From the pen of the principals
The 2022 matriculants had the worst of COVID-19 and they experienced extensive load shedding during their exams, but still they came up trumps. This is what the heads of school have to say:
Herzlia High School
Andries van Renssen, executive director, United Herzlia Schools
The release of matric results is always a significant event in the Herzlia calendar because a top matric is the ultimate reason why parents send their children to a school.
But Herzlia is about a lot more than matric results. We want to empower every child with the values to become menschen in society, raising up the Jewish community through their success.
A great matric result is one type of success – important, but not the only one. When Herzlia promises “to involve itself in any way it can to empower its pupils to reach their dreams” it speaks about every staff member from nursery school through to matric.
In past years, Herzlia has consistently been ranked in the top-10 performing schools in South Africa according to independent ranking by “gradesmatch.co.za” in terms of distinctions per candidate. We don’t know the 2022 ranking yet, but last year – with 3.6 distinctions per candidate – Herzlia was ranked ninth in South African and seventh in the Western Cape.
This year, Herzlia’s distinctions per candidate increased to 3.7. No matter what the ranking is, it’s an amazing result and our pupils and parents have reason to be proud.
It’s also important to mention that, while across schools nationally the percentage of learners achieving a Bachelor’s degree pass stayed consistently between 43% and 48% over the past five years, Herzlia achieved a 99% Bachelor’s degree pass!
Mazaltov to our class of 2022 in making its matric dream a reality.
King David High School Linksfield
Lorraine Srage, principal, King David High School Linksfield
We’re incredibly proud of the achievements of the 2022 matric group, but our culture at this remarkable school is more inclusive than measuring only results.
We aspire to recognise the diverse strengths of our students. And equally important – if not even more so – is that every student feels responsible to serve our school community and honour the ethos of our school. We’re dedicated to placing worth on kindness, respect, discipline, and generosity of spirit. All of these facets allow our students to take their place in a world where they can change everything.
How do you measure a year, or to quote the song Seasons of Love from the Broadway musical Rent, how do you measure five hundred, twenty-five thousand, six hundred minutes? In daylights? In sunsets? In cups of coffee? In laughter? In strife? At King David High School, we can proudly say that we measure the year in success.
Our success is, without doubt, reflected in the outstanding matric results that we received in the Independent Examinations Board exams.
And we measure success in the students who didn’t believe that they could pass matric and did; the students who didn’t believe that they could obtain a university entrance and did; and the students who didn’t even believe that matric was a vague possibility for them, but who did it.
Success is ultimately the realisation of personal potential. It’s triumph over hardship and battles. Therefore, both the setting of goals and the measure of success is personal and specific, and relates to each student’s ability to work hard and be the best that he or she can be.
My wish is that our students will make their mark in the world as well as make a difference.
King David High School Victory Park
Andrew Baker, headmaster, King David High School Victory Park
Once again, I’m proud and delighted with the achievement of our class of 2022.
This group overcame some tough challenges along its journey to completing matric, and I salute each one of them for their perseverance and dedication. The fact that more than one third of the grade achieved averages of over 80% (A-aggregates) and 90% of the grade achieved above 60% in all subjects is no mean feat, and speaks to the tenacity and determination of these students.
It was a year filled with extreme highs and some difficult challenges, loss, and tragedy but the group maintained a determined outlook and weathered the worst of the storms as a united force. This group is significant in that they face a global landscape filled with increased uncertainty and a leadership deficit and these are the children who entered their first year of senior high school only to be shut down by the global COVID-19 pandemic.
This cohort effectively lost out on most of their Grade 10 and Grade 11 school years. Tenacity and resilience are key attributes of this group, which worked tirelessly to overcome the enormous challenges that they encountered along the way. So much more than just a wonderful set of academic scores, these individuals excelled in many other facets of their school life whether on the sports field or the stage, regional and national competitions, or outreach opportunities.
I wish them much success and happiness for the future.
Torah Academy Boys High School
Rabbi Motti Hadar, principal, Torah Academy Boys High School
I’m exceedingly proud of every matriculant at Torah Academy Boys High and their outstanding achievements, not just for their 100% Independent Examinations Board matric Bachelor’s degree pass rate and every student achieving distinctions. I’m proud of how they set their goals, challenged themselves, worked hard to reach and surpass those goals, and laid the foundation for the future of their dreams.
They did it while continuing a rigorous kodesh curriculum for more than three hours each day, and being an active member of the school and the broader community, each one making a meaningful difference to the world around them.
This is a Torah Academy education. It’s holistic and well-rounded.
It’s enhanced by our sports programme and our informal education department, led by a dynamic duo of overseas Yeshiva students, who motivate each student to grow through programmes which inspire, teach, and connect.
Together, this creates an education that prepares every student to go out into the world, knowing who they are and where they come from.
Matrics of Torah Academy 2022, you have received the strongest foundation from your parents, educators, community and friends. Now it’s up to you to build on it, create the future of your dreams, and make a positive impact on the world.
Torah Academy Girls High School
Rebecca Sarchi, principal, Torah Academy Girls High School
At Torah Academy Girls High School, we believe it’s important to treat each student as an individual.
While we firmly believe that marks don’t define a student, we’re elated with our students’ achievements. These results are their tickets to the next phase of life, they are what opens doors to the future.
As they take leave of our school, our students are holistically prepared for what comes next. If they are going to study at a seminary, they have been equipped with a broad kodesh knowledge, their skills are strong, and they have a thirst for more Torah knowledge. As a result of all the informal programmes we have offered them, the students have a strong Jewish identity and are ready to share that with the wider Jewish community. For those moving onto tertiary education, they feel excited and prepared for the next phase of their lives. Whether they become a doctor, IT specialist, lawyer, or beauty therapist, they know they will be the best they can be.
To my outgoing matrics, never compare your journey with someone else’s. Go out and embrace every day, every experience, every milestone, and every accomplishment. We’re so proud of you!
Rob Long, principal, Yeshiva College
Quite phenomenally, the matrics of 2022 all achieved their best results in their final matric exams. In comparison with a group of athletes, the matrics of Yeshiva College peaked at exactly the right time. Theirs was a record performance, of which we as educators, administrators, and parents are very proud.
And of course, the outcome of all this was the community’s celebration that this was all about the exciting development of young minds, personalities, and characters.
We’re proud of our students’ academic achievements, but we’re even more proud of the menschen they have become.
To achieve an average of four distinctions per student, a grade average across all subjects of above 77%, and a 100% university entrance, shows the academic perseverance of the 2022 cohort. From public speaking to the sports field and the various charity organisations around Johannesburg, this matric year also showed its talent and care for the community.
The class of 2022 certainly showed us that as a generation of the future, they are creative, resilient, and engaged in the world around them. They are a grade that persisted through two years of COVID-19 and emerged stronger in the collective belief that they could achieve and make a difference to the world while caring for this planet, its resources, and people. Their outreach projects, mentoring of younger grades in the school, and involvement in our community, while showing their love of Torah, is a testimony to the above.
We salute the matrics of 2022, and wish them every success.