Silverlea pupils won first, second, third, and fourth place in the annual Growsmart literacy competition, and their school walked away with R350 000.
The competition was held online on Wednesday September 8, and the prize-giving was on Friday October 15.
The competition was based on a spelling bee, but pupils also had to give definitions for the words and construct sentences.
The pupils sacrificed their breaks and time away from school to study, said Grade 5 teacher Zeenat Larney.
The competition and opportunities like it broadened pupils’ knowledge, developed their vocabulary and made them socially engaged, said teacher Fatum Adams.
The school plans to use the R350 000 prize money to buy smart whiteboards and projectors, among other things.
The pupils received prizes to the value of R25 000, including laptops, printers and money towards their school fees, uniforms and stationery.
Grade 6 pupil Sadiyah Padayachee, who came first in the literacy category, said she was very proud of herself. She won R20 000 towards her education. Pupils don’t get the money in cash but rather get to choose which educational items they would like.
“I would like to buy a tablet with the money I won, and I’m not sure what else yet. I was excited to take part in the competition,” she said.
Grade 5 pupil Luca Alexander said the experience was life-changing. She won second place and R10 000 towards her education.
Grade 6 pupil Lyndell Morkel won third place and R5000 towards her education.
“I enjoyed the practice runs the most,” she said. “In the first round, we worked very hard, and I was very nervous because there was a lot of attention on us and responsibilities.”
Grade 6 pupil Milani Kama, who won fourth place and R2500, said her achievement had given her self-confidence a boost. “We learnt how to work in groups and I really enjoyed that,” she said.
Principal Sharon Coetzee said that she was very proud of the pupils.