Class of 2021 — Nine distinctions and heart full of hope for Redhill Dux pupil

19 January 2022 - 09:29
By Kgaugelo Masweneng
A total of 12,857 full-time and 968 part-time candidates wrote the IEB National Senior Certificate exams.
Image: Gallo Images/Die Burger/Jaco Marais A total of 12,857 full-time and 968 part-time candidates wrote the IEB National Senior Certificate exams.

A top-achieving pupil from the private English-medium Redhill School is over the moon after scoring nine distinctions.

John Cokayne, who wrote the Independent Examinations Board (IEB) exams, received his results early on Wednesday.

He chose a demanding subject package which included physical sciences, advanced programme physics and information technology. 

“I feel over the moon. I’ve been working towards this goal for so long because I realised that if I wanted to do well in matric, I needed to excel in younger grades while learning the foundations. I decided I wanted to do the best I possibly could in Grade 12.

“It required a lot of sacrifices, determination, late nights, willpower and working while all your friends are having fun. I suppose there’s a lot of relief that it wasn’t all for nothing.

“This year was quite difficult. Not as bad as last year, but I struggled. I am someone who definitely prefers to work at school, in the classroom, so not having that last year and the beginning of this year meant I was feeling a little out of sorts,” Cokayne said.

As an extrovert, not being able to see his friends and talk to people face to face took a toll on his morale, mindset and general happiness.

“Luckily, we got to go back to school this past year, but things were not quite the same. I was exposed to someone who had Covid-19 during my prelims so I had to write those in isolation, which was strange and threw me off a bit. Having to deal with the stress of Covid-19 and all the regulations on top of the stress of matric was difficult.

“My biology teacher, unfortunately, passed away in August due to Covid-19, and that had a long-lasting impact on my mindset and mental health. Covid-19 certainly made matric significantly more difficult for me, but as a result this milestone feels greater,” he said.

John Cokayne.
Image: Supplied John Cokayne.

His biggest support came from his family, especially his mother who motivated him throughout.

“I don’t know where I’ll end up in life, nor what I want to do. I know the general direction I should take, and what my first step should be, but after that I’ll find my way as I go.  I think I will end up working in the IT field, but other than that, I don’t know very much about the details of how my future looks,” Cokayne said.

Private school pupils who wrote last year’s matric exams through the IEB have passed with flying colours, achieving a pass rate of 98.39%.

This is slightly higher than the 98.06% achieved in 2020, and an impressive 89.2% of candidates achieved entry to degree study compared with 88.41% in 2020.

Redhill’s 2021 IEB results in numbers are:

  • Numbers of distinctions:
    9 — two students
    8 — four students
    7 — five students
    6 — five students
    5 — 11 students
    4 — five students
  • 100% university entrance (bachelor's degree pass)
  • 13% of students received a full house (7 or more distinctions)
  • 35% of students received an A average
  • 35% of students received a B average
  • above 86% of students received at least one distinction.

Cokayne was the school’s Dux Scholar with nine distinctions, of which eight were above 90%.