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Sacred Heart College in Johannesburg is pleased to announce a 100% Matric pass rate. Seven students obtained four or more distinctions – and a number of other Matrics made significant learning gains to meet the goals they set during their school journey.

The College’s top matriculants for 2022 are: Faeez Dada, with seven distinctions, including 100% for Mathematics and an A for Further Studies Mathematics; Jemi Luzinga, with six distinctions; and Zayd Fazel-Ellahi, who has five distinctions including an A for Further Studies Mathematics.

Miles Holmes, Ntshembo Tiyani Maswanganyi, Belekazi Mbele and Luca Sampson earned four distinctions each. A further 18 students achieved an additional 35 distinctions, translating into an average of about two distinctions each.

Like other schools, Sacred Heart felt the effects of Covid-19, with the 2022 Matric cohort being directly affected by the pandemic from the onset of their foundational Matric year. They have had to navigate disrupted schooling and remote learning, a sentiment recognised by Anne Oberholzer, CEO of the Independent Examinations Board, in her media statement.

Sacred Heart is also just as proud of those students who may have been struggling academically and even failing in grade 10, for example, but who have improved consistently to obtain a bachelor’s pass or a distinction in Matric. Thanks to the support of the teachers and all the staff at the school, their parents, and their own dedication and determination, they have excelled and the college couldn’t be more pleased for them.

“We are thrilled for the student from a modest background who obtained distinctions despite the odds,” says Head of College Heather Blanckensee. “We toast the young man who came to Sacred Heart when his school closed down, found his feet and went on to achieve outstanding results. The refugee student who faced significant xenophobic challenges in a public high school and has gone on to achieve six distinctions. One student who hadn’t been passing has now opened up new horizons with a diploma pass, showing impressive learning gains. We celebrate them all.”

Sacred Heart’s ethos prioritises each child’s “journey to success”, leveraging the power of the “educational triangle” of parent, teacher and student to map out a child’s personal improvement goals and how to attain them. Developing a growth mindset is crucial to this journey.

“We believe every student should have the opportunity to study further,” explains Blanckensee. “There is incredible pressure to go to university and get a degree, but some young people may not be suited for that and many degrees do not adequately prepare them for the world of work. As the world continues to embrace the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) and the need for entrepreneurs, schools need to create opportunities for students to access different further study options if they wish, not necessarily only university, and prepare parents and students to make informed choices about their future.”

Blanckensee believes a mental shift needs to happen to realise that a 4IR-led future does not only require mathematical and scientific skills, but also success in the sphere of creativity and being able to navigate the complexities of collaboration in a diverse and uncertain world. “Different intelligences, including social intelligences, are needed in today’s workplace,” she says.

“That’s why we are all celebrating the results of our students who have displayed outstanding perseverance, involved themselves in all the co-curricular activities and still found time for community involvement projects. This, together with their further studies, will give them a choice of careers that will ensure that they are agile and are well-equipped for an ever-changing job market.”

Analysing Sacred Heart College’s Matric results holistically and from a 4IR viewpoint, there was a strong performance in key subjects: 73% of students writing Dramatic Arts obtained distinctions, 55.5% obtained distinctions for Visual Arts, 50% for Computer Applications Technology, 40% for Information Technology, 43% for isiZulu, 26% for Mathematics and 24% for Mathematical Literacy. “This shows us that Sacred Heart College is preparing students holistically for the 4IR,” she says.

“We have seen the amount of hard work our students put into these three years, and how they have grown in character and developed a strong work ethic. We are confident that, given this foundation, these young people will continue to excel in their future endeavours, and we look forward to hearing about their continued successes.”