 40% and above. In addition to that 49% of learners offered Physical Science of which 88.5% achieved 40% and above.
Advanced programme courses
Other results released by the IEB were the Advanced Programme (AP) courses. The IEB conducts assessments in AP Mathematics, AP English and Afrikaans, courses designed for school-going learners with a specific talent and interest in the fundamental disciplines of Mathematics and literature study. Equivalent to the United Kingdom’s A level courses the AP courses are available to any learner in South Africa who chooses to participate regardless of attending an IEB or a state school.
This year’s pass rate in the AP courses were as follows: 85.2% of the 2 315 candidates who wrote AP Mathematics; 96.8% of the 610 candidates who wrote AP English; and 100% of all candidates who wrote Afrikaans.
The Combined Abitur-NSC qualification
This year’s results also included 53 candidates who received a Combined Abitur-NSC qualification, which means pupils can further their studies at either South African or German universities. German schools in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Pretoria offer this qualification. Five of the subjects taken are assessed by the IEB while the German education authorities assess seven subjects.
Other results released by the IEB this year were the November National Adult Education examinations for the General Education and Training Certificate (GETC) qualification at NQF Level 1. This year saw a total of 2 486 candidates who wrote examinations across 8 subjects. While the majority were adult learners who are fully employed despite not being offered an opportunity to complete formal schooling with a recognised qualification there were also a fairly substantial number of unemployed learners who were given this opportunity to enhance their chances of employment. Of the 3 630 subject examinations written, 1 997 passes were obtained. Even though the pass rate was only 55% Oberholze pointed out that, “the most heartening parts of our work is to witness the happiness of people when they achieve a pass in these examinations,” and encourages those who were not successful to try again.
Please note that there are learners who have chosen not to have their results published.