St Benedict’s has remained agile in response to the pandemic with a 100% pass rate unbroken for 47 years. This exceptional academic record is solidified by the 97.22% bachelor degree pass average.
The school’s proud academic history has produced some outstanding matric results year after year, and with 100% of the school’s pupils qualifying for tertiary education, 2021 is no different. The matric final results are a nod to both the boys’ unyielding efforts, their parents’ unequivocal support and the determination of their teachers.
St Benedict’s top student, Hugo Marques received eight distinctions in English, Life Orientation, Life Sciences, Mathematics, Applied Mathematics, Physical Science, Afrikaans and History, with an average of 93%. He hopes to secure a place to study medicine at either Wits, Stellenbosch or UCT.
Following closely on his heels was Jeffrey Liu with eight distinctions and an 88% average. Seven learners received seven distinctions across a broad spectrum of subjects, including Christopher Da Costa (90.3% average), Nathan Christophers (88.7% average), Divyam Das (88.6% average), Merrick Berning (88.3% average) Zixuan Kevin Zhang (88.1 average), Aidan Govender (86.9% average) and Ryan Maxl (86.7% average).
Five learners’ results were within the top one percent nationally within a subject, these learners were Hugo Marques, Jun Xi Joshua Yip, Joshua Hill, Merrick Berning and Zixuan Kevin Zhang.
College Headmaster, David Jeffrey, said, ‘Our boys have risen above the multiple crises of the last two years and have achieved excellent results in the 2021 IEB examinations. I would like to commend our teachers for their outstanding role in ensuring that our boys were adept in their preparations ahead of the exams. As a school, we are pleased with the results and congratulate the class of 2021 for their fine achievements. These results certainly set the boys up for a solid start into their adult life.’
As with each year, the learners select a theme, and ‘Accept each is different, each plays his own game’ was that of 2021. It is a line taken from the school song which recognises the multiple layers of diversity that exist within the school. ‘The acceptance and celebration of diversity is what makes our country so rich. And this year, our young men were inspired to do just that – despite race, culture, interests and sexual orientation, they celebrated differences that in the end united them as a class. It has been a powerful lesson for all and will remain key, proving the indelible mark left by our boys who crafted the affirmation ‘we all belong here’, explained Jeffrey.
‘This year we are reminded that the top achievers are diverse in interests and don’t subscribe to a single mould of success. Among them are boys who thrive on the sports field, who excel in arts and culture, and others who have exceptional gifts across different practices. Stephen R. Covey said it best when he said, ‘strength lies in differences and not in similarities’ and this could not be truer for the class of 2021,’ added Jeffrey. ‘In a society in which difference is sometimes rejected, these boys can be catalysts towards positive change in their various fields.’
Head Boy of the school Alessio Sforza achieved three (3) distinctions and an average just shy of a distinction (79.7%), proving that leaders can also be top achievers. At 89%, his Maths mark was among the top percentile in the school.
Other notable students include Ntakaso Mbuli, who was awarded with Academics colours at his matric Valedictory ceremony and achieved five distinctions in the final exams and an average of 81.4%. He also received the Blessed Benedict Daswa trophy for being the top achiever in IsiZulu. To prove how well-rounded this young man is, he also received the college trophy for being the top achiever in Dramatic Arts alongside The Franks Cultural Trophy. Mbuli hopes to study fashion design at Villioti Institute, a local school with international affiliations with top fashion colleges in New York and London.
Tadiwanashe Kabaira also achieved five distinctions and an overall average of 83.3% and was awarded with The Jason Robinson Memorial Trophy for his passion and creativity for programming in Information Technology. Kabaira hopes to study computer engineering at UP.
Looking back over the past 12 years (2008 – 2021), the school’s 1630 boys have passed with 3098 distinctions. 28 boys have been the cream of the crop in independent education, having achieved the title of IEB Outstanding or Commendable Achievers. And the school is proud of its record ratio of just under two distinctions per matriculant.
‘While we highlight some of the top achievers, it is important to note that all our learners attained results in excess of their own expectations. Looking back to the start of their high school year, they were encouraged to set achievable goals and to take responsibility for their own personal learning along their five-year journey with us. We’re excited to say that our boys have done just that. Realising their academic goals is the first step and from here on out, their sites are set on achieving so much more. We wish them all well as they forge ahead – knowing they are able to shape their destinies. Each of our 108 young men have been given the foundation for a bright and fulfilling future,’ concluded Jeffrey.