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The start of the year is exciting as we look forward to new horizons and opportunities but it also offers the chance to reflect on the year passed. What better way to guide our reflection than a dive into our Matric 2018 results! In general, our students have done well and we are very proud. The results also raise some interesting questions about how we can take our programs to the next level – something our teams have been thinking hard about.

Report on 2018 Senior School Results

We have two parallel aims for our senior school programmes:

1. To improve the student performance and tertiary placement rate of our core group of Ekukhuleni students (approximately 30 students in matric each year).

2. To improve the quantity and quality of maths and science passes for ALL students in the six schools we partner with (approximately 200 students in matric each year).

1. Ekukhuleni Students

The results for our core group of students who attend Ekukhuleni appear to have reached a level of consistency over the past 2-3 years. In many ways this is a “healthy plateau” when compared with our starting point in 2012 – we now have a pass rate very close to 100%, and a maths and science bachelors pass rate above 60%. However, it poses interesting questions for our Senior Schools team in terms of how we can make the next shift to achieve consistently a 100% bachelors pass rate, with all of our students placed at universities that provide them with good career prospects. Among our early hypotheses are: ensuring incoming students have a high level of English proficiency (rather than maths, science); enabling our students to access Siyavula at home; and investing more intensively in our Grade 10s to enable later success.

Some individual highlights for 2018:

  • Sinobom Mbalo achieved four distinctions (including Physical Sciences) and is studying Pharmacy at UWC.

  • Two of our students have been accepted to study Medicine at Walter Sisulu University, with a third enrolled as a Medical Practitioner.

  • The variety of courses selected for study seems to be increasing, with students enrolled in everything from Geology (UWC) to BSc Animal Science (UFH), and BSc Chemistry (Rhodes) to B.Com (UWC). A tribute to our Careers Team at work!

*Estimated. At time of writing we are still waiting to hear on the application outcomes of four promising students. **Estimated. We do not yet have full results from all schools

2. All students in senior schools surrounding Zithulele

With regards our second aim, we’ve targeted a 5% year-on-year improvement for this larger group of students and we’re still falling substantially short of this. Our touch points with this larger group are few and indirect: through any work we do with their science, maths and English teachers; through our work with their school leaders on the annual SMT Retreat; and through Study Groups, where their peers in the Ekukhuleni programme offer support. It remains our ambition in the long-term to increase this number, but at this stage our capacity for more intensive work is limited.

3. Next steps

Looking forward to 2019 and beyond, we came up with some goals for our program:

  • Solidifying our ‘non-academic’ curriculum. Improving soft skills, computer skills, agency, etc.

  • Research into colleges and artisan-ship programs with connections to employment. This is particularly relevant as we know that not all of our learners will achieve the results to get into Universities.

  • Shared dreams from the word go: more frequent engagement with our Careers team and starting these engagements in grade 10, as the learners join our program.

  • More intentional sharing of Axium’s values and culture with all of our students.

Our team is more motivated than ever before. There are so many positives to take away from these 2018 results and so much work to do in 2019 and beyond!

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