We are extremely proud of our highly experienced and dynamic teaching corps. Our teachers have been handpicked and most of them have been teaching international curricula for many years and with great success.
Our Principal, Mrs Marilís Pieters, is a visionary leader with a real passion for education and students. Marilís is especially keen to further establish the reputation of TBA’s excellent academic track record which has gone from strength to strength. Her focus for 2015 is to grow and expand what is the best academic programme in Pretoria.
She has taught Biology, Life Sciences and Food Sciences for more than 25 years at both Secondary and Tertiary level of education.
Marilis completed her studies and teaching qualification at The University of the North West (Potchefstroom Campus).
Most recently she has taught at Cornwall Hill College, as well as the Technical University of Tshwane, where she has been involved in teacher training.
Marilis has an interest and compassion in the holistic development of a young adult. She believes education involves more than just conveying subject knowledge, it also involves the responsibility of educators to mould and guide the students in their care towards well balanced young adults.
She has been involved in numerous social awareness projects such as Rhino poaching programs and has assisted Rotary International in fund raising projects.
Marilis served on syllabus task committees throughout her teaching career and was also involved in compiling new course material which was used at various Technical Colleges.
DR PETER FARRANDS
Head of Humanities & Literature
Dr Peter Farrands has achieved exceptional results in A Level Literature and History examinations over the last five years with no less than 6 students achieving a top ten world result in their disciplines.
Peter began teaching in Zimbabwe back in 1984 working for one of the new rural secondary schools teaching Literature under the Cambridge system. Since then he has worked on three continents at all levels including; Sixth Form college, University and a Teaching College.
He returned to England in 1986 where he attended Westminster, Oxford to earn his Post Graduate Certificate in Education before completing a year’s probation in an inner city school outside Portsmouth, England.
Around this time he began work on his doctoral thesis on Southern African Literature and Politics, which he completed in Botswana in 1994 during South Africa’s first democratic elections. The early nineties were spent teaching Literature and running a new Media Studies department at The Sixth Form College Farnborough before the pull of Africa became too much and he returned, ending up taking a position in the English department at Molepolole Teachers College, near Gaberone, Botswana.
In 1997 he moved to Nicaragua in Central America where he worked for the University of Mobile’s Central American campus and from there to Peru. It was during this period that his two sons Samuel and Oliver were born.
He returned to South Africa in 2001 and has worked for both the English department of the University of the Witwatersrand and for UNISA.
His results include a catalogue of top ten students in the world for both A’ Level Literature and A’ Level History.
Head of Sciences
Physicist Author Teacher
As physicist Marianne did research at the De Beers Diamond Research Laboratories, as well as at the University of Pretoria where she operated the particle accelerator for several years.
She holds an honours degree in atomic physics from Stellenbosch University, as well as a Masters in solid state physics from the University of Pretoria.
Marianne has taught mathematics, physics and chemistry at both tertiary and secondary level for about 25 years.
She is the author of a chemistry book called “The Mole Whole” and also plays the flute, having obtained her Grade 8 certificate from the Royal Schools of Music.
Carolina obtained a Bachelors’ degree in International Relations at the Universidad San Francisco de Quito in Quito, Ecuador. She also obtained an Honours degree in Occupational Therapy at the University of Pretoria. She speaks six languages.
She is passionate about children and has always loved working with them. She strives to integrate Occupational Therapy principles in her teaching and to transform learning into a multisensory experience so that all learning styles are catered for. By including all, she endeavours to make the subject meaningful and relevant for every child.
She also has great interest in the psychiatric field and attempts to help her students with the usual psychiatric issues of adolescence by means of activities and informal groups as teaching time allows.
Alex obtained a Masters Degree in Biochemistry at the University of Pretoria and went on to finish his PGCE.
He employs an eclectic teaching style with some focus on meta-learning and the holistic development of students.
His goal is to pass on not only a passion and understanding of science but of life as well.
As hobbies, Alex is learning the Brazilian martial art of Capoeira and also learning to play the harmonica
Mr Stéfan Smit is a native Pretorian, born and raised. In 2006, he began studying English at the University of Pretoria. It was during this time that he first discovered his love of teaching, after being engaged to privately tutor primary school children struggling with language development.
He completed his BA English Studies degree 2008, but discovered a passion for philosophy which he pursued in his postgraduate studies. He attained his Honours degree in philosophy in 2009, and his Masters in philosophy in 2014, both with distinction. Over the course of his postgraduate studies, Stéfan began accumulating extensive teaching experience acting first as a tutor and then lecturer for the University of Pretoria’s Department of Philosophy.
From 2011, he also began teaching English at the St. John Vianney Seminary in Pretoria, teaching English Language on second-year level and Academic Literacy on third-year level. In addition, for the latter half of 2014, he worked as a Language Skills Tutor on the University of Pretoria’s Mamelodi Campus, as part of a bridging initiative aimed at aiding students from educationally underprivileged backgrounds to acquire the linguistic aptitudes necessary to cope with tertiary education.
Mathematics, Chemistry and Physics
Nicole Smout obtained her B.Ed (FET) Natural Sciences degree majoring in Mathematics, Chemistry and Physics at the University of Pretoria.
She achieved great academic results at the University and became a part of Golden Key.
Nicole’s passion for Mathematics and Physical Sciences is exemplified in her approach to learners where her focused and individual attention ensure that her students truly achieve their potential.
Nicole’s aim is to obtain her Masters in Educational Psychology in order to help learners obtain their full potential inside and outside of the classroom.
Business Studies, Economics and Accounting
Samantha McGregor obtained her Bcom Statistics (majoring in Economics) degree at University of Pretoria where she obtained Golden Key status and her PGCE.
Being heavily involved in extracurricular activities (she is still an active swimming instructor and enjoys a multitude of sports), she understands and promotes a balanced lifestyle and helps students with day to day problems, from time management to peer pressure.
In her role as a coach, tutor and mentor Samantha promotes both academic growth and personal development. Her aim is developing holistic well rounded individuals.
Afrikaans and Drama
Patricia received her BA Degree at the University of Pretoria in Languages, History and Ancient Culture History. She then went on to do her PGCE (FET) through UNISA. She is also registered at IDF and AFSA as a junior dance teacher and has a great passion for performing arts. Patricia performed at numerous national and international competitions for performing arts and performed, danced and coached for 15years and counting.
Patricia believes that in order for a student to grow holistically, they have to be guided to know their past, be comfortable with their present and adventure in to their future. Her teaching aims to get students to drink in knowledge as it is the one thing no one can take away from you.
Jane has a Bachelor of Technology (BTech) in chemistry obtained from Tshwane University of technology and currently completing her Masters of Technology (MTech) in chemistry.
She worked as lab assistant at TUT assisting students with experiments, preparing and running chemistry practical’s.
Jane’s goal is that students enjoy each practical session in the laboratory.
Art and German
Andrea completed her Bachelor of Arts, Fine Arts at UNISA.
She has taught Art and Design and German second language IGCSE and A-Level according to the Cambridge system for about 7 years.
Andrea exhibits Art at Galleries around Pretoria and she plays the flute in the orchestra PYPO.
The British Academy has a number of excellent and helpful support staff.
Yolanda Bester is the Registrar and Head of Administration at The British Academy.
Together with her husband, the CEO of The British Academy, Yolanda has played a vital role in establishing and growing the school since inception.
Yolanda has lived and worked in the UK for 15+ years. With a background in the financial services sector Yolanda plays an invaluable role at TBA, especially with regards to the wide range of administrative tasks that keep a school ticking over.
Marié Venter completed her B-Ed degree and her Honours in Educational Psychology at the University of the North-West (Potchefstroom Campus). She completed her Master’s degree in Educational Psychology at the University of Pretoria. She completed all her degrees with distinction and received the reward for the best Honours student at the University of the North-West. She was also a member of the Golden Key Society. At University she was part of the student council where she was the head of Student Community Service in which she was involved in numerous community projects.
Marié worked in the UK for 4 years where she worked as a teacher, reading specialist and therapist. She also has experience working with learners in Thailand and The Netherlands. She worked as a psychologist at Via Nova School and Duo Edu Independent School. Her philosophy as psychologist is to ensure that all learners reach their full potential while focusing on their assets and strengths.
Firdaus Ali Jaffer
Firdaus obtained her degree in psychology at Unisa with a double major in psychology.
She previously worked at the Central Islamic School as Bursar where she gained invaluable experience in student administration and Cambridge exam management.
She regularly assists in community outreach programmes for the Islamic Institute and enjoys volunteering in their children’s literacy programme
Her hobbies are reading, swimming and has a great love for the outdoors and frequently participates in parkrun events.
She is currently completing her honours in psychological counselling at Unisa and has goals of working within the adult literacy project
Niel Bester is the CEO of The British Academy Holdings where he provides the leadership and vision at a national level. Niel is driving the national expansion of TBA and states that “We are hoping to bring the same focused, high quality approach to education to all the major cities in South Africa. Parents want something more from private education today – we are here to provide that little bit extra”.
As a theology graduate he studied at The University of Stellenbosch and The Baptist Theological Seminary before venturing into the field of management. Before his recent return to South Africa Niel spent almost one and a half decades in the UK, working for various multinationals gaining valuable international management experience.
In 2010 Niel joined Salt Invest Holdings where he continues to serve as an executive director. In 2012 Niel was a founding member, along with Salt Invest, in the private schools group called The British Academy.
When not occupied by meetings Niel enjoys spending time with his family, reading (Sci-fi and theology) and training – especially gym and martial arts of which he is a veteran of almost 30 years.