/ 26 January 2024

Resilience and innovation shine

Crawford International Pretoria Unforgettable Moments
Crawford International Pretoria celebrating unforgettable moments with the Class of 2023.

Crawford International celebrates exceptional achievements of the Matric Class of 2023

In the wake of the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, the matric class of 2023 at Crawford International has emerged triumphant, showcasing exceptional achievements and resilience in their academic journey. This, says Dr Thersia Rossouw, Academic Development Coordinator for Crawford International, is highlighted by the top distinctions obtained by learners across multiple campuses. 

Crawford International Sandton students Thato Maheya, Saara Motani, Bhongo Dhlomo, Leth’Okuhle Hlatshwayo, Tlotliso Ramoreboli and Oyama Ngonyama celebrating their matric results.

Some of the standout achievements from this class include five students from the La Lucia and Sandton campuses who obtained 100% for mathematics, while two students from Pretoria and Sandton received 10 distinctions each. A further 11 students earned nine distinctions, 21 received eight distinctions, and 34 obtained seven distinctions. 

Demonstrating the academic rigour and excellence fostered at Crawford College, 15 students from the La Lucia campus placed in the top 1% nationally, with a further 29 learners receiving six distinctions. This, says Rossouw, is remarkable in the face of the learning disruptions that marked their high school careers. “Our students excelled during the 2023 exams, especially when considering that they had to learn remotely during Covid.” 

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Crawford International North Coast Top 3 Achievers for the Class of 2023: Dhivya Naicker #2, Daisy Pybus #1 and Skyla Tyack.

Rossouw attributes these successes to the hard work and spirit of resilience of the learners, supported by Crawford’s innovative and personalised teaching methods and commitment to holistic learner development: “The institution is renowned for its forward-thinking approach to learning, providing a globally aligned education where students and teachers flourish in a flexible learning environment, immersing themselves in the subjects, cultivating lifelong learning. Our academic philosophy is ‘Think, Understand, and Apply,’ promoting in-depth inquiry, self-realisation, and, above all, giving our students a voice to discover their own learning journey.” 

Four pillars for future-proofed learning 

These principles have equipped and empowered the matric class of 2023 to not only excel in their final exams, but to thrive with future-proofed skills as they transition out of the schooling system. 

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David Maree, Crawford International Ruimsig College Principal, with 1st Place Top Achiever Kristen McLeod and Crawford International Ruimsig Head of Academics, Michéll Corrans.

At the core of the Crawford International offering lies its four academic pillars, namely local and global relevance, future-focused skills, student agency and a personalised learning journey. “This promotes a holistic and well-balanced approach, especially when coupled with our extensive extracurricular options,” she says. 

According to Rossouw, the innovative teaching methods employed by Crawford International contribute significantly to the success of its students. “Teachers actively engage with the students utilising a variety of teaching strategies, including the Harvard visible thinking routines, experiential learning, demonstrations and guided learning,” she says. “Our focus on local and global relevance instils in our teachers traits like performance-driven collaboration, resilience and innovation, fostering a creative and adaptable solutions-driven approach to underpin future-focused ideas.” 

Agency, choice and voice

She says by fully utilising these strategies, learners grow to be inquisitive by nature, confident and well-versed when it comes to applying research skills such as fieldwork, data-gathering and analysis. 

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Crawford International La Lucia’s Top 10 Class of 2023 Achievers Ross Paterson, Jaiden Naidu, Dhanvir Chandrikpersad, Yajneel Duttoo, Georgia Paola, Shubham Mohta, Louisa Hancock, Jordan Hancock, and Sarah Dunford.

Students are encouraged to get involved in solutions to the issues that affect them, and in owning the learning spaces that they are the primary stakeholders in. “All in all, this is the foundation of our third academic pillar, namely student agency, which empowers our learners’ own voice and choice and allows them to step up and take ownership of their education and their learning journey while encouraging the growth of their personal interests.” 

This approach fosters inquisitiveness, confidence, and strong research skills among students. “It is in keeping with our core belief of ‘every child is a masterpiece’,” she says. “Our students are challenged to reflect upon their own learning, set personal best goals in collaboration with their teachers as well as air their views.” 

Effective voice and choice also mean that students can show up authentically, and are supported when they do so. Inclusiveness is a critical component of how learners and educators are encouraged to interact, and this also means fostering a healthy understanding of diversity — Crawford Schools are LGBTQIA+ safe spaces, and shared cross-campus resources and expertise means that students have a network of support, regardless of their context or circumstance.

Global citizens in the making

In addressing the rapidly changing world, Crawford International ensures its students are prepared for higher education and future careers: “Our academic offering is future-focused and constantly adapting to the changing local and global environments. The flexibility and adaptability of our learning environments encourage students to become self-directed learners.” 

With a student body made up of learners from over 70 different nationalities, Crawford International is dedicated to fostering a diverse and inclusive environment, as well as an understanding of different cultures and perspectives. “When I started working at Crawford it was like working at the United Nations, with local and global representatives all sitting together in one classroom. Within Crawford’s nurturing environment, our students are not only made aware of understanding local perspectives but also real-time global perspectives,” Rossouw explains. 

This international community and the interconnectedness it represents prepares students to step into the world as global citizens, underpinned by acceptance, encouragement, mutual support and international-mindedness. As part of ADvTECH, Crawford is also part of the Respect Diversity Inclusion (RDI) programme that consists of implementing social and environmental programmes to empower students with globally-relevant competencies like sustainability. 

Equipped for the world of tomorrow 

Technology is integrated throughout the learning process, preparing learners to thrive in an increasingly digital world. Various EdTech solutions form a seamless extension to a blended learning approach that includes flipped classroom models, collaboration and the promotion of discussions that extend beyond the four walls of the classroom. “Furthermore, our academic offering goes beyond the scope of traditional confined technologies, and we focus on our EdTech offering such as STEAM, Robotics and esports,” she explains. “Our learning management system (LMS) is used to promote feedback, feed-forward and reflection, visible not only to the teacher, student and peers but also to the parents. This emphasises the transparency of our academic offering.” 

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Rhea Malhotra celebrates her nine distinctions and overall aggregate of 94.69%, placing her first at Crawford International Lonehill.

Rossouw says this parental involvement is integral to Crawford’s educational approach: “Parents are part of the Crawford learning community, and they are not only encouraged to be involved in plotting the learning journey alongside the teacher and their child, but they can also be invited to present their expertise as part of a subject-specific objective, which co-incidentally forms part of one of the learning modes, which is ‘learn by expert’.”

All this, says Rossouw, is balanced upon Crawford’s academic pillars, and prepares students to step into the world as “future changemakers”. The outstanding accomplishments of the matric class of 2023 exemplify these goals and stand as a testament to the school’s commitment to excellence, innovation, and holistic development.

Crawford at a glance 

As an international school, Crawford College provides a world-class education and a global perspective that is progressive, future-focused and tailor-made to each child’s unique context, underpinned by four pillars of teaching and learning: 

Local and Global Relevance

Educators and learners alike are encouraged and nurtured to be open-minded and curious about the world around them, fostering a shared awareness and understanding of local and global events, perspectives and cultures. This encourages interconnectedness and international-mindedness as global citizens and future changemakers.

Student Agency

Students play an active role in shaping their learning environment, from collaborating on rules and peer expectations to personal goal setting and learning aims. Educators are trained to empower students in voice, choice and ownership of their learning journeys; this is done by encouraging personal interests and initiatives and facilitating perseverance and adaptability while driving important conversations, ongoing reflection and individual progress.

Future-Focused Skills

It’s no longer enough to just acquire knowledge; at Crawford, students are also supported in furthering this knowledge to develop conceptual understanding and hone essential skill sets that are applied throughout the curriculum to ensure they not only survive but thrive in a dynamic, innovative and fast-changing world. 

Personalised Learning Journey

The Crawford team knows that each learning journey is as unique as the child embarking on it and that no one-size-fits-all approach exists. This is why there is a focus on targeted instruction, content, skills, tools, pace and mentorship to support and enrich every student, without sacrificing the elements that set them apart from the crowd.