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Hats off to the Class of 2011

LEAP schools achieved a pass rate of 94% in 2011, breaking new ground in certain subject areas and individual achievements. Hats off to the class of 2011 who achieved the highest number of distinctions since LEAP began, with one student achieving five distinctions and setting a new standard in science marks (87%). 

A total of 116 LEAP students sat the National Senior Certificate (NSC) examinations, up 8.4% from 2010, and all of them wrote mathematics and science. This is a significant achievement in the context of an 8% decrease in the total number of matric candidates nationally and a 14.6% and 12.1% decrease in the total number of candidates writing mathematics and science respectively.

A record 109 LEAP students qualified for tertiary studies although we experienced a decline in the number of bachelor’s passes, down to 40 from 66 in 2010.

We are celebrating that:

  • Children from the most challenging backgrounds and circumstances can beat the odds and hold their heads up high on a national scale with a 94% Grade 12 pass rate in 2011 compared to the national pass rate of 70.2% and provincial pass rates of 82.9% in the Western Cape and 81.1% in Gauteng.
  • More LEAP students (116) sat their NSC examinations than ever before and all of them did mathematics and science. This is a significant achievement when compared to the national figures with an 8% decline in the total number of NSC candidates, a 23% drop in candidates taking mathematics and an 18% drop in students sitting science.
  • 74% of our students qualify for a course of study at academic and technical universities having attained a bachelor or diploma pass.
  • A LEAP student achieved five distinctions for the first time ever and the LEAP class of 2011 achieved more distinctions than any previous class (88). In particular, we’re celebrating Sbonakaliso Kunene (5 distinctions), William Mothapo (4) and Partson Shamase (3) from LEAP 3; Nobunto Fana (3) from LEAP 1 and Avuyile Maseko (2) from LEAP 2. Avuyile achieved 90% for accounting – an incredible achievement considering the tragedy of her losing her father during her mock exams.
  • Over 90% of LEAP students achieved above 50% in all languages (English, isiZulu, isiXhosa, Sepedi and SeSotho at home language level and English at first additional language level) and life orientation.

We are challenged by:

  • Our 2011 pass rate being lower than in 2010 (98%).
  • The sharp reduction in the number of students achieving bachelors passes: 34% compared to 62% in 2010. Our mathematics results in the Western Cape played a key role in this overall decline, as well as the narrow margins between the various categories of passes. Twelve of our students with a diploma pass are within one or two percent in one subject of achieving a bachelor pass, for example.
  • Our mathematics results, particularly in the Western Cape. LEAP achieved an 82% mathematics pass rate, down from 98% in 2010. While this is still significantly above the national average of 46.3%, it is not a result we are happy with.

What we’re doing to address the challenges:

  • We are requesting that all LEAP mathematics papers in the Western Cape be remarked while doubling our efforts to ensure that our practices and processes are of the highest standard.
  • We are requesting remarks on behalf of students in the subjects where the pass margin makes a difference to their overall pass category.
  • All Grade 12 students will write English as their first additional language rather than home language as universities are offering no extra credit for the higher order English subject and the lesser workload from first additional language will free up students’ time for other subjects.
  • We will continue to focus our attention on instructional practice which started after the LEAP Summit in 2011. We have redesigned our methodology and classroom practice and developed more closely integrated and aligned curriculum expectations for 2012.
  • A complete review of remediation will be conducted after the Grade 12 mid-year and September examinations. LEAP will continue to learn and share best practice with the members of the South African Extraordinary Schools Coalition which will enhance teaching practice throughout the year.

Values - Everyone at LEAP commits to:

  • Being kind, honest and healthy
  • Being punctual and looking good
  • Working hard and never giving up
  • Admitting and learning from mistakes
  • Confronting issues and being open to change
  • Working together and sharing