Principals inspired by matriculants of 2021
In the second year of the era of COVID-19, when schooling was challenged to the hilt, our matriculants did the community and their schools proud. Here’s what principals had to say:
King David High School Victory Park, Andrew Baker
We celebrate the outstanding achievement of our entire matric class of 2021 in the Independent Examinations Board (IEB) final examinations. The students surpassed our expectations yet again in another year filled with seemingly insurmountable challenges.
We salute their tenacity. This remarkable group of students all achieved a personal best and, in spite of the difficulties presented by two years of interruptions to their schooling, they remained upbeat and optimistic. This is testament to their attitude and work ethic.
At the same time, we recognise the academic excellence of our top performers. Many students this year achieved a “full house” characterised by distinctions for every subject that they wrote. With a 100% pass rate and 100% BD (university entrance) pass rate, it’s certainly no mean feat for 98% of the grade to achieve averages of 60% and over. Mazaltov to the entire group and kol hakavod to all their teachers!
Herzlia High School, Marc Falconer
We’re delighted with the exceptional achievements of our 2021 matric group. In any year, these results would have been noteworthy; in the light of the extraordinary challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, the results of the 2021 group are truly commendable.
This group achieved the highest aggregate ever by any Herzlia matric cohort.
All pupils irrespective of the distinctions they achieve deserve to be commended for their resilience, grit, focus, and dedication to several years characterised by change, loss, grief, but also by adaptability, determination, innovation, and camaraderie.
It’s important to commend the dedication, adaptability, and unquestioned investment in each of our matric cohort by the teachers in 2021, who offered a level of support far beyond the normal. It’s also important to recognise the extraordinary work of the counselling and educational support department (SEED).
For many pupils who are part of our inclusive school, their matric results need to be understood in their specific context, and we’re often more proud of these less easy to discern triumphs than the more obvious achievements.
It’s also important to remember that our school is privileged. We have the resources, staff, and infrastructure to ensure that our teaching programme has been far less disrupted than in many other schools. For this we are extremely grateful.
Education is about these results, but also about the values, skills, habits, and relationships that our pupils take out into the world after they leave school.
Mazaltov to our matric group of 2021!
King David High School Linksfield, Lorraine Srage
Every new year is an opportunity to set goals for the year ahead but in doing so, is also an opportunity to measure the year that was – 2021.
The years 2020 and 2021 will never be forgotten.
We had so many deviations from the norm and so many missed experiences but, as a school, we were determined to protect the integrity of the matric examinations.
In spite of the upheaval and anxiety over the past two years, the matrics acquired new skills and had new experiences. This was a group of students who showed resilience, courage, and determination. Their positivity, graciousness, and appreciation ensured their success.
I commend their courage in getting through both their Grade 11 and Grade 12 years as best as they could, and now that we’re celebrating their success, we know that the sacrifices they made weren’t in vain.
So often teachers are unsung heroes, but the pandemic has proven the value of teachers at every level. I thank them for their excellence.
We aspire to recognise the diverse strengths of our students and for every student to reach their potential. We strive to create a love for learning, to nurture our students’ creativity and self-expression, and to create future leaders.
We instil Jewish values so that every student leaves school with a connection to their Judaism and to Israel. We inspire a life of purpose so that they leave with a worth of kindness, respect, generosity of spirit, and a sense of community and nation building.
I wish all our matriculants all of Hashem’s blessings as they embark on their new journey. Mazeltov!
Hirsch Lyons, Rabbi Steven Krawitz
According to conventional wisdom, excellent matric results in 2021 were achieved in spite of two years of COVID-19-related difficulties. Maybe we should look at the situation from a different perspective: as a result of COVID-19, our students excelled.
True satisfaction and sense of achievement happens when a person overcomes challenges to achieve his or her latent potential.
Every year, our students at Hirsch Lyons tackle a full Torah learning programme as well as the demanding IEB matric. Rising to the challenge of a double curriculum results in students who have grown far beyond their comfort zones and who are more than ready to tackle the challenges of full-time Torah learning in yeshivas and seminaries and eventually excelling at university too.
COVID-19 was one more hurdle for our students to rise above, not just to produce excellent matric results, but to strengthen their core and lock themselves into a dynamic growth process.
Matric results aren’t just the achievement of students, teachers play an integral role too. At Hirsch Lyons, we firmly believe that all our teachers aren’t merely sources of knowledge and skill to be “downloaded”, but living, breathing texts. At this time, they truly modelled how to turn adversity into opportunity.
The 25 graduates of Hirsch Lyons 2021 achieved a 100% pass, and all students qualified for tertiary study.
Yeshiva College, Rob Long
Yeshiva College is especially proud of its matriculation class of 2021 and the well-rounded menschen that they have grown into. We celebrate their academic success as they reap the benefits of their hard work and resilience throughout their school careers and in particular over the past COVID-19 infected months.
We need to imbue our children with rich values and a deep sense of purpose. To this end, our school runs a full dual curriculum throughout our boys’ and girls’ high schools. Each student writes seven IEB matric subjects and studies a full limudei kodesh syllabus. Our students also participate in our extra-mural programme of sport and cultural activities. Over and above this, a number of students take advanced programme subjects that are offered in mathematics, physical sciences, and English.
Our closely knit class of 30 students amassed 107 distinctions amongst them, achieving an excellent average of 3.5 distinctions per student and maintaining the school’s 100% matriculation pass rate. We’re especially proud of our grade average of 76% across all subjects.
Our students graduate with a close group of friends, happy memories, and a well-balanced and Torah-infused education. We look forward to watching them go out into the world with the will to make a positive difference.
Torah Academy Boys High School, Rabbi Motti Hadar
I’m so proud of and humbled by the Torah Academy Boys High matrics of 2021, not just for their 100% IEB matric bachelor’s degree pass rate and for every student achieving distinctions. I’m proud of how they each reached their personal goals in spite of many challenges, all while maintaining their passion and involvement in Torah studies as well as in school and communal activities.
I’m most proud of who they are – their achievements, results, mentchlichkeit, grit, and determination, sense of values, kindness, intellectual curiosity, and creativity, passion for life, and excitement for their future.
The matrics of 2021 have taught me much about what it means to make the most of every situation, apply yourself fully, do your best, and reach your goals.
Although two of their most crucial years – Grade 11 and 12 – were years of extraordinary change and challenges, they remained optimistic, hardworking, and focused. They inspired me every day.
Matrics, even more important than your results are the life lessons you have learnt. To make the most of every situation, to apply yourself fully to whatever you do, to be flexible and adapt to change, to be resilient and maintain focus, and to remain positive and determined to do your best and reach your goals no matter the circumstances.
Torah Academy Girls High School, Morah Rebecca Sarchi
At Torah Academy Girls High School (TAGHS), success and happiness lies within the individual. Our students measure themselves against themselves, always striving to be the best student and person they can be. When that is achieved, they have been successful.
So to our matric class of 2021 – yashar koach! We salute your tenacity, perseverance, growth, courage, self-belief, and hard work. You aimed high, and achieved your goals. You have made TAGHS proud.
Combining a dual curriculum of kodesh and general studies isn’t easy. You did it with commitment and dignity while still managing to get the marks you wanted.
So to our outgoing matric class, keep on working, and continue to flourish and contribute to the wider community.