Two bright young Cape Town students from Reddam House Durbanville – Laura Brink and Victor Vermeulen – are on their way to global universities, having achieved a 93% and 95% aggregate average respectively in their A-Level exams. They took on the difficult task of choosing to accelerate their three A-Levels and complete them in five months instead of the given year.
Laura Brink, who last year achieved the coveted position of Top in the World for AS-Levels in Language and Literature in English, has been accepted to study English Literature at Oxford University in the UK – the world’s number one ranked university. Victor Vermeulen has been accepted into Eindhoven University in the Netherlands to study Applied Physics and will return after his degree with a real solution for Eskom and the energy crisis.
Laura achieved 95% for Art and Design, 94% for Literature in English, and 90% for History, her three chosen A-Level subjects. Victor achieved 96% in Mathematics, 95% in Physics, and 93% in Chemistry.
Executive Head of Reddam House Durbanville, Barry Nieuwoudt said, “We are immensely proud of Laura and Victor. They took on the difficult task of choosing to accelerate their three A-Levels and complete them in five months instead of a year. These results are confirmation of the excellence of two remarkable students who epitomise the Inspired Education Group’s philosophy of setting the bar of the education we deliver to the highest standard, and of encouraging students to challenge themselves to achieve their best.”
For the majority of A-Level students, most of whom started their academic year in September due to being based in the UK, these results come after a full year of intensive preparation for the exams. However, the two Reddam House Durbanville students chose to accelerate their A Levels, completing the syllabus content in five months between January and May, which allowed them to write their A-Level exams in June. While putting them under enormous pressure, this enables them to begin their studies at their chosen universities in September. Reddam House Durbanville prides itself on its dual curriculum approach, which aligns with the global approach to education. This enables students to choose between the very best in international education in the form of Cambridge International and the top South African Independent Examinations Board (IEB) schools’ curriculum.
Victor has been a student at Reddam House Durbanville for his entire high school career spanning seven years, while Laura joined the school in 2018. The two students, whose birthdays are a few days apart, have anxiously been awaiting these results to be able to confirm their places at these prestigious international universities.
Laura Brink comments, “I was awake all night. I am so stunned and so honoured to get these kind of marks. Although the workload was huge, I love my subjects and academics mean so much to me that I could throw myself into the work and know that I am building on what I’ve been learning my whole life. These results mean that my place is confirmed to study English Literature at Oxford University. Initially, I was very excited about the prestige of Oxford but the more I’ve researched the more I’ve realised that the reason I want to go there is because of the way they teach. I can specialise in English from my very first day of study and I’ll be able to get an honours degree after three years, which means I will accelerate my academic career. I hope to have my doctorate within the next 10 years. I want to work in academia, and I’d love to do research and be a literary critic. I also want to teach because the impact my teachers have had on my life has made me feel that teaching is the most fulfilling thing I can do with my time. I’m so thankful to Reddam House. I would never have been able to apply overseas without the Cambridge curriculum and there’s nowhere else that I could have done it. The quality of teaching and the opportunities the teachers have opened have been invaluable. They truly go above and beyond; even though the schooling is of such a high quality, they invest so much of themselves to help you grow as a person and an intellectual.”
Commenting on receiving his results, Victor Vermeulen says, “I felt a bit bewildered. I definitely wasn’t expecting these results. I’m very satisfied and very relieved. It’s taken a lot of sacrifices to get through the significant workload of science in five months and I’ve had to put my life on hold preparing for these exams every single day. The course I’ve been accepted to do at Eindhoven University is Applied Physics, which is an exploration of physics as it pertains to the real world – everything from power generation, to transport, to material science. It’s a very exciting field. In my future career, I hope to be working on projects like ITER, which is the latest global fusion project, a massive undertaking involving 20 different nations coming together to provide energy solutions. I’d love to do a doctorate in some physics direction and work at the cutting edge of whatever is possible. Reddam House Durbanville has given me my work ethic. The teachers facilitated my learning in a way I wouldn’t have received anywhere else. Any question I would ask, any doubts I had, they would help me in any way they could.”
Over and above their exceptional academic performance, Victor is also an outstanding musician and was a successful member of the school’s fencing team, performing well in regional competitions. Laura is a talented artist who participated in all Reddam House Durbanville’s Art competitions and national Eisteddfods prior to Covid.
Nieuwoudt concludes, “We thank our two students for all their hard work and immense courage. Thanks also to their phenomenal teachers, Shazna le Grange (Head of English), Chris Gozzard, (Head of Physics and who taught Victor A Level Chemistry as well), Dawie Marais (A Level Mathematics teacher), Kerryann Collier (Head of Art and Design) and Richelle Swart (Head of History) for their teaching, making themselves available to deliver a year’s syllabus in half the time and for the positivity they exude in all they do. We also pay homage to Laura and Victor’s parents, who have supported their children’s journeys and have stood by their side through their schooling careers. A huge congratulations to all!”
Picture: Inspired Education Group