As schools opened last week, Fisantekraal High’s staff said they were more than ready to tackle the academic year, following good 2017 matric results.
The school ranked fourth in the “most improved” category, going from a 64.4% pass rate in 2016 to 79.5% in 2017 – an increase of 15.1%.
Principal Leopold Vries said it was the best result since he took office in 2012.
The school saw improvements in all subject results, except maths and science. Seventy of the 88 matric candidates passed.
Mr Vries said he had been nervous when he heard the province and the district’s results had dropped.
But he needn’t have worried: Fisantekraal’s class of 2017 did not disappoint.
The pupils had been very dedicated -staying for after-school classes, coming in on Saturdays and not “bunking”.
The DA’s Nomsa Marchesi met with Mr Vries on Tuesday January 16, a day before schools opened, to assess the school’s state of readiness.
“The principal and teachers of the school put in a tremendous amount of effort into ensuring that their matrics were prepared to write their exams, including teaching extra classes on a Saturday and providing extramural activities for all grades. They also have the support of an active community and school governing body,” she said.
“Most importantly, the school is looking always to continuously improve – their focus for the coming year is specialised support in maths and science. Such aspiration and dedication is a shining example for other school leaders to follow.”
The first day of school, on Wednesday January 17, went relatively well, Mr Vries said, with orientation for the Grade 8 pupils and text books and stationery being handed out.
He said the plan for the year was to build on the successes of last year.
“We plan to start with the curriculum this week to get pupils and teachers in the right frame of mind,” he said.
The school would track the results of pupils throughout the year, as it was the best way to gauge how they would do in the finals.
Fisantekraal High School is a no-fees school with about 1 000 pupils enrolled this year.
The pupils are mainly from Fisantekraal, Klipheuwel and the surrounding farming community and many drop out because of tough socio-economic circumstances.
“We have a situation where we will have 300 pupils enrolled in Grade 8, and by the time they reach Grade 11, the number dwindles to about 100,” Mr Vries said.