Matrics cherish support from family, teachers

2013-12-31 00:00

SUPPORT from their families and dedicated teachers was invaluable in the success of two Pietermaritzburg matrics.

Being ranked among the top five percent of all IEB pupils in six or more subjects, the two 18-year-olds — one from Grace College and the other from The Wykeham Collegiate — both obtained eight distinctions each.

Grace College’s Minir Patel, the son of family physician Dr Paresh Patel, and Wykeham’s Ruby Gill, who had just flown in from her holiday in Indonesia, both credited the enormous support they got from their families and school teachers.

Ruby said she had always pushed herself to do well and loved most of what she had done thus far.

She said that she would advise Grade 10 pupils who will be choosing their respective learning areas only to choose subjects that they will enjoy. She also said that pupils should not “over commit” themselves but must push as hard as they can.

“You will know when you start going much further than you really should. Don’t strain yourself but train yourself to do better without exceeding your limit,” she said.

Ruby said she enjoyed furthering herself and learning more about her capabilities.

Ruby got distinctions in Afrikaans, Dramatic Arts, English, Life Orientation, Mathematics, Advanced Progranmme Mathematics, Music and Physical Sciences and will study music at the University of Witwatersrand.

“I have always had a passion for music and have been a musician for a while; music is a big part of my life,” she said, adding she would one day like to teach music. She said music is something that she can fall back on and pursue as a career.

She is a previous winner of the Schools category in The Witness True Stories competition.

Meanwhile, Minir achieved distinctions for Accounting, Afrikaans, English, Information Technology, Life Orientation, Mathematics, Advanced Programme Mathematics and Physical Sciences.

Minir, who wants to walk in his father’s footsteps and study Medicine at the University of Cape Town, said he had made his mind up about his career choice a long time ago.

“Having been with my dad and other doctors and seeing the difference they make on a daily basis made me realise that this was the job for me,” he said.

The self-motivated lad said he hopes that living far from his family will result in him building some independence.

“I went to Europe for two weeks and within a short while, I missed home,” he said.

Minir said growing up with the right group of friends was one of the highlights of his school career.

“I basically studied every day but I ensured that I had a balanced lifestyle. During exams, to relax, I was reading, exercising, playing guitar and computer games and anything that did not need much thought,” he said.

Minir has always participated in Mathematics and Science Olympiads and has been competent in all of them.

‘You have to be self-disciplined to do well’


“WORK hard, play hard and pray hard.”

This is the advice Kyle Sinclair from Hilton College has for pupils entering high school next year.

Kyle got eight distinctions, making him one of the top IEB achievers in the country, a feat he said he feels very blessed and honoured about.

He received distinctions for English, History, Life Orientation, Life Science, Mathematics, Mathematics paper 3, Physical Science and Visual Arts.

He is hoping to study medicine at the University of Cape Town next year.

“Medicine is appealing to me because it is challenging and I like being challenged. I would also like to use the talents I have been blessed with to give back to the community. This country is in need of doctors,” Kyle told The Witness.

Kyle’s secret to success is hard work, “You have to be self-disciplined and self-motivated to do well. What you put in, is what you get out.”

Now that he is leaving school, Kyle realises how quickly time there passed. He encouraged high school pupils to enjoy every moment.

“High school really was one of the best times of my life. It was such a jol, but it goes too quickly. Really, make the most of it.”

Achievement feels surreal


WITH seven distinctions, Nicholas Schram is one of the high-achieving students in the country.

He received distinctions for Accounting, English, Life Orientation, Mathematics, Mathematics paper 3, Physical Science and Information Technology.

Reacting to news that he was identified as a top achiever, Nicholas said it feels surreal.

The Michaelhouse pupil said that the secret to achieving good marks is to pay attention from the beginning.

To pupils entering high school in 2014, Nicholas had the following advice, “Don’t slack. In the long run, it is better to be a consistent worker. If you mess around in grades 8, 9 and 10, you won’t get the good teachers later on. Teachers are very important; a good teacher makes a huge difference. I was very blessed with my teachers,” Nicholas told The Witness.

He added that his teachers helped make subjects that he didn’t particularly relish, like physical science, more enjoyable.

Nicholas planned out his study routine to help with the final exams.

“You need to understand what you are doing and just take every day as it comes. It may be long and tedious, but I knuckled down and never gave up.”

While most students are still trying to figure out what they want to do, the Durban boy has already mapped out his career path. He will be following in his parents’ footsteps by going to the same university they went to — the University of Cape Town.

“I’m going to UCT to study a BComm in Accounting and going on to be a chartered accountant.

“I’m just relieved that the results are finally out. I kept going online to see what my results were. There is just a look of relief on my face!”

Proud of his first ‘big step’


“THIS is a huge relief. I put in the hard work and now the results have prevailed,” said Steven Clowes of Michaelhouse.

Steven (18) obtained distinctions in Afrikaans, English, Mathematics, Life Sciences, Advanced Programme Mathematics, Life Orientation, Physical Science and Economics.

He said he was relieved to have made his parents proud. “I had to do well. A lot of money goes into Michaelhouse and I couldn’t just waste it,” he said.

The small town genius of Underberg said that Cape Town for him seemed to be a better fit and a new start to city life. He will study business science economics with law at the University of Cape Town. “I chose this field of study because I enjoy law and economics and I am not yet sure of what I want so I have many career paths to choose from,” Steven said.

The Midlands lad said that he was proud of himself for beating the odds and achieving his first “big step”.

‘Don’t only focus on books’


WHILE many high achievers choose to be accountants, doctors and engineers, Naledi Majola has decided to follow her passion and study performance.

Naledi is one of the top IEB matric achievers in the country. With seven distinctions, Naledi feels honoured to be counted amongst the cream of the crop.

She received distinctions for Drama, English, History, Life Orientation, Mathematics, Music and Zulu.

“Every year you read about the high achievers in the papers. I never imagined I would be one of them,” Naledi told The Witness.

Naledi, a Durbanite who went to St Anne’s Diocesan College in Hilton, will be attending the University of Cape Town next year.

“I’ve always enjoyed performing. I feel that actors can impact the world just as well as doctors or lawyers, just on a different platform.”

Naledi started working towards her final exams from the beginning of the year. “I prioritised my work and divided it up into smaller, bite-sized pieces to make it easier to get through. It’s always best to prepare in advance.”

To pupils who are entering high school in 2014, Majola had the following advice, “From an academic perspective, it is best to work consistently right from the beginning.

“It is also important to try and achieve balance in school, whether you play a sport or join the choir. The extra activities can refresh and energise you, and they teach you just as many lessons as in the classroom. Don’t only focus on the books.”

All the hard work pays off


AS one of the country’s top IEB achievers, Matthew Potter is happy to know his hard work paid off.

“It is really good to know that I’ve done so well, I really worked hard.”

He received distinctions for English, Afrikaans, Geography, Life Orientation, Life Science, Mathematics, Mathematics paper 3 and Physical Science.

While applying to universities, Potter was torn between studying medicine and engineering. He finally swayed towards medicine.

“I did community service in hospitals and I got to see all the aspects and difficulties medicine has. My time in the hospitals helped me make the decision to study medicine.”

Now that he knows what he wants to study, he has yet to decide on what institution he wants to attend next year.

“I have been accepted at the University of Cape Town and the University of Stellenbosch for medicine. I was just waiting for my final results to make my decision.”

Matthew attended Michaelhouse and really enjoyed his time there.

“I had such a great time in high school. At times it can get difficult, but if you keep your head down and have a good work ethic, you’ll get through.”

‘I’m never bored of studying’


BUDDING politician Dominic Siphesihle Pretorius (17) from Michaelhouse, who achieved nine IEB matric exam distinctions told T he Witness he is never bored studying.

The Johannesburg-based Michaelhouse boarder said he was proud of his achievement.

Dominic received distinctions in Dramatic Arts, English, Geography, Life Orientation, Mathematics, Advanced Programme Mathematics and Physical Sciences.

“It is such a relief because as much as I did fairly well during the year, I was still unsure of what would prevail after exams,” he said.

Dominic, who was interviewed on his way to the Karoo for a holiday, said he chose a variety of subject areas that appealed to him.

“I have never been bored in any of my learning areas, which is why I have never seen studying as a chore,” he said.

Dominic said that he will never run out of career options because he took as wide a variety of learning areas as he could.

Driven by a quest for knowledge and practicality and hoping to make a difference, Dominic said that he would happily go back to school all over again.

He said that his parents planted the seed of inspiration in him to do well.

Pretorius, joining his sister in Cape Town, will enrol at the University of Cape Town studying philosophy, politics and English.

“I want to understand politics on a broader level and who knows, I might just have an impact,” he said.

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