Covid-19 disrupted our lives in ways we never anticipated. For schools, it meant coming up with creative ways to support their pupils academically, emotionally and even financially in order for them to be able to complete the school year.

News24 celebrates the superheroes who went well beyond the call of duty to make sure their pupils could continue learning. Here are the Super School, Teacher and Class of the year as voted by News24's readers.


Super School Apex High: 'We showed that we are willing to do whatever it takes'


"We will do whatever it takes. We've been saying it for three years, and this year we showed our pupils we really will," says Renate van der Westhuizen, principal of the school.

The school has been voted the News24 Super School 2020 for its Covid-19 "keep learning" initiatives. More than 20 000 News24 readers voted in the inaugural competition.


The no-fee school moved all classes online and made sure all pupils had access to lessons.

Meet our 2020 Teacher of the Year: Karla Swart

Mrs Karla Swart teaches drama and is head of the arts department at Willowridge High School in Pretoria.

One of the reasons she was nominated for the Super Schools competition is because she started an Angels Programme at the school to support pupils with financial needs.

Through the programme, staff members volunteer anonymously to adopt a pupil or two and care for them by providing them with basic needs and gifts, all provided for out of their own pockets.

Super Schools Class of the Year: Cornwall Hill College matrics donate 1 375 kg of goods

A casual conversation between friends lit the fire for a matric class to collect more than a ton of charitable donations for a worthy cause during lockdown.

The Cornwall Hill College matrics of 2020 have been voted by News24's readers as the class of the year in the inaugural Super Schools competition.

During the lockdown, they collected 1 375 kg of food, clothes, shoes and other necessities for the Ditshego House of Laughter, a non-profit organisation in Centurion that takes care of children and babies when their parents aren't able to.

"It was amazing to see how everyone came together to do their part," says Patricia Chaminuka, 18, the school's head girl. She and head boy Matthew Andrews started the initiative.

We received more than 200 nominations and narrowed it down to five finalists in each category. Below are the finalists.


Super Schools: Best Covid-19 'keep learning' initiative

Click on the pictures to read more about each school.

Apex High School educates on just 25MB per day

Apex High School educates on just 25MB per day

Apex High School educates on just 25MB per day

Get Ahead Project leaves workbooks at Spar for grandparents to collect

Get Ahead Project leaves workbooks at Spar for grandparents to collect

Get Ahead Project leaves workbooks at Spar for grandparents to collect

A teacher helps a pupil at Jeppe Park Primary

Jeppe Park Primary keeps inner-city kids' education, meals going

Jeppe Park Primary keeps inner-city kids' education, meals going

Kyalami Kids Preschool forges ahead in lockdown

Kyalami Kids Preschool forges ahead in lockdown

Kyalami Kids Preschool forges ahead in lockdown

Port Edward teachers drop work off at pupils' homes

Port Edward teachers drop work off at pupils' homes

Apex High School educates on just 25MB per day

Apex High School educates on just 25MB per day

Apex High School educates on just 25MB per day

Get Ahead Project leaves workbooks at Spar for grandparents to collect

Get Ahead Project leaves workbooks at Spar for grandparents to collect

Get Ahead Project leaves workbooks at Spar for grandparents to collect

A teacher helps a pupil at Jeppe Park Primary

Jeppe Park Primary keeps inner-city kids' education, meals going

Jeppe Park Primary keeps inner-city kids' education, meals going

Kyalami Kids Preschool forges ahead in lockdown

Kyalami Kids Preschool forges ahead in lockdown

Kyalami Kids Preschool forges ahead in lockdown

Port Edward teachers drop work off at pupils' homes

Port Edward teachers drop work off at pupils' homes

Teacher of the year

Click on the pictures to read more about each teacher.

Riefqah Sasman takes class online, teaches at night using free data

Riefqah Sasman takes class online, teaches at night using free data

Ronald Kock's screenrecording box invention

Ronald Kock invents box for screen recordings of lessons by teachers

Ronald Kock invents box for screen recordings of lessons by teachers

A lesson on the Bad Teacher YouTube channel

Rika Badenhorst creates 'Bad Teacher' YouTube channel

Rika Badenhorst creates 'Bad Teacher' YouTube channel

Karla Swart starts pupil 'adoption' programme, sews each matric a mask.

Karla Swart starts pupil 'adoption' programme, sews each matric a mask.

Ebrahim Abrahams used money for daughter's car to feed pupils

Ebrahim Abrahams used money for daughter's car to feed pupils

Riefqah Sasman takes class online, teaches at night using free data

Riefqah Sasman takes class online, teaches at night using free data

Ronald Kock's screenrecording box invention

Ronald Kock invents box for screen recordings of lessons by teachers

Ronald Kock invents box for screen recordings of lessons by teachers

A lesson on the Bad Teacher YouTube channel

Rika Badenhorst creates 'Bad Teacher' YouTube channel

Rika Badenhorst creates 'Bad Teacher' YouTube channel

Karla Swart starts pupil 'adoption' programme, sews each matric a mask.

Karla Swart starts pupil 'adoption' programme, sews each matric a mask.

Ebrahim Abrahams used money for daughter's car to feed pupils

Ebrahim Abrahams used money for daughter's car to feed pupils

Pupils' award: Best charity initiative

Click on the pictures to read more about each school.

Cornwall Hill College

Cornwall Hill College matrics donate 4 truck loads to home for vulnerable children

Cornwall Hill College matrics donate 4 truck loads to home for vulnerable children

Tasreeq Doovey and his mother, Raygaanah

Windsor High Grade 12s gift breadwinner classmate new phone, matric jacket

Windsor High Grade 12s gift breadwinner classmate new phone, matric jacket

The 'jars of hope' Stirling Primary collected

Stirling Primary donates 700 'jars of hope'

Stirling Primary donates 700 'jars of hope'

Rondebosch Boys' High pupils dish up food

Rondebosch Boys' Grade 11s use their matric ball funds to feed the needy

Rondebosch Boys' Grade 11s use their matric ball funds to feed the needy

Reddam House collects ecobricks, makes washing stations for informal traders

Reddam House collects ecobricks, makes washing stations for informal traders

Cornwall Hill College

Cornwall Hill College matrics donate 4 truck loads to home for vulnerable children

Cornwall Hill College matrics donate 4 truck loads to home for vulnerable children

Tasreeq Doovey and his mother, Raygaanah

Windsor High Grade 12s gift breadwinner classmate new phone, matric jacket

Windsor High Grade 12s gift breadwinner classmate new phone, matric jacket

The 'jars of hope' Stirling Primary collected

Stirling Primary donates 700 'jars of hope'

Stirling Primary donates 700 'jars of hope'

Rondebosch Boys' High pupils dish up food

Rondebosch Boys' Grade 11s use their matric ball funds to feed the needy

Rondebosch Boys' Grade 11s use their matric ball funds to feed the needy

Reddam House collects ecobricks, makes washing stations for informal traders

Reddam House collects ecobricks, makes washing stations for informal traders

Special mentions

We've been blown away by the commitment and hard work of our teachers. Even in the most difficult circumstances, they showed up for their pupils every day. We received hundreds of nominations for schools and teachers who did far more than what is expected from them, to make sure the school year was not lost. In addition to academic support, they often supported entire families in ways that showed once again why our schools are the backbone of our communities. We acknowledge and celebrate these schools and teachers with an honorary mention.

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