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Curro Nelspruit matrics excel at English olympiad

The theme for the 2021 National English Olympiad was People and Personas”. Candidates were presented with a short selection of interesting writings that included poetry, prose and a dramatic monologue in the anthology, This is My Story. There were a few online discussions regarding the work, but the candidates have to prepare themselves for the unexpected. Questions include: “Write a dialogue for the blind date between the characters from two different short stories in the anthology.” It encourages critical thinking and creative writing. It examines that which is not ordinarily found in the school syllabus. The focus is on the relevance of literature in your personal life and the world around you.

Ms Lize van Eeden in Grade 12A1 attained 5th place in the First Additional Language examination with a mark that was above 90% (a Diamond award). She has silver awards from the 2019 and 2020 English Olympiads. There were more than 4400 entrants from 243 schools that participated in this year’s Olympiad. This is an exceptional achievement! She receives a cash prize from the Grahamstown Foundation and the South African Council for English Education (SACEE) as well as a full tuition scholarship for any first year course of study at Rhodes University.

Also in First Additional Language, fellow matriculant, Marlouise Mengel, received a Gold (80-89%). The Head Girl, Safaa Jina, achieved a Silver certificate (70-79%) in Home Language.

Although there were fewer than usual candidates writing the examination this year, we are extremely pleased with the results, not only from our Grade 12s, but also from other participants.

Saul Musker, a young man who achieved 2nd place in the 2012 English Olympiad, wrote to the Foundation saying: “For me, the Olympiad is more than just another exam or competition. It is protected time for creativity; a dedicated three hours devoted to writing. I only wish I could write one every day, to escape the usual chaos of our existence, to let the ink pour out of my grateful mind.” This is published on their website as it epitomises the experience of this fascinating Olympiad.