Although the literacy category has been running for the past seven years, the mathematics and science categories were introduced for the first time this year.
Growsmart is an initiative of Growthpoint Properties.
Teams of pupils from each school, and a total of 160 schools, participated in this year’s competition.
Apart from the literacy competition, a story-writing competition was also introduced two years ago.
The short story that Grade 6 pupil Aafia Abrahams wrote made her fellow Talfalah Primary family ecstatic, because it was chosen among the top 20 stories and has been published in the Growsmart story book.
What made the school community even more excited, was the fact that their mathematics and science teams did well.
Mathematics teacher Naeelah Titus said her team’s hard work had paid off.
She explained that as part of the competition, teams had to answer as many as 20 questions within two minutes. The Talfalah team managed to answer 19 of the 20 questions correctly.
“The competition ran from May to September. It was really hard work, but the team was dedicated. We worked for up to four hours at a time, and took short breaks in-between.
“They were always determined and never complained. I am tremendously proud of their achievement. They have a bright future – we even threw in a bit of Grade 7 and Grade 8 maths, and they coped well,” Ms Titus said.
The mathematics team included Azraa Esau, Yaseen Allie, and Sikilelwa Ntlokomfana, all Grade 6.
Yaseen said his parents and the rest of his family were very proud of the team’s achievement.
“We didn’t know how well we’d do, but Ms Titus trained us well,” he said.
Azraa said through the hard work, they also had a lot of fun.
Yaseen Hendricks and Naseebah Arendse were part of the science team.
A confident Yaseen said he believes his good presentation skills helped to get his team through the first and second rounds.
The science team produced a solar-powered cooker.
Naseebah said learning that they had taken third place had been a big surprise for her. She advised next year’s team to do their research well, do experiments and tests, to learn scientific terminology, and to have confidence.
Teacher Layla Hendricks said it had been difficult choosing a science project for the competition.
“They did the research, and came to my classroom every day. We had to make a display board and explain it, and design and build our solar cooker. We also had to test the product.
“During the second round, there was a big crowd. We felt a bit intimidated, but the team did us proud. The team worked well together,” Ms Hendricks said.
Principal Mogamat Ashraf Karriem is also proud of his pupils.
“We must create opportunities for our pupils. We must show our children leadership and help them shape themselves. I am a former pupil of Silverstream High School, and I have the greatest respect for my teachers there.
“Our teams have put our school back on the map, and it is up to the others who will follow, to better on it. They did exceptionally well,” Mr Karriem said.