Defining matric success, the Holy Rosary School way

 Belinda Damhuis  (High School Principal), Chrislin Nieuwoudt, Micaela da Silva, Kiara Janse Van Rensburg and Courtney Scheuble. (Front) Rofhiwa Lishivha and Jessica du Toit

Belinda Damhuis (High School Principal), Chrislin Nieuwoudt, Micaela da Silva, Kiara Janse Van Rensburg and Courtney Scheuble. (Front) Rofhiwa Lishivha and Jessica du Toit

Carol Ann Tomlinson — educator, author and speaker — defines educational success as the following: “Excellence in education is achieved when we do everything we can to help them [pupils] become everything that they can [be].”

We believe that matric success can be measured in a variety of ways. Good academic results are extremely important and a bachelor degree pass is ideal to ensure that our girls have the widest choice of opportunities available to them. However, it is only one of many factors that enable our girls to live a life of significance. To succeed in the fast-changing modern world, our girls need healthy self-esteem, a strong work ethic and a sense of responsibility as active global citizens.

Holy Rosary School uses a holistic approach, which takes into account each of our girl’s strengths and God-given talents. These are nurtured so that she can achieve her full potential, and successfully pursue her individual goals. In addition to our excellent academic standards, our girls, from a young age, are exposed to the many other facets of school life: our Christian ethos, service to their school and the wider community, and a variety of cultural and sporting activities.

Our high school girls have a “school mom” — their tutor — who accompanies them on their journey from grades 8 to 12. Her role is to guide, support and nurture them and work closely with all their teachers. Our 2018 matric tutor, Joline Steyn, says: “It has been an immense joy watching ‘my girls’ grow into strong, independent women who, I truly believe, have the power to change the world.”

Lara Irons, Holy Rosary’s 2018 top academic achiever, attained an outstanding matric of 10 distinctions with a 94% average. In addition, she was placed in the Top 1% of IEB candidates for the following subjects: English, Afrikaans, Maths, Physical Sciences, Life Sciences, History, Visual Arts and Life Orientation.

Irons had this to say about her teachers: “Our Holy Rosary teachers care for us at a personal level rather than just at a professional level. They have our best interests at heart and care about us as people, not just about how we do academically.”

The value of Irons extended into our cultural programme, where she was named the school’s best public speaker. She is also a talented flautist who enriched many school functions with her music.

Wendy Sorour was awarded an Honours blazer for academics, music and service, and is also a Springbok Scout. She received the Principal’s award for her dedication and loyalty to her school, her empathy and for making a positive contribution to society. Despite her focus on the community at large, she achieved an excellent matric result with four distinctions.

Theresia Kitele, one of our Bishop Shanahan Scholarship recipients, attained seven distinctions. Her teachers found her to be an extraordinarily natural computational thinker and problem-solver, to which her 91% for IT, 90% for Physical Sciences and 95% for Mathematics attests.

Chiara Hoskin is a deeply spiritual young woman who, at the Valedictory ceremony, was jointly awarded the Religious Education trophy. This talented young artist achieved seven distinctions, with 96% for Visual Arts putting her in the top 1% of IEB candidates for this subject.

Melissa Rattray, with seven distinctions, involved herself in all aspects of school life. Her true passions is athletics, for which she achieved full school colours, and dancing, for which she received provincial colours.

Simone Jeffrey, who achieved seven distinctions, was the recipient of the Sportsmanship and Loyalty trophy, which celebrated her qualities of fairness and respect for others, both on and off the sports field.

Jadelyn Davies enjoyed the cultural aspect of our school and was involved in directing her house play during her matric year. She was a valuable member of the hockey team, for which she was awarded full school colours. She earned a number of provincial scrolls for hockey throughout her high school career. She achieved six distinctions.

Our head girl of 2018, Chrislin Nieuwoudt, achieved six distinctions. She has provincial colours in swimming, national colours in lifesaving, and has been awarded a full scholarship for swimming and academics from Augustana University in the US, where she will be studying medicine. In her valedictory speech, she emphasised a particular characteristic of our school, one that we value deeply, namely the exceptional relationship that is cultivated between the girls and their teachers.

She said: “I have met strong and incredible women. These women, our teachers, became our role models and did not just educate us with their minds but also with their hearts.”