ACADEMIC NEWSLETTER January 2011
The Hexa-dimensional Vitruvian Man
Leonardo da Vinci’s famous pen and ink sketch of the Vitruvian Leadership and Confidence in the Social Context
Man of 1487 depicting the perfect proportions of man is well- Imaginative and Creative Faculties
known and ridiculously idealistic. In mirror-image, he wrote a list Love for, and participation in, Sport
of mathematical proportions, such as, the stretch from fingertip to College has a unique recipe for success, and I do believe that, by
fingertip equals the height, the maximum width of the shoulders and large, College boys go on to be extraordinarily successful in
equals a quarter of the height, the distance from the bottom of the their careers and lives, specifically because they are not educated
chin to the nose is one third the length of the head, etc. in one dimension only.
So, there is great diversity in the broader education of College
boys. However, within the academic segment of their education,
there is also a need for a broad intellectual education.
If you don’t already know the website www.TED.com, I would
like to introduce it to you. It is a collection of hundreds of 18
minute talks (yes, 18 minutes) by the world’s leading thinkers in
a vast number of fields. Choose a speaker or a topic, download it
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitruvian_Man and watch it.
Sir Ken Robinson has two talks on TED.com in which he calls
Idealistic as it is, College boys are not shy to pursue this physical for a revolution in education. He believes our education system
prototype, as the clinking from the gym all afternoon and evening is outdated and still being driven by economic and technological
testifies. During my years as a Housemaster, I was generally needs of the industrial revolution, and does not recognize multiple
impressed by the boys’ pursuit of a healthy lifestyle (despite the intelligences. He feels that many children feel like failures because
weekly Debonairs pizza) and I do think they believe in a “healthy the system does not cater for their particular intelligence, be it
body – healthy mind” philosophy. physical, artistic, entrepreneurial or technical.
The complete Andrean, however, is hexa-dimensional, and One has to agree with him that essentially we prepare children
sport and a healthy body is only one aspect of what makes up the for an academic career at university, and he is an exceptional orator
College boy. In the Andrean Handbook, a pie graph shows six who uses every suave trick in the book to put forward his case.
equal measures of: Can an education system be all things to all people? Possibly it
Spiritual Nature should be, and probably that is what the South African education
Academic Talent authorities have tried to make it over the past 15 years. Now they
Independence of Character are trying to reverse all that.
Can one school be all things to all people? Not easily. But
we do try to offer something for everyone. Last year, in Grades NATIONAL AND
10 – 12, besides the “mainstream” languages, sciences and
humanities, 6 boys took Music, 55 took Dramatic Art, 26 took INTERNATIONAL
Visual Art, 4 took Dance, 56 took Design, 79 took Accounting
and 69 took Business Studies. BENCHMARKING
For the first time in the history of College, a Matric boy, Richard
Wilson, wrote Dance Studies for Matric Finals. He was also the All Grade 9s write an International Benchmarking Test (IBT)
top Matric student in the Trial Exams and obtained exceptional in English and Mathematics which is administered by ACER in
results in English, Afrikaans, Maths, Physical Science, Dramatic Australia.
Arts and Life Science. These results are released in February of the Grade 10 year,
I am absolutely convinced that a balanced school education and are a very useful tool in gauging our performance against
that spans the humanities, sciences, arts and economic sciences other 15 year olds throughout the world.
is the key to success in future life. But the trick is that each Grade 9s also write a National Core Skills Test (CST) which is
discipline needs to be rigorous. What good is an actor with poor administered by the IEB. This test assesses four skills: Language
diction, or an engineer whose calculations are incorrect? Thinking, Mathematical Thinking, Visual Literacy and Complex
So, we will, with all due respect and apologies to Sir Ken Thinking.
Robinson, continue rigorously preparing young men for an 4 010 Grade 9s throughout the country wrote the test, and the
academic career at University within the context of a broad average for the Total Score of College boys was 6% above the
hexagonal education. It is a tough ask for young teenagers to get IEB average.
the balance right, but eminently do-able, and with a proven track The average for Language Thinking was 5% above the IEB
record of 155 years of Andreans who have made an astonishing average, Mathematical Thinking 9% above, Visual Literacy 1%
global impact, it would be imprudent to change. above and Complex Thinking 4% above the IEB average.
While it is pleasing that we are above the national average, I
do believe that there is still room for improvement in these Core
ACADEMIC INITIATIVES FOR 2011 Skills.
Jono Gibbs and James Godlonton were placed in the 100th
percentile, which means that 100% of the 4 010 candidates
1. A glass floor of 60% scored the same result or below. Warm congratulations to them,
With the eradication of Standard Grade and Higher Grade indeed.
examinations in Grade 10 – 12, examinations are set so that there The following boys also achieved “Exceptional” (90% - 100%)
are enough questions for the standard grade candidates to pass. or “Outstanding” (75% - 89%) results in the Core Skills Test.
At the top end, though, candidates are still stretched if they wish
to achieve As and Bs. College boys should not be satisfied with
40% and 50% results in any work that they do – these results are Exceptional Outstanding
really easy to achieve. Jono Gibbs 99,45% Joshua Alexandre 81,33%
I would like to challenge every College boy to think of 60% James Godlonton 100% Myles Crossland 82,45%
as his pass mark – a glass floor, so to speak – and to feel that Daniel Tharratt 92,11% Ethan Fortuin 75,33%
anything less than that is in the “basement”. Frans van Hoek 91,04% Bradley Hunter 85,57%
2. Cycle Tests
Daniel Lithgow 82,81%
Boys, generally, are not great at multi-tasking or working
Peter Maffessanti 86,33%
consistently, particularly academically. That is a stereotype, I
Fraser Muskett 79,85%
know, and I don’t usually stereotype people. However, spiders
spin webs and cows don’t – so, although stereotypes are Teb Schlebusch 88,85%
dangerous, they are not always necessarily untrue. Max Whitehead 75,53%
The purpose of the Cycle Test initiative is to instill a regular
pattern of studying and revision in the boys who don’t have it.
Every Tuesday at 10h10, all boys will write a Cycle Test. A NOVEMBER EXAMINATION DECIMUS
timetable for these tests is published in the Term Calendar.
These tests will, to a certain extent, reduce each Department’s Congratulations to the following boys who were in the top 10 in
programme of assessment. However, Departments will need their grade in the November examinations.
to supplement the Cycle Tests for Term Orders and Continuous
Assessment by arranging additional tests.
3.Academic Peer Mentoring Grade 8 Grade 9 Grade 10 Grade 11
Nicholas Wilkinson Frans van Hoek Michael-Jon Rosslee William Cahill
Boys are sometimes better teachers than the academic staff. They
James Lake Beric Allsop Gregory Slack Charles Price-Smith
have a way of quickly recognizing another boy’s confusion and
Jonathan Jayes Jono Gibbs Nicholas Benecke Nicholas Jackson
of being able to explain things so that the other boy understands.
Robert Ball Matthew Arnot Chris de Blocq Duncan Ralston
The Academic Portfolio Prefect for 2011, Graham McNaughton,
Benjamin Stijkel Michael Patterson Johnathon Dempster Graham McNaughton
has enthusiastically taken on this initiative which will get up and
Jeremy Richardson James Godlonton Julian McKenzie Litha Bakumeni
running this year. Academic Mentors in Grade 11 and 12 will be
James Holmes Daniel Tharratt James de Beer Adam Dixon-Warren
carefully selected and paired with junior boys who are struggling
Matthew Kroon Teb Schlebusch Oliver Wale Xan Atkins
in particular subjects, and a very structured programme of contact
Andrew Mills Myles Crossland Tebogo Ngoasheng Matthew Ferreira
with the junior boy and communication with the relevant staff
Evaan Ferreira Sam Easther Nstikelelo Mlamleli Connor Roberts
member, tutor, Housemaster and parents will be put in place.
We have pleasure in summarising the results below:
ACADEMIC HONOURS AWARDS 2010 • All 104 candidates who wrote the examination passed, and
achieved 145 subject distinctions.
Congratulations to the following boys who have achieved
• 220 B symbols were achieved.
Academic Honours in 2010.
• Special mention should be made of the following
Grade 8 Grade 9 Grade 10 Grade 11 o Mathematics, where 26 of the 80 boys
Nicholas Wilkinson Beric Allsop MJ Rosslee William Cahill achieved above 80%
Jonathan Jayes Frans Van Hoek Gregory Slack Charles Price-Smith o Dramatic Art, in which 10 of the 19 boys achieved
Jeremy Richardson Teunis Schlebusch Nicholas Benecke Nicholas Jackson
Robert Ball Jonathan Gibbs Graham McNaughton
James Holmes Myles Crossland Litha Bakumeni
o Physical Science, in which 11 of the 57 boys
James Lake Michael Patterson Alexander Atkins achieved above 80%
Matthew Kroon Daniel Tharratt Duncan Ralston o Life Sciences, where 11 of the 48 boys got above
Brendan Owen Dylan Ramsay 80%.
Jason Hutchings James Godlonton • 96% of the Matrics qualify to apply to University for Degree
Lwandle Mseleku courses. The IEB national average is 82%.
• 75% of all the subject results were above 60%
• More than half the boys (55%) got one or more subject
We also congratulate the following boys who were placed
NATIONAL SENIOR CERTIFICATE RESULTS 2010 in the top 1% of all the candidates nationally who wrote these
Below is the letter from the
• Richard Wilson in Mathematics and Mathematics Paper 3
Headmaster concerning the
• Breff Whitehead in English Home Language and
“The 2010 Matric group have
• Thokozani Ngculu in isiXhosa First Additional Language
rounded off a memorable
• Christopher Weimann in Mathematical Literacy
year at College by producing
While we salute the top candidates, the entire group is to be
excellent results in their Final
commended, as many of these boys achieved the best examination
Examination. We warmly
results of their school careers.
congratulate Jordan Maze who
The excellent results reflect the hard work of the candidates
made the IEB Outstanding
and the dedication of the teachers at both the DSG and College.
Achievers list for being placed
We wish the Class of 2010 everything of the best as they embark
in the top 5% in the country
on the next exciting phase of their lives. We are optimistic that
in 6 subjects. Only 65 of the
they will enjoy excellent careers at tertiary level and beyond.”
8076 candidates who wrote
the IEB Examinations made
this list. He also achieved a CHALLENGE TO THE 2011 MATRICS
full house of 8 distinctions. Jordan Maze
In Archery, it is difficult enough to hit the bull’s eye, when you
can see the target in front of you; it is nigh impossible when the
8 Subject “A”s
Jordan Maze Accounting, Afrikaans FAL, English HL, Life Orientation, Life target is obscured by fog. I would encourage all Matrics to clear
Sciences, Mathematics, Mathematics Paper 3, Physical Science away the fog of indecision about what they would like to study as
7 Subject “A”s soon as possible, then go onto the University website and work
Richard Wilson Dramatics Art, English HL, Life Orientation, Life Sciences, out how many points are needed to get into the course. This will
Mathematics, Mathematics Paper 3, Physical Science
give each boy a good indication of what results he needs at the
Hugo Laplace- Design, French SAL, Life Orientation, Life Sciences,
Toulouse Mathematics, Mathematics Paper 3, Physical Science end of the year and provide a target for him to aim at. The trick,
Daniel Still Dramatic Art, English HL, History, Life Orientation, Mathematics, of course, is to have the target in his sights the whole year, and
Mathematics Paper 3, Physical Science not only after Balloon Week.
6 Subject “A”s In 2010, 75% of all the subject results were above 60%. As
Breff Whitehead English HL, Information Technology, Life Orientation,
I have mentioned above, it would be wonderful if 100% of
Mathematics, Mathematics Paper 3, Physical Science
Matthew Kebble Dramatic Art, English HL, History, Life Orientation, Mathematics, the results were above 60% - that is my challenge to the 2011
Mathematics Paper 3 Matrics. Audacious, yes. Impossible, no.
Michael Wilkinson English HL, French SAL, History, Life Orientation, Mathematics,
Mathematics Paper 3 A LOVE OF WORDS
Angus Roberts English HL, History, Life Sciences, Mathematics, Mathematics
Paper 3, Physical Science
5 Subject “A”s The routines in the Houses have been tweaked a little in order to
Jonty Arnot Dramatic Art, English HL, Mathematics, Mathematics Paper 3, get junior boys to sleep by 9.00pm. College is a busy place and
Physical Science young boys simply cannot fire on all cylinders during the day
Jonathan Ford Life Orientation, Mathematics, Mathematics Paper 3, Physical unless they have enough rest at night.
Science, isiXhosa FAL
I have also created a slot from 8.30pm to 9.00pm for the
4 Subject “A”s
Luke van der Nest Dramatic Art, English HL, History, Life Orientation juniors to “read in bed”. Personally, I think reading is a life habit
James Fircks English HL, Life Sciences, Mathematics, Mathematics Paper 3 that is of vital importance and underpins academic achievement,
Grant Prior Geography, Life Orientation, Life Sciences, Mathematics creative thought, an enquiring and interesting mind, and an
Teegan Traub Accounting, English HL, Life Orientation, Life Sciences understanding of human purpose.
St Andrew’s College’s Language Policy states: “Language
creates meaning. We appreciate the importance of language in
developing refined and profound cognitive processes within each
individual’s mind that empower them to construct meaning of the
physical and natural world they inhabit, as well as the human
and spiritual mysteries of living fulfilled lives in social groups,
and then being able to communicate this meaning accurately and
with full use of the rich palette of subtle hues that each language
Public debate in South Africa on television and on radio talk
shows is sometimes alarmingly banal. I do appreciate that 16
years ago there was no public debate at all, but I fervently believe
that, if College boys are going to become “profitable members
of Church and State” (as stated in the College prayer), then they
need to be able to engage in thought and word with a suitable
level of knowledgeable authority, accuracy, clarity, subtlety and
I would appeal to parents to engage with their sons about what
they are reading, encourage them to appreciate words which
create meaning in life, to immerse themselves in the vast ocean
of English literature, and also to hone their skills of writing and
speaking which give expression to their thoughts, perceptions
To end, a poem I find particularly moving:
SINDHI WOMAN by Jon Stallworthy (1935 - )
Barefoot through the bazaar,
and with the same undulant grace
as the cloth blown back from her face,
she glides with a stone jar
high on her head
and not a ripple in her tread.
Watching her cross erect
stones, garbage, excrement, and crumbs
of glass in the Karachi slums,
I, with my stoop, reflect
they stand most straight
who learn to walk beneath a weight.
Deputy Headmaster (Adacemic)
Some good talks on www.TED.com
Isabelle Allende 2007
Benjamin Zander 2008
Ken Robinson 2006 & 2010
Venuzelean Youth Orchestra 2009
Karen Armstrong 2009
Al Gore 2006 & 2008
Bill Gates 2009