Results ‘better than expected’

Camps Bay Highs top five, from left, are Rachel Volkel, Alice Thesen, Caleb Thetard, Alice Pillar, Ben Heather-Clarke.

It was a day filled with tears of joy as the class of 2018 collected their matric results last Friday, January 4.

At Camps Bay High, they were not able to maintain the 100% pass rate they achieved over the previous four years.

They recorded a 99.2% pass rate, with one pupil out of 130 failing.

Principal David de Korte said their maths and science results were disappointing.

“The top pupils in maths and science haven’t performed as well as they’d have liked to perform. When they wrote maths and science last year, they were concerned that the exam was a little bit challenging,” he said.

Mr De Korte said the school got more Bachelor’s degree passes this year which meant more pupils could gain entry into university. He said there were pupils who performed better than expected.

“We had a group of five pupils who were at risk and we were concerned but four of them got through and we’re very happy with their results,” he said.

In total, the class received 190 distinctions and 15 pupils achieved an A aggregate with over a third of the class achieving higher than a B aggregate.

He said the school did well in other subjects such as history with one pupil achieving 99%.

Mr De Korte said the additional languages such as IsiXhosa and Afrikaans are always a concern because of a lot of children don’t speak the languages enough at home and that always affects the results.

Top achiever at the school, Ben Heather-Clarke scored a 92.3% aggregate. He said he couldn’t believe that he is the top achiever because the maths exam was difficult.

“It feels like a dream. I’m going to study applied biology and marine biology at the University of Cape Town.”

His father, Stuart Heather-Clark, said he was proud of Ben. “He’s worked incredibly hard, he’s been dedicated and put a lot of work and time in. He’s always done well throughout his school career and we’re grateful for the results,” he said.

Touching on their strategy to improve their results, Mr De Korte said: “We will put a lot of emphasis in the foundation (Grade 8-9) to help the pupils make a wiser subject choice in Grade 10, so you don’t end up with children sitting with maths and science that you’re never going to pass. Parents have very high expectations of their children and they put pressure on them to do these subjects. There are lots of careers these days that children can follow and they don’t always need maths and science,” he said.

He said the school was incredibly proud of all its pupils and the hard work they put into their final exams. He said the enrolment at Camps Bay High School is not focused on the top academic achievers in Cape Town and so they get a mixed bag of results. “We pride ourselves on being a school where there is a place for you regardless of your academic achievements and it is our goal to create well-rounded young people who can go on to contribute productively to our society. Camps Bay High School matric 2018 students achieved some incredible individual results and we are very proud of their achievements,” he said.

Sea Point High dropped from 91.4% in 2017 to 88.3% in 2018.

The new principal at Sea Point High School, Leanna Le Breton, couldn’t give reasons why the school’s pass rate dropped. She admitted that maths was one of their challenging subjects. She said the school was in a transition the whole of ear last year and the department took very long to appoint a principal. She said she will strive to improve the results in 2019.

Gardens Commercial High dropped their pass rate from 97.6% in 2017 to 87.1% in 2018. Herzlia High School and Jan Van Riebeeck High School achieved a 100% pass rate while Cape Town High School, and Good Hope Seminary Girls’ High, improved their pass rates from 86.8% in 2017 to 94.3% in 2018 and 90.2% to 97.4, respectively.

Vista High School in Bo-Kaap saw a huge improvement from 63.3% in 2017 to 79% (See story on page ?).

The province has seen a slight drop in the pass rate in 2018, scoring an 81.5% pass, down compared to 2017’s 84.4%.

Education MEC, Debbie Schafer, congratulated the pupils and said she was especially proud that the Western Cape achieved an increase in the percentage of Bachelor’s degree passes, with 42.3% of pupils.

In a statement released on Friday, Ms Schafer said she was pleased with the results in the Western Cape. “The Western Cape Government has always maintained that indicators of quality go well beyond the overall pass rate. We focus on the quality of the passes and the retention of as many learners as possible in the school system so that we can ensure the best possible opportunities for our young people in the Western Cape,” she said.