Local school wins maths challenge

2015-09-22 06:00
Senior gold medallist, Bronson Rudner (middle) a Grade 11 pupil from South African College High School in Cape Town, with Allan Graham (1966 medallist) and Joe Mwase from Liberty.

Senior gold medallist, Bronson Rudner (middle) a Grade 11 pupil from South African College High School in Cape Town, with Allan Graham (1966 medallist) and Joe Mwase from Liberty.

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Sweet Valley Primary School was named the top performing school at the annual South African Mathematics Foundation (SAMF) Gala Awards.

The gala was held on Saturday 19 September in Durban.

More than 9 500 Grades 4 to 7 primary school pupils from 378 schools across South Africa participated in the final round of the South African Mathematics Challenge (SAMC).

More than 104 000 pupils from 486 schools participated in the first round of the SAMC, which took place in May.

Pupils who obtained at least 50% in the first round qualified for the final round written on Wednesday 29 July. Performance in the final round is used to determine the top performing school.

Sweet Valley Primary School, a public school with 861 pupils in Cape Town, walked away with the award as the top performing school. Their vision of excel today and lead tomorrow epitomizes the school’s strategy to achieve success.

The school has an exam pass rate of 99% and also performs well in the Annual National Assessment (ANA) with mathematics averages between 74% and 90%. Teachers incorporate problem solving exercises in their classrooms almost every day. The SAMC is an important incentive for teachers and pupils to focus on problem solving.

Ian Ryan, principal of Sweet Valley Primary School, says the emphasis should be on mathematics as a problem solving exercise, rather than on learning procedures.

“Exposing children to a variety of different types of problems and encouraging persistence enables them not to give up when they cannot immediately solve a problem.”

The 58-year-old school strives to instil a sense of pride and loyalty in every learner. Ryan dreams to empower and inspire his learners to lead a life of significance and to respect all. He adds that teachers strive to create a balanced educational environment in which pupils have the opportunity to achieve their full potential academically, spiritually, socially and physically

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