Determined Kingsmead matriculant racks up 10 distinctions
Cape Town - During an exceptionally challenging year, Alexa Lipchin managed to achieve 10 distinctions.This resilient and resolute learner at Kingsmead College feels that it's important to keep motivated. She also displays an impressive mix of active and academic strengths.
"The teachers and staff helped to ensure that we transitioned into online learning really fast, so I didn't even miss a day of school," she says.
"I tried my best to focus on all subjects, but I feel my results are an accumulation of the work I put into all my subjects from junior school through to high school."
Her distinctions are in Afrikaans (First Language), English (Home Language) French (Second Language), geography, life orientation, life sciences, maths, physical sciences, music (TCL Practical 7) and the advanced programme in maths.
"In the years leading into matric I was very busy with extra murals such as dance. I completed my ballet exams and modern and piano exams, which kept me really busy. However, this helped me learn to manage my time," Lipchin says.
"Being in matric during lockdown, I felt it was important to keep being productive. My day would start at six and end at six. This year I kept to a routine. I would go running before school lessons started and I sat at my desk to work.“
With regard to future plans, she says: "I'm hoping to study medicine. What attracted me to the idea was an enjoyment of the sciences. After a job shadow at Baragwanath Academic Hospital during Grade 11, I was inspired by what I saw in terms of helping people in any small way. I really want to do something like that with my life."
She hopes to study medicine at the University of Witwatersrand next year.
Lipchin’s advice to matrics this year is to work consistently. "My parents taught me not to wish for more, but to work for it," she says.
Asked how she found distance learning, she said at first there was a great deal of uncertainty. "But the teachers were great at helping us to do that and uplifting us, they were really amazing," she says.
Executive head Lisa Palmer is over the moon with the results. "With 2020 being such an unusual year, we had no benchmark," she says. “In previous years, we had a sense of our group and what they were capable of producing."
She said that during the worry about possible disconnection from March to June (with online learning), the college staff were concerned whether its students were well and coping, faced with the difficulty of not being able to gauge face-to-face, “but students proved to all of us they are beyond excellent".
"Our students showed such determination, almost more than in the previous year. They were determined they could do it, and do it well. We closed on a Sunday in March. By Wednesday morning, the college was online. During those two days, the staff were on-site getting platforms ready. So we went straight on to online learning."
"Parents messaged to say it was remarkable what the staff had accomplished in such a challenging year. Our staff went above and beyond, as did our students," she says.