Westville Boys’ High School has a proud record of academic achievement. Its reputation as a top school was built around academics during the first years of its existence. This reputation has now been enhanced by a high degree of success in sport, culture and leadership as well.
At WBHS teaching methodology in each subject is generally based on a questioning and interactive approach. The School also promotes the concept of collaborative learning as a skill that benefits all pupils. This is evidenced through classroom activities and the academic extension and academic support programmes offered outside of the timetable.
At WBHS a strong emphasis is placed on Mathematics and Science. The School does not subscribe to channeling pupils into subjects that may be regarded as softer options. Our emphasis on obtaining the highest possible number of pupils taking Maths and Science for matric allows pupils to extend themselves to their full academic potential and to maximise their opportunities in their chosen careers. While the number of matriculants across South Africa writing Science in the final National Senior Certificate (NSC) has dropped significantly between 2009 and 2013, at WBHS the numbers are higher than ever. In 2013 for example, 86% of the matric class wrote Science. The percentage of pupils taking Maths (as opposed to Maths Literacy) is above 80% each year.
The School’s reputation for producing a high number of matriculants with Maths and Science as final matric subjects has not gone unnoticed. In 2006, when Maths was still delineated between higher grade and standard grade, WBHS was admitted to an elite group of only 13 high schools in South Africa that had attained a 100 or more Maths passes on the higher grade in the previous year’s matric examinations. In 2009, a Sunday Times survey placed WBHS in the top ten list for Maths and Science schools in South Africa.
Each year, the matriculating class achieves a university entrance (i.e. bachelors’ pass or matric exemption) rate of between 89% and 96%, the highest out of all boys’ high schools in KZN, and usually among the top 3 for boys’ high schools in the country. At least 75% of the pupils in each of the matriculating classes earn merit passes (C-aggregates or higher). For the last several years the School has produced the highest average number of subject distinctions per pupil out of all boys’ high schools in the province.
Westville pupils are regularly among the top performers in the annual National Senior Certificate examinations, both provincially and nationally. The School’s most recent top performer was Asil Motala, who was the top matriculant in South Africa in 2013. He was the second Westville pupil to attain the number one spot in the country. Colin Bigg, in 1999, was the first to achieve this accolade. On eight occasions since the first matriculating class at the School in 1959, a Westville pupil has been the top placed matriculant in the province. Besides the above two former Westville pupils, the top provincial position in recent times was also achieved by Michael Schmid in 2008, a year in which another WBHS boy, Chris Guattari-Stafford, was placed second.
WBHS is a member of the Alan Gray “Circle of Excellence”. This network recognises a maximum of 100 schools in South Africa each year, both public and private, that are, among other things, committed to genuinely transforming South African society and who produce young graduates who have a hopeful and optimistic view of themselves, their country, their continent and the world. WBHS has been a member since 2008, the founding year of this prestigious network.
In the most recent national ranking of schools by the Sunday Times in 2009 (the last time this ranking was produced), WBHS was ranked the top boy’s high school in South Africa, and filled the 4th the country on the basis of the percentage of bachelors’ passes achieved. In the 2009 survey, WBHS was the only boys’ school in the country to achieve top 10 positions in the categories of bachelors’ passes, Maths passes and Science passes. In the previous ranking in 1999, WBHS was the top ranked state-aided boys’ high school.
WBHS’ reputation for academic excellence has also been recognised internationally. The School is the only school from Africa that has been admitted a member of the World Leading Schools’ Association.