Hunger Games: Applying for grade 1 edition

If you are living in Cape Town, with a 5 year old starting grade 1 or a 13 year old heading to grade 8, it’s about this time when you are most stressed. Why you may wonder – because it’s about the time when you find out whether or not your child got into the school of your choice.

I can’t speak about grade 8 acceptance into high school but I can definitely relate to grade 1 acceptance into a primary school – I can even relate better to a grade 1 acceptance into a great school of your choice that will best be suited for your little angel.

Allow me to paint the scene as to what kind of parent I am. February 1st, I head to CNA to purchase my business envelopes (you know the big white ones), new black pens, pritt stick. I have an excel sheet. Sounds crazy but I’ve been researching and researching, spoken to parents, kids and I have my list of schools. For interest sake of this blog post, I wont mention school names.

The Sunday afternoon, I gear up to get cracking on application forms. Now keep in mind, while I may only have 6 schools I applied at, I have extra copies of everything in case of any emergency

  • 6 x different school application forms
  • 6 x certified copies of my daughter’s report
  • 6 x certified copies of her birth certificate
  • 6 x certified copies of proof of address for both myself and my ex husband
  • 6 x certified copies of parents ID
  • 6 x ID photos of my daughter’s photograph
  • 6 x proof of payments for all the schools’ registration fees


I set up my production line of all my forms, documents, copies, sent my family out for the afternoon so I could have peace of mind and I was ready to go. Easy right?!? That’s what I thought first.

School applications dropped off and I thought cool – I’ve got this.

One Friday in June while I was minding my own business, I received my school letter for my kid.

Good day Ms Edries,

We would just like to say thank you for your application, but unfortunately your application was unsuccessful.

We wish you the best of luck


Principal of school


Pretty much sums up my first reaction after one letter. I thought “ag, it’s one letter“. But no, I was wrong. The second rejection letter arrived shortly afterwards and now I was stressed. Stressed because these were my second and third choice and if my first choice rejected her, I’d be broken.


Let me tell you, it is not the best feeling ever! The stress is insane and the uncertainty of what else I would do if she wasnt in a school for grade 1 is one I really didnt have an answer too. For once, I didnt have an answer and I had no idea what to do.

Chatting to other parents, I had realised I wasnt the only one in this predicament. This feeling and struggle is so real. The feeling of stress, anxiety and complete destitution is one that really isn’t fair.

We got called for an interview and I even got told my child’s confident personality would be an issue for the school’s ethos as she was too outspoken.

What have I learned though from this experience:

  • Apply at as many schools as possible
  • Research, research, research
  • Once you find a school that’s great for your child – stick to it. It’s not about following the pack or status. Do what’s right for you and your child.

But I am happy to announce that my daughter got into my first choice and I couldn’t be happier and more excited.


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