St Andrew’s School in Bloemfontein did not only produce the top learner in the Free State in the National Senior Certificate Exams, but the school has also achieved a 100% pass rate for the 26th time in the school’s history.
The school entered 58 candidates for the examination. All of them have passed. In addition 48 (83%) of the candidates have achieved a Bachelor’s Pass.
In a letter to the parents, the headmaster, Chris Thomas, said according to the national department’s report, St Andrew’s is the only boys’ school in the Free State to have achieved a 100% pass rate for five consecutive years and one of three boys’ schools in the country to have maintained this standard. The other two are Bishops and Rondebosch in Cape Town.
The Free State is the province with the highest percentage of candidates who have passed the exam (89,8%). The national pass rate is 75,1%.
The best candidate is the school’s Dux Scholar, Stephanus Johannes van Jaarsveld, or Stehann as he is known to family and friends. Stehann has achieved eight A symbols (all of his marks are above 90%) and an aggregate mark of just under 97%. Stehann has been placed first in the Free State and is acknowledged as the best Mathematics and English Home Language candidate in the Free State.
Stehann said he finds it hard to believe that he is the top matric learner in the Free State for 2017.
Although there was a lot of encouragement from his parents as well as his teachers at St Andrew’s in Bloemfontein, he did not expect to take the No.1 spot.
“I aimed for a place in the top 50, because I believed that would save me from having to apply for a study loan. I could not imagine it in my wildest dreams; I am quite excited about being the top learner. It paves the way for me to make my dream of studying Actuarial Science at the University of Stellenbosch a reality. I have a passion for maths and can’t imagine myself doing anything else,” said Van Jaarsveld.
He boasts distinctions in all seven of his subjects with 100% for Physical Science and 99% for Mathematics.
Apart from his parents, he expressed his gratitude towards his principal, Chris Thomas, and his teachers, especially his accounting teacher, Petro de Villiers, for always encouraging him.
Other achievements by St Andrew’s include 12 candidates who achieved three or more A symbols and six candidates who obtained an A aggregate. Twenty candidates obtained a B aggregate and eighteen candidates obtained a C aggregate; in all 44 (76%) of the candidates obtained a C aggregate or higher. In the majority of subjects the average was in excess of 60%.