News » Winners of the 2012 De Beers English Olympiad Announced

WINNERS OF THE 2012 DE BEERS ENGLISH OLYMPIAD ANNOUNCED

 The Grahamstown Foundation and the South African Council of English Education (SACEE) has announced the rank order of the top 100 De Beers English Olympiad winners at an official prize giving ceremony held in Grahamstown on Thursday 12 July.

 The De Beers English Olympiad is an annual English competition that drew more than 7300 entries this year from high schools throughout South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Mozambique. This prestigious competition has run since 1976 and is organised jointly by the
Grahamstown Foundation and the South African Council for English Education (SACEE). It has been sponsored by De Beers since 1985.

 On 6 March this year, entrants from Grades 10 to 12, wrote the three-hour examination. The theme this year was “When Urban meets Rural” and the anthology, compiled by the South African Council of English Education, was entitled “Small Town, Big Voice” and featured three South African poets.

Speaking at the prize-giving event, De Beers Consolidated Mines Enterprise Development Manager, Peace Ntuli commented that:“Although English is equal among the eleven official languages of South Africa, it holds a special place in business, as it is the medium in which the global conversation takes place. De Beers is proud of its association, since 1985, with the English Olympiad, and is firmly of the belief that communication is a key to African development.

The theme of this year’s competition was ‘When Urban meets Rural’. But to me the two interesting words in this year’s topic are not ‘urban’ and ‘rural’, but ‘when’ and ‘meets’. Because ‘when’ speaks to the inevitability of crossroads, the inevitability of encounters leading to conversations across divisions. It is at these meetings, at the threshold between states, at the meetings between conflicting viewpoints, that real learning and
creativity take place.”

 Alison Immelman, Co-Examiner, commented on this year’s examination:“This year’s anthology, “Small Town, Big Voice,” proved to be a moving tribute by Andrew Renard (the previous examiner) to the town and the university that he loves. Three “big voices” were included: those of Chris Mann, Harry Owen and Don Maclennan (and a fourth, by implication, Guy Butler). Each of these great poets has contributed something important to the
dialogue about what it means to be a South African.

Although poetry is a difficult genre for many children, the top scripts yet again took our breath away, showing an astounding insight and an ability to be creative and scholastic all at the same time (and in a mere three hours). And once again, this proved the concept true, that the English Olympiad is an indication of amazing potential. We look forward to seeing what these young people achieve as they proceed with their education whether it is at Rhodes University or elsewhere.”

This year also saw a big increase in the number of English First Additional Language (FAL) candidates as part of the English Development Initiative (EDI).

Mr Ntuli commented: It is heartening to see, once again, an increase in the number of entrants in this year’s competition, and especially to see the numbers of First Additional Language students now entering the competition through the Olympiad’s English Development Initiative, or EDI. In
2011, 128 EDI candidates entered, but this more than doubled in 2012, which saw a total of 315 EDI candidates taking part.

The EDI is a vital component of the Olympiad, and aims to ensure that schools in communities associated with De Beers enjoy the benefits of the Olympiad, to promote an increased level of confidence in English usage in these communities, and to provide an opportunity for learners to test themselves in new environments.

Overall, 95% of English Development Initiative candidates achieved a merit award or  higher. One EDI candidate, Natascha Morris from Danielskuil High School, showed the benefits of persistent self-improvement and repeat exposure to the Olympiad: she achieved a Bronze in 2010, a Silver in 2011 and a Gold award in 2012; being placed 53rd this year.

Prizes awarded against the rank order are as follows:

a. The top three candidates are treated to a literary tour of the United Kingdom in December 2012.
b. The top 15 candidates are invited to attend the National Schools Festival in
    Grahamstown free of charge. The De Beers English Olympiad prize-giving ceremony is 
    held during this Festival, and the top 100 winners are announced in rank order.
c. Learners who are ranked between the fourth and 20th positions will receive cash prizes,
    books or book vouchers.
d. The Top 50 candidates receive free-tuition scholarships for their first year of study at 
    Rhodes University immediately upon successful completion of the matriculation 
   examinations and subject to the university’s entry requirements.
e. All candidates who complete the paper will receive certificates indicating a classified
    evaluation.

2012 De Beers English Olympiad Top 20 in Rank Order

No

Title

First Name

Surname

School Name

1

 

Ms

 

Sarah

 

Taylor

 

Merrifield College

 

2

 

Mr

 

Saul

 

Musker

 

King David High School Victory Park

 

3

 

Ms

 

Saskia

 

Kuschke

 

Hoërskool Garsfontein

 

4

 

Ms

 

Heather

 

Kirkby

 

La Rochelle Girls High School

 

5

 

Ms

 

Mia

 

McCarthy

 

Maris Stella Convent

 

6

 

Ms

 

Elizabeth

 

Smith

 

Collegiate High School for Girls

 

7

 

Ms

 

Okuhle

 

Tamella

 

New Forest High School

 

8

 

Ms

 

Megan

 

Matthews

 

The Settlers High School

 

9

 

Ms

 

Maya-rose

 

Torrao

 

Oakhill School

 

10

 

Ms

 

Donna

 

Stevens

 

The King's College

 

11

 

Ms

 

Didi

 

Tsitsi

 

Roedean School South Africa

 

12

 

Mr

 

Muhammed-Ismail

 

Bulbulia

 

St John's College

 

13

 

Ms

 

Katja

 

Samouilhan

 

Oudtshoorn High

 

14

 

Mr

 

Thomas

 

Hudson

 

Kearsney College

 

15

 

Ms

 

Andrea

 

Colombo

 

Camps Bay High School

 


 

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