Best form of school marketing: St Benedict’s outstanding matric results

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  • 250 distinctions from the Class of 2023

St Benedict’s, which ranks as the third best boys’ school in South Africa, once again celebrated the accomplishments of its matriculants and their outstanding results – an editorial campaign that puts the private school in the spotlight every year and for good reason.

The Class of 2023 who sat for their IEB National Senior Certificate exams, did not disappoint and produced an impressive 250 distinctions, putting the distinction ratio at 2.25 per pupil, with four students ranking in the top 1% nationally within a subject. The school’s top learner achieved an average of 91.3% and five others averaged over 85%. A further 19 boys achieved an average over 80%. The cohort achieved an exemption rate of 95.5% and the school proudly shared these results with the media.

Over the years, St Benedict’s has consistently demonstrated excellence in the field of Information Technology (IT), positioning itself as a leader in providing students with a cutting-edge technological education. This year was no different, with an average mark of 80.7%, and 17 boys earning a distinction and ready to thrive in our increasingly digital world. The school prides itself on being an institution where the arts are celebrated equally and this shone through in Dramatic Arts where an overall average of 82.8% was achieved. A total of 80% of the boys taking the subject achieved distinctions.

“We deeply value the accomplishments of our students, and there is ample reason for celebration,” said College Head, David Jeffrey congratulating the Class of 2023. “It’s crucial to acknowledge that the matric final results signify the culmination of 13 years of dedication, and they are a nod to the boys’ ongoing efforts, their parents’ unequivocal support, and the determination of their teachers.” 

Publicity campaign

Using every available channel – the school punted its winning message through an editorial campaign that encompassed print, online, radio and on its own digital platforms. As in year’s past – media around the country were hungry for the details. This year however, the story within the story that grabbed the attention of the media, was the heart-breaking announcement that one of the school’s top achievers passed away in December in a tragic accident.

The late Declan Murphy was honoured throughout the campaign and everyone exposed by the story was deeply moved. The pupils, teachers and extended school community joined together to do what they could to lift up the memory of a young man who was cut short in his prime.

The late Declan Murphy.

Commenting on the loss Jeffrey said, “At this time, we again send our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the late Declan Murphy. Declan was a bright and promising member of our school community, and his untimely passing in December has left a void in the class of 2023. In honour of his memory, we acknowledge his contributions to our school. Declan was an all-rounder. He played provincial water polo, and was awarded Full Colours for both Water polo and Rugby and Half Colours for Swimming. Declan was also awarded Academic Full colours, the Bilingualism award, the Silver Award for Overall Dux for his academic and extramural excellence. He also received the Head boy award in recognition of a leader who has performed his duties diligently and conscientiously. Declan achieved an impressive five distinctions in his final exams. As a skilled orator it was not surprising that his highest mark was English – just missing 90% for the subject.  It’s not easy to accept that Declan is no longer with us but his words will forever live in our hearts, ‘Always remember to pray… not for easier days but to be a stronger man’.”

What excellence looks like

While every boy is a success story there were a few deserving of extra commendation, including St Benedict’s top learner, Dylan Ho, who earned eight distinctions and finished with an average of 91.3% across all his subjects. His top mark was Maths at 98% with the rest of his seven out of eight subjects all distinctions: LO (93%), Science (91%), IT (91%), Afrikaans (89%), English (89%), LS (88%), FSM Calc (82%), FSM Stats (63%). Also noteworthy are Dylan’s accomplishments outside of the classroom which include Full colours for Hockey. He’s also an esteemed orator and received the Public Speaker of the year award. Dylan earned the Silver Academic Dux, Full colours for Academics, the Bilingualism award and Top achiever for Maths, English, and IT. He also received the Golden Ratio Certificate for achieving a distinction in Maths, Further Studies Maths and Science. Dylan also earned the Headmaster’s Academic Award, as well as the trophy for Social and Environmental awareness for his tireless work for his community. With a heart for community service, Dylan hopes to study medicine this year.

Producing all-rounders

St Benedict’s second top learner, Angelo Bastos, clinched nine distinctions narrowly missing a 90% average by .9 percentage points, with a final average of 89,1%. While in his matric year, this all-rounder walked away with a string of awards, including Full colours for Academics, the Special Award for service to the College, the Franks Cultural Trophy for his contributions to the enrichment to the cultural life of the college, IT Award, Bilingualism Award, Physical Science Award, Further Studies Award, Music Award, Top Academic Student in Gr 12, Senior Study Shield, The Chalmers Music Trophy, The Serafino Trophy for distinction in Maths, Further Studies Maths and Science, The College trophy for Further Studies Mathematics, and the coveted Overall Dux award for highest performance in Academics and Cultural activities. Equally as impressive were his results: Maths (96%), IT (92%), LO (91%), Science (90%), Music (86%), English (85%), FSM Calc (85%), Afrikaans (84%), FSM Stats (83%). Angelo has his sights set on a career in computer science.

Hot on Angelo’s heels – with only one percentage point between the second and third placed learners, was Sabelo Shangase. Sabelo received seven distinctions and an impressive average of 88.1%. His highest mark was isiZulu (95%), followed by Business studies (92%), LO (92%), Accounting (88%), English (84%), Geography (84%), Maths (82%) and FSM Calc (77%). Proving his versatility, he received Full Colours in both Academics and Rugby. Sabelo was ranked third in his year and received the Bronze Academic Dux award. He attained the Benedict Daswa award for the top isiZulu student, as well as the Bilingualism award, Top Accounting and Business Studies awards. Sabelo has plans to study finance at WITS.

The school’s top achiever also made it to the IEB’s Outstanding Achievers’ List – Top 5% Nationally in six subjects and a distinction in Life Orientation.

The following students achieved results in the Top 1% nationally within a subject:

Dylan Ho (Life Orientation & Mathematics), Andrea Thomas (Life Orientation & Business Studies)
Sabelo Shangase (isiZulu) and Alex Bezuidenhout (Life Orientation).

The College produces fine young gentlemen who embody a holistic blend of intellectual prowess, moral integrity, and a strong sense of social responsibility. In this spirit the school’s Magna Cum Laude Blazer was awarded to two College leaders who demonstrated exemplary conduct, a generosity of spirit, humility, and unselfishness in their school lives. Furthermore, the recipients exhibited an unwavering loyalty and dedication to St Benedict’s and to their peers, displaying exceptional qualities of integrity, leadership, responsibility and reliability. In the Class of 2023, the honour was bestowed on Thandoluhle Jadezweni and Nkululeko Thwala. “Congratulations to both Thandoluhle and Nonkululeko – your leadership throughout the year was inspiring, and truly made a lasting impact on our school community,” says Jeffrey.

In closing Jeffrey said, “Those going on to matriculate and enter a new phase of life we send you off, our young trailblazers, with a reminder to embrace knowledge and integrity in all that you set out to do. May you embark on a journey of excellence, resilience, and compassionate leadership, shaping a future that underscores the values of our school. Over the years we have produced great sportsmen, advocates, judges, businessmen, entrepreneurs, philanthropists and values-based men and we are confident that we will witness remarkable achievements from the Class of 2023. We believe they possess all the essential qualities to succeed in every aspect of their lives and are poised to make positive contributions to their communities, our society, and the world at large.”

For more information on the school’s results – go to www.stbenedicts.co.za or Facebook: @stbenedictscollegebedfordview.