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.
Academic Management Team
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.
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.
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.
Hutton Heyns obtained her BSc in Human Genetics at the University of Pretoria, majoring in Genetics, Microbiology and Biochemistry. Other subjects also included Statistical Mathematics and Medical Latin.
She went on to complete her Med (Hons) in Molecular Biology at the Medical University of South Africa. Her Honours was aimed at developing a genetic screening procedure for leukaemia patients. During her studies she taught part time mathematics at high school level where she developed her passion for teaching.
After her Honours she was given a bursary to complete her MSc in Wine Biotechnology at the University of Stellenbosch. Her research project involved genetically modifying industrial wine yeast to produce less ethanol during wine fermentation, the statistics data and finding was published in a research paper in 2013.
After completing her studies she worked as an analytical scientist at one of South Africa’s largest wine cellars. During this time her passion for math still drove her to help students with extra math in her spare time.
Hutton’s passion for Math and Biology can be seen in her personalised approach to her students. She is able to influence and connect with both left and right brain orientated students with her whole brain teaching style. In spite of her extensive studies she is able to reach students at their varying levels and explain even the most complicated topics in functional and easy-to-grasp terms.
Hutton believes in living a balanced life and enjoy activities such as deep sea fishing, scuba diving, long distance cycling, sketching and the odd painting.
She aims at helping students reach their full potential by honing in on their individual strengths.
Lorenza read her Bachelor of Arts degree with majors in English Literature and Philosophy at Rhodes University in 2008. Before embarking on a year of travel through South America, she completed her TEFL course. She taught English in several countries in South America and learnt Spanish while doing do. Her second language is Italian.
She then went onto teach English in Germany and Spain and encountered a vast range of people, ages and nationalities which allowed her to teach people as individuals despite a standardised curriculum.
Lorenza has an adventurous spirit and an enthusiasm for life that encourages young learners to engage with the world around them; she believes in using the immediate environment as a basis for her teaching, where experience and imaginative experiment equals understanding. Her approach is inductive and she finds new, interesting and innovative ways to encourage learning.
Her loves are travel, literature, passion for cuisine and her baby boy.
I obtained my Bachelor of Education, Intermediate and Senior phase at UNISA.
I also had professional training in remedial teaching in Maths and Afrikaans from Integra Education and Training.
I taught Checkpoint Maths and Afrikaans second language IGCSE and A-Level according to the Cambridge system for about 3 years.
My hobbies are reading, Ballroom and Latin dancing and Horse riding.
Shazna le Grange, an English major, has just completed the coursework for her Honours in English. Following the submission of her dissertation early this year, she will be awarded her BA Honours by the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka, her home university. She also holds a Diploma in International Relations and a Diploma in Human Rights.
Shazna has a passion for teaching and has taught History, Geography and English for several years in Sri Lanka. She has also been involved in an English teaching project among underprivileged children in Colombo.
Shazna’s desire is to convey the enthusiasm she feels for her subjects to her students, that they may come to enjoy them too. She strives to give each student the attention and the assistance he or she needs to excel. One aspect that she has enjoyed in her career as a teacher has been the opportunity she has had to mentor students. It is her desire to help her students grow to be well-rounded individuals and to encourage them to reach their full potential.
Shazna enjoys debating and drama. She has participated extensively in debating tournaments at university level and in several drama productions.
Samuel is a passionate teacher and mentor who is academically driven and strong and went on to achieve his Degree in Chemical Engineering at the University of Lagos, Diploma in Mathematics Education at Abeokuta Polytechnic , teaching certificate where he starts his teaching training ACCOED(Lagos) and Chemistry at Allison University Ireland.
Samuel achieve great academic results both in high school and university becoming a vital member and coordinator of JETS group (Junior Engineer, Technicians and Scientist) and also a top ten national winner at the cowbell sponsored Mathematics and Science competition and he since then have a great affinity for teaching which he did in secondary and tertiary level.
Samuel`s Philosophy in teaching involves improving students confidence in and outside school environment and as well to improve their practical approach to solution as well as their theoretical approach.
His aim is to be able to help make the world a better place through education and environmental healthiness. He aim to finish up his Master`s in Environmental Science so as to improve great standard of life.
Subject Teacher: English Literature, English Language for Foreign Learners, French
Caitlin Cockeran began studying languages at the University of Pretoria in 2010. She completed her BA:Languages degree in 2012, majoring in English and French. She continued with English Literature and Creative Writing in her post-graduate studies and attained herBA (Honours) degree in English in 2014. She is currently studying towards a research MA degree, focusing on Children’s and Young Adult Fiction. Caitlin has been involved in education projects since her own high school career and has tutored English Literature and Language for home language and foreign language speakers at the University of Pretoria since 2012.
She has participated in various national Model United Nations debating championships and has been involved in coaching initiatives in collaboration with the United Nations Association of South Africa and the South African Institute of International Affairs. She has also been involved in performing and producing several drama productions for community theatres and the University of Pretoria’s Literary Society.
Caitlin has a passion for language and language teaching and firmly believes that multilingualism is both a necessity and a source of great pleasure. She possesses a love of all things linguistic and creative, including drama and literature and she aims to teach in a manner that helps her students find that same sense of joy in language learning.
The British Academy has a number of excellent and helpful support staff.
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
Board of Directors
BOARD DIRECTOR & REGISTRAR
Yolanda Bester is the Registrar and Head of Administration at The British Academy.
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.
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”.