When Mondale High was launched in 1982, it only had 20 matriculants and achieved a pass rate of above 80%. By 2018, the school’s number of matriculants had grown to 254 learners and maintained its high academic standards by achieving a 100% pass rate.
Principal Owen Bridgens says that the school’s success comes down to a culture of academic discipline. The kids spend most of their Saturdays at school for extra lessons and he praises the staff for their relentless dedication to being a support system for the kids. This culture of discipline has paid off in both academics and sport.
The school has, since 1990, always maintained a matric pass rate of 90% and above. In 2015, it achieved another 100% pass rate and a rounded-off 100% pass rate in 2003, 2013 and 2016. It also managed a pass rate of 99% in 2001, 2004 and 2017.
The school’s academic success has been recognized with numerous awards. Some of these awards include winning the award for most improved school in Western Cape, the provincial award for academic excellence, a De Beer English Olympiad Award, and the provincial award for the highest number of accounting students. The school also won the Generation Green Recycled Competition where they shared a positive message against bullying.
In addition to these academic milestones, the school has dominated the Western Cape school sporting scene in both athletics and football. Last year alone, they won the Mr Price football league championship, The Princeton High Schools 30th Anniversary Sports Festival and ranked first in the Western Cape athletics A-Section. For the league championships, Leathan Croats was awarded goalkeeper of the year, Luther Jacobs was awarded the league champions highest goal scorer of the year, and their coach, Nigel Crowie, was awarded coach of the year.
It has also produced some of the most remarkable young people in the country. These include Yazeed Tyman who was named as one of the Western Cape’s top students, receiving an A in all of his subjects including Physics, Accounting and Mathematics; Darney Markgraaff who was awarded silver at the WCED Provincial Visual Art Celebration; Liam Baker who won Western Cape Mathematics Olympiad Gold, received 99% in maths and formed part of South Africa’s National Mathematics team; and Timwen Hendricks who was named the top Western Cape Accounting student by the South African Institute of Professional Accountants.
Having produced many professionals in a vast network of disciplines during previous years, the matric class of 2018 is no different. Portland’s Tyrique Slingers will be studying Political, Philosophical and Economic Studies; Strandfontein’s Chloë Sullivan will be studying psychology and Daakirah Meyer, also from Strandfontein, will be studying chemistry. All of them have been accepted at the University of Stellenbosch.
For the class of 2019, the staff and students aim to maintain their 100% pass rate, not only in matric, but in all grades. Principal Bridgens says that they start to prepare the kids for their matric in grade 11, to make sure that there aren’t any gaps in their knowledge. If kids have failed, he also makes sure that they do not drop out. Instead, the teachers try to find out what the problem is and then they try to solve it. Nobody is left behind and as far as Principal Bridgen is concerned, it does not matter who you are, if you decide in your head that you will get that great pass mark, the sky is the limit.