Sunday, August 31, 2008

Albert College Trio receive English Olympiad certificates

- Ailsa Tudhope -

Towards the end of 2007 Abigail Modra, Joshua Swanepoel and Matthew van Heerden started studying the material for the 2008 English Olympiad. The theme was Court in the Act: The Law on Stage. Besides reading extracts from the set texts they were able to watch films of The Merchant of Venice, Twelve Angry Men, The Winslow Boy and an episode of Boston Legal.

Lots of writing and discussion followed. The writing included slogans for posters which might have been displayed by the crowd at Antonio’s trial, character studies of the Twelve Angry Men, a script for a television play about a chat show in which prejudice was discussed and much more.

All the preparation paid dividends when Abigail received a Bronze Award and the boys both achieved Merit Awards. This prestigious and demanding competition encourages young people in senior schools to read widely, with insight and to develop their writing skills.

The examination includes a long and a shorter piece of writing, which are assessed for content, style and language. The standard is extremely high and the rewards substantial: the top hundred candidates each receive entrance scholarships to Rhodes University and the top three enjoy a trip to England.

Now that they have experienced the examination and have a sense of the requirements, Abigail, Joshua and Matthew have enthusiastically registered for the 2009 competition. We look forward to all the reading, heated discussion and writing ahead.

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