‘Sheer hard work, passion and support’ behind Woodhill College’s 100% pass rate

Woodhill College 2023 top achiever Stella Loutzis (seven distinctions) with her parents. Picture: Oupa Mokoena Independent Newspapers

Woodhill College 2023 top achiever Stella Loutzis (seven distinctions) with her parents. Picture: Oupa Mokoena Independent Newspapers

Published Jan 18, 2024


Through a combination of passionate teachers, driven learners and supportive parents, Woodhill College’s class of 2023 has managed to soar high with a commendable 100% pass rate, and a 96% Bachelor’s degree pass in the matric finals.

Danie van Schalkwyk, executive head at Woodhill College, said they were happy that the school had fared quite well in the IEB matric results, especially with the way in which the results came out and from a teaching perspective, more pleased that they had obtained the results they were expecting.

“As a teacher, you are judged by what you do during the year and the end-year results are an affirmation that you have done your job and you know what you are talking about.”

Van Schalkwyk said the school had obtained a 100% pass rate, with 96% Bachelor’s degree pass, which was slightly short of their goal to ensure 100% Bachelor’s pass.

Woodhill College 2023 top achievers: Similoluwa Irinoye (six distinctions) and Stella Loutzis (seven distinctions). Picture: Oupa Mokoena Independent Newspapers

Despite not making the full mark, Van Schalkwyk said he was pleased with the overall grades performances as they had hit commendable milestones.

“We obtained a 1.98 A average per learner, meaning on average every learner managed to get at least two As. The secret is what any successful person will tell you, and that’s sheer hard work, passion, and support.

“A school comprises of three important things: passionate teachers who give their all to the children, leaders who have the drive to want to do well, and supportive parents which make a huge difference in a child’s life, and we are blessed to have all there.”

Van Schalkwyk’s sentiments were seconded by parent Loannis Loutzis, whose 18-year-old daughter, Stella Loutzis, obtained seven distinctions in the finals.

Loutzis said he was very proud of his daughter’s achievement, but he was not surprised at all, as she had always been a big achiever her whole life.

“I know when she puts her mind to something it’s always been dangerous as when she does, I know she will achieve it. We’ve never had to push her and we were just surprised to see her excel, but it stems from her own self-motivation.

“I am involved in teaching pilots to fly and it’s all about passion and perseverance. It’s what I have seen with all my children – it doesn’t matter whether you are in a private school or public, what matters most is self-discipline, motivation and striving to do well for no one else but themselves,” he said.

His daughter said she was happy to achieve distinctions in all her subjects as well as an average of 92% overall.

“Matric was not easy. I had to prioritise and choose what was important to me. I planned everything and went as far as using techniques which I researched to help me improve.”

The youngster said although she obtained 90% in her preliminary exams, she was pleased she had managed to improve slightly in order to increase her chances of getting into her desired degree option.

“My end goal was to study medicine because it’s a passion I’ve wanted to do my whole life. As a person you know what your life calling is and you should be willing to do anything to get there,” she said.

Eighteen-year-old Similoluwa Irinoye, another top achiever from Woodhill College, who achieved six distinctions, said the one thing that had got her through matric was the immense support and encouragement she received from her family and friends.

“Another thing that got me through is prayer. We’re a prayerful family and I believe that it was by the grace of God that I made it through.”

Similoluwa said she also wanted to join the health sector; however, she wanted to focus more on psychiatry.

“I had to study hard and change my study methods by also including going through a lot of past papers. Through it all, I kept telling myself that God has a plan for me even if I don’t understand it now, it is to help me prosper.”

The Star