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South African Online School Celebrates Its First Graduate

South African Online School Celebrates Its First Graduate

Mar 21, 2024, 13:53 PM by Hailey Fitch
Thrive School, an online school in South Africa, is seeing success. Check out our interview with a thrive staff member and their high school graduate to learn more.

By: Wendy Cross, Marketing Manager, FlexPoint Education Cloud 

Thrive School student, Waldo, surrounded by trees in a blue shirt and smile on his face


Thrive School, located in South Africa, was founded in 2016 with the vision of offering students an individualized approach to education that focused on project-based and experiential learning. In 2019, the school partnered with FlexPoint Education Cloud to launch its online school, called thriveONLINE, and this past school year it saw its first graduating class. 

I recently had the opportunity to speak with Jordan Willett, operations and academic manager for thrive school, and Waldo Hattingh, the online school’s first graduate. During our conversation, I learned more about thriveONLINE, our partnership, and how Waldo’s experience as an online student helped him get accepted into a college in the United States.

Jordan Willet, operations manager of thrive school, students in a garden
Jordan Willett, operations and academic manager for thrive school.

Me: It’s nice to virtually meet you, Jordan! Thank you for taking the time to speak with me about thrive school and your partnership with FlexPoint Education Cloud. To give our readers some background, can you tell me about yourself and the school?

Willett: It’s nice to meet you, as well. I’m currently the academic and operations manager at thrive school, but I began with the school in 2020 as a language arts and social studies teacher for 12th grade students.

We started with a handful of homeschool students and grew into a school that now has approximately 114 Kindergarten - 12th grade students at our physical locations in Durbanville and Noordhoek, called thriveHUB, and online through thriveONLINE.

Me: Why did thrive school decide to partner with FlexPoint?

Willett: Since 2019, our team wanted to build a fully online branch of our school, with the goal of creating a program that was agile and provided students with comprehensive and engaging  digital courses. We also wanted to ensure our teachers felt supported and empowered to teach the online curriculum.

We partner with FlexPoint because we appreciate that the digital curriculum contains a diverse range of interactive activities including video, games, quizzes, and writing assignments and exercises. This ensures that no matter how a student learns best, their learning needs are being met. Also, the lessons are easy to navigate, which means if a student needs to revisit a lesson they found challenging, they can easily do so without having to start the entire lesson over.

Me: How have students responded to the digital courses?

Willett: We’ve seen students who were previously passive in their learning engaging more with the FlexPoint curriculum because they find it to be interesting and challenging. Through digital courses, our students have been able to work independently because it  requires them to take ownership over their learning. Seeing this student engagement is very rewarding because we know that it better prepares them for whatever path they choose to take after graduation.

In fact, Waldo was our first graduate last year who used the FlexPoint curriculum.

Me: Waldo, can you tell us a little about yourself and what brought you to thrive?

Hattingh: Absolutely. Before attending thrive, I attended brick-and-mortar schools and was homeschooled by my Mom, who is a brilliant teacher. Eventually, both of my parents needed to work full-time, which led us to enroll at thrive. When I enrolled, I was well on my way through Grade 10, however, due to differences in curricula and the challenges I had with my test scores, I had to start my studies in Grade 9 with thrive.

Me: What did you like about thrive and how did attending help you reach your goals?

Thrive school student, Waldo, at College of the Ozarks surrounded by trees
Recent thrive school graduate, Waldo Hattingh, at College of the Ozarks.

Hattingh: I really liked the teaching techniques used at thrive. It was a lot more personal and the effort the teachers put in was quite visible, which I appreciated. I also liked that most of my schooling was online. This allowed me to work independently and connect with my teachers whenever I needed help. The teachers encouraged and challenged me to always do better. I also finished my Advanced Placement subjects on time and completed the SAT, which gave me a leg up when I started college in the United States because I was able to skip some entry-level college courses due to the college credits I earned and transferred.

Me: That’s amazing to hear! What are your future plans? 

Hattingh: Currently, I’m studying for a Bachelor of Science degree in general engineering at College of the Ozarks in Missouri. In the future, I want to specialize in an engineering field, but I’m not sure which one yet. I’m also considering becoming an American citizen.

Thank you to Jordan and Waldo for speaking to me about thrive, your experience with FlexPoint curriculum, and your plans for the future. To learn more about thrive school, please visit their website. Additionally, to learn more about FlexPoint digital courses, visit our curriculum webpage.