…and the winners are:
· Story writing - Melisizwe Primary School, Motherwell, Gqeberha
Eastern Cape, South Africa – The top five Growsmart 2023 learners in literacy and maths, along with the top four learners in creative writing, were announced at a prestigious prize-giving ceremony at the East London International Convention Centre recently.
Growsmart’s vision is to empower young learners facing challenging circumstances by providing opportunities for quality education that positively impacts their future. This educational programme is both a project-based and face-to-face competition. It is interschool and inter-grade with three categories: literacy, story writing (creative writing) and mathematics.
For the first time in three years, the maths and literacy competitions returned to their exciting original format of in-person, quick-fire, buzzer quiz rounds that are loved by learners, teachers and adjudicators alike.
The Mathematics and Literacy competitions’ final rounds were each fiercely contested by 15 of the top-performing grade 4, 5 and 6 learners in the Eastern Cape, and 10 learners competed in the Story Writing finals.
The competition began with learners from 72 schools from across all seven education districts in the Eastern Cape.
Finalists had to progress through the first three rounds of the competition, which began in May 2023, to earn their place in the fourth and final stage.
They prepared for the various competitions, with the support of mentor teachers, by studying and utilising the free Growsmart resources available on its website. These resources include electronic newspapers, interactive activity workbooks, and online preparation tutorials for both learners and teachers.
The 15 finalists in the Literacy Competition were selected from a pool of 207 participants. They were tested on their ability to spell, define and use words in sentences, as well as their knowledge of verbs, nouns, idioms, and adjectives. The winners are:
1st Place Dalukukhanya Primary School, Mdantsane, East London
2nd Place Ngqika Primary School, Zwelitsha, King Williamstown
3rd Place Fanti Gaqa Primary School, Mdantsane, East London
Dalukukhanya Primary School’s accomplishment has also earned them an iPad Lab worth R350,000, fostering future learning and promoting positive educational outcomes.
In the Mathematics Competition, 15 finalists out of the 216 participants tackled questions ranging from BODMAS to problem-solving and mental maths. The winners are:
1st Place Mzoxolo Primary School, Mdantsane, East London
2nd Place Gcobani Primary School, Mdantsane, East London
3rd Place Aspiranza Primary School, Buffalo Flats, East London
The Story Writing Competition is a project-based, mentor-led event in which learners submit their own original written stories. Nearly 180 storybooks were submitted. The winners are:
1st Place Amyoli Thabi from Melisizwe Primary School, Motherwell, Gqeberha
2nd Place Lwahluma Mlambo from Nkosinathi Primary School, Lingelitsha T ownship, East London
3rd Place Imange Saula from Van der Kemp Primary School, Salt Lake, Gqeberha
Most Creative Lwandisuthando Thisani from Melisizwe Primary School, Motherwell, Gqeberha
"Congratulations to everyone who took part in this year's interactive programme, which has been more focused, relevant, engaging, and innovative than ever before. And, especially well done to the winning students, mentors and schools. By combining the best of online and in-person experiences, we continue to impact young minds and foster meaningful change," says Jewel Harris, founder of Growsmart and General Manager of Growthpoint Properties Cape Town.
Growthpoint Properties Head of Corporate Social Responsibility, Shawn Theunissen, adds, “The winning learners and mentors represent the leaders of tomorrow and today. We’re incredibly proud of them all, both children and teachers. Investing in positive social impact across the entire education value chain not only transforms lives today but also shapes future generations. Growsmart remains one of the most effective methods for enhancing educational outcomes at the primary school level, contributing to a more inclusive society in the long run.”
The programme is rewarding for all involved by being a valuable additional resource for educators and providing a fun way to enhance learning for children to learn. However, there are also great prizes up for grabs and the Growsmart competition winners were awarded significant prizes to support their future education. First, second and third-place winners in each contest received educational materials to the value of R20,000, R10,000 and R5,000, respectively. The ‘Most Creative’ story written also received R5,000. In addition, mentors in all categories were awarded gift vouchers from a Growthpoint Shopping Centre worth R10,000, R5,000 and R3,000.
All finalists were given the opportunity to apply for a bursary through the Growsmart Bursary Programme, with Growsmart assisting the learner and the family every step of the way through the application process. Since its inception, Growsmart and its partners have sponsored and supported 27 alumni in achieving their educational goals in high school and tertiary institutions.
The Growsmart competition, launched in 2010 in the Western Cape, aims to enhance primary school learners' performance in literacy and mathematics. Due to its success, the programme has expanded to the Eastern Cape and Limpopo.
Congratulations to all the Eastern Cape winners.