Oak­hill ex­cel­len­ce spre­ads far and wi­de

Knysna-Plett Herald - - Nuus | News -

Oak­hill S­chool on­ce a­gain hos­ted a highly ca­pa­ble group of ap­pli­cants for their an­nu­al scho­lars­hip ex­a­mi­na­ti­ons in ear­ly March. With ne­ar­ly 60 le­ar­ners in Gra­de 7 from a se­lecti­on of lo­cal, na­ti­o­nal and in­ter­na­ti­o­nal schools, t­he­se ex­a­mi­na­ti­ons we­re strongly con­te­sted.

S­cho­lars­hips are a­war­ded an­nu­al­ly to c­hild­ren who ex­cel in the scho­lars­hip pro­cess, which in­vol­ves a ri­gorous pro­gram­me of acti­vi­ties in­clu­ding a mat­he­ma­ti­cs and En­g­lish ex­am, pre­pa­red speech, la­te­ral thin­king exe­r­ci­ses, cre­a­ti­ve and ot­her di­men­si­o­nal thin­king and an in­ter­view with se­ni­or Oak­hill a­ca­de­mic s­taff.

‘En­ti­cing as­pi­ring minds’

He­ad of s­chool Jan­nie de Vil­liers com­men­ted, “We we­re thril­led with the high ca­li­b­re of can­di­da­tes at­ten­ding and will be most ple­a­sed to a­ward s­cho­lars­hips to at­tend Oak­hill – to en­ti­ce as­pi­ring minds and ex­po­se them to the won­der­ful op­por­tu­ni­ties that our s­chool has to of­fer.”De Vil­liers main­tains that “w­ho­le child e­du­ca­ti­on hap­pens in the bro­a­dest sen­se of the word at Oak­hill”.

“T­his in­vol­ves much mo­re than the ex­cel­lent a­ca­de­mic stan­dards we main­tain. From Gra­des 000 to 12 we stri­ve to ig­ni­te the i­ma­gi­na­ti­ons of our pu­pils by en­coura­ging them to ex­plo­re and dis­co­ver, que­s­ti­on and cre­a­te, and to ex­pe­rien­ce the joy of le­ar­ning.”

‘Joy of le­ar­ning’

The s­chool’s et­hos of “joy of le­ar­ning” is e­vi­dent not on­ly in Oak­hill’s pro­ven track re­cord for a ho­lis­tic and well-roun­ded e­du­ca­ti­on of le­ar­ners, but al­so by the s­chool le­a­vers as they con­ti­nue with much ent­hu­si­asm in their cho­sen pat­hs.

Oak­hill’s top art le­ar­ner in 2017, Re­be­kah U­ti­an, not on­ly a­chie­ved six dis­tincti­ons for ma­tric last y­e­ar and a 92% a­vera­ge for art, but she has al­so re­cent­ly been a­war­ded the pres­ti­gi­ous art scho­lars­hip at Ke­nyon Col­le­ge, O­hio in the USA. Ke­nyon Col­le­ge is one of the fi­nest li­be­ral arts col­le­ges in A­me­ri­ca. Si­mi­lar to Oak­hill in ma­ny ways, it is a small s­chool w­he­re a­ca­de­mic ex­cel­len­ce g­oes hand in hand with a s­trong sen­se of com­mu­ni­ty. Re­be­kah’s scho­lars­hip is worth $15 000 a y­e­ar, re­ne­wa­ble for four y­e­ars.

Going pla­ces

Re­be­kah will be stu­dying art his­to­ry, arts ma­na­ge­ment and jour­na­lism, and she dre­ams of ha­ving her “own ar­ti­cles pu­blis­hed in the New York Ti­mes and being a cu­ra­tor of an in­ter­na­ti­o­nal­ly re­no­w­ned art gal­le­ry such as Mo­ma or Ta­te. Re­be­kah al­so in­tends to le­arn S­pa­nish and I­ta­li­an as soon as pos­si­ble!

Says Re­be­kah, “I tru­ly be­lie­ve a gen­ui­ne ‘Oak­hill ex­pe­rien­ce’ re­qui­res a cer­tain le­vel of s­punk. The s­chool has so much to of­fer – w­hat you ta­ke from it is w­hat you can get out of the ex­pe­rien­ce. I will re­main proud in saying that my roots are plan­ted in Oak­hill soil.”

A­not­her 2017 ma­tri­cu­lant, Ber­gen Pentz, al­so com­ple­ted the y­e­ar with six dis­tincti­ons and will al­so be furt­her­ing her stu­dies o­ver­se­as. Ber­gen will be at­ten­ding the U­ni­ver­si­ty of Sur­rey in Eng­land w­he­re she will be­gin with a foun­da­ti­on y­e­ar and s­tart a de­gree in food s­cien­ce and mi­cro­bi­o­lo­gy in Sep­tem­ber.

S­hi­ning el­se­w­he­re

In ad­di­ti­on to tho­se ex­cel­ling in a­ca­de­mi­cs and the arts, Oak­hill le­ar­ners al­so con­ti­nue to shi­ne in sports a­cross a wi­de va­ri­e­ty of dis­ci­pli­nes. Ha­ving re­cei­ved a golf scho­lars­hip, 2017 ma­tri­cu­lant Ky­le So­lo­mon will be pur­suing his golf­ing am­bi­ti­ons at Kei­ser U­ni­ver­si­ty in West Palm Be­ach, Flo­ri­da USA, w­he­re he will be stu­dying a PGA golf ma­na­ge­ment de­gree.

Un­der­stan­ding the im­por­tan­ce of a gre­at e­du­ca­ti­on and the op­por­tu­ni­ties it of­fers wor­ld­wi­de, Oak­hill S­chool’s wor­ld-fa­mous Old Oak, Cas­par Lee, is paying it for­ward. Lee re­cei­ved a scho­lars­hip to stu­dy at Oak­hill for his high s­chool y­e­ars, and t­his y­e­ar he laun­ched the Cas­par Lee Burs­a­ry to of­fer that sa­me op­por­tu­ni­ty to a ta­len­ted and de­ser­ving young le­ar­ner, In­diphi­le Wit­booi.

Su­per­star’s Oak­hill s­tart

At the young age of 23, Lee has cer­tain­ly ma­de a success of the dre­ams he on­ce cul­ti­va­ted at Oak­hill: he now has o­ver 7.5-mil­li­on YouTu­be fol­lo­wers, re­cent­ly won the So­ci­al Me­dia Su­per­star a­ward at the 2018 Glo­bal A­wards, and is the c­hief in­no­va­ti­on of­fi­cer at the Lon­don­ba­sed mar­ke­ting a­gen­cy In­flu­en­cer. Lee laun­ched the Cas­par Lee Burs­a­ry in an an­noun­ce­ment on his YouTu­be chan­nel and to an au­dien­ce of Oak­hill le­ar­ners via li­ve stre­a­ming. “Oak­hill sup­por­ted my cre­a­ti­vi­ty, it hel­ped me a lot with my e­du­ca­ti­on, and ma­de me the per­son I am to­day,” he said.

Re­ad mo­re a­bout Cas­par’s jour­ney in his au­to­bi­o­grap­hy Cas­par Lee, a fun com­pi­la­ti­on by Cas­par and his mot­her E­mi­ly Ri­or­dan Lee.

P­ho­tos: Sup­p­lied

Al­most 60 Gra­de 7 le­ar­ners from a se­lecti­on of lo­cal, na­ti­o­nal and in­ter­na­ti­o­nal schools at­ten­ded the re­cent scho­lars­hip ex­ams at Oak­hill S­chool.

Re­be­kah U­ti­an, pic­tu­red he­re af­ter re­cei­ving Oak­hill’s Pier­re Ding­ley Art A­ward, is the re­ci­pient of the pres­ti­gi­ous art scho­lars­hip to Ke­nyon Col­le­ge in O­hia, USA.

Oak­hill’s He­ad of s­chool Jan­nie de Vil­liers (rig­ht) with In­diphi­le Wit­booi, the proud re­ci­pient of the Cas­par Lee Burs­a­ry.

For­mer Oak­hill le­ar­ner Cas­par Lee’s au­to­bi­o­grap­hy tells the hu­mo­rous and in­te­res­ting sto­ry of his jour­ney to su­per­star­dom.

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