Art & Craft Club
The Oasis Art and Craft Club meets every Thursday afternoon as an extramural. Activities continue during lunch breaks, offering learners the chance to extend and enrich their interests, as well as providing opportunities to learn new skills in art and craft.
This is Reece (Left). He is passionate about painting and has learnt to create texture in his landscape painting.
Ranetsi (Middle) paints from the heart. This painting expresses his joy as he is celebrating his new limbs. Thanks to Jumping kids for his new blades.
Learners do beading, learning new techniques and creating wonderful necklaces and bracelets.
The Vulumoya Dancing Pencils Writing Club has been running successfully at Open Air School for the past 10 years. It is the brainchild of Mrs Felicity Keats, under whose auspices approximately six collections of poetry and short stories have been published to date. These anthologies reflect the writing of many learners who have passed through the school, and who can now claim to be published writers!
The latest of these anthologies (published in early September) is entitled, “A Long Walk to Vulumoya” and is a truly captivating collection of pieces, of which both mentors and learners can be proud.
Time of the Writer Festival
The 16th International Writers’ Festival took place from 18 – 23 March 2013. Open Air School was privileged to receive a visit by an acclaimed National and International writer, Elana Bregin, on 19 March 2013. Ms Bregin, a fellow South African, is a writer, author and publicist. She has written in a variety of literary forms, including poetry, and penned award-winning young adult titles, which she’s become well known for. Her books include the magic-realist novel, The Slayer of Shadows, for which she won the English Academy’s Percy Fitzpatrick Award in 2000.
During her presentation, Ms Bregin read one of her published short stories to our High School learners. She then held a discussion session where learners were encouraged to ask questions and make comments on her story, as well as holding a discussion on creative writing in general.
Learners enjoyed the reading immensely and participated enthusiastically in the discussions. I believe that our learners have benefitted greatly from these discussions and our aspiring writers will be able to use the experience as a springboard to develop their writing skills and creativity. Thank you to Ms S Naidoo for organising this event.
Over the years, the English Department has participated in many Speech Contests, namely The Rotary Team Speaking Competition, The Best Speaker Competition and Speech Forums, from Grades 8 – 11. Learners gain in confidence from the experience that these contests afford in participating against other mainstream schools. They find the contests exciting and learn a great deal about public speaking. We have been fortunate enough to win our fair share of these competitions, and hope to repeat our successes in the future!
Grade 11 Speech Forum
On 28 February 2013, Busisiwe Mthembu, Aaminah Pharos, Nonhlanhla Ussivane and Andile Phoswa represented Open Air School in the annual speech forum held at Clifton High. They performed very well and we are very proud of them. We would also like to thank Ms P Devenish for assisting and preparing the learners for the Speech Forum.
Grade 10 Best Speaker Competitions
On Monday 9 September 2013, Open Air School participated in the Grade 10 Best Speaker Competition. We were proudly represented by Sindisiwe Magwaza and Thea Harmen.
The competition was hosted by Danville Park Girls High School, and despite the stiff opposition from the host school, as well as other Durban schools, our girls acquitted themselves very well in both the prepared and impromptu speeches. They were praised by the adjudicators for their sincerity in particular.
The competition was won by Our Lady of Fatima Convent. Finals of the Best Speaker Competition will be held at the Open Air School Hall on 14 and 18th of September 2013. We would like to express our sincere thanks to Mrs. Brislin and Mrs. Devenish for their assistance and dedication.
The choir members of Open Air School were invited to perform at the Music Extravaganza 2013 held at the Glenwood Presbyterian Church on 14 September 2013. Thank you to Mrs Briscoe and Mr Stratford for all your hard work and effort.
Left Feet First Dance Group
The Left Feet First Dance Group has been running for many years at Open Air School. It is a group that is made up of learners from the school. All learners attend dance training once a week with volunteer teachers from the Flatfoot Dance Company. This extracurricular activity exposes our learners to various experiences; they are given training in contemporary dance and taken out to perform for the public and at events. The learners are also given the opportunity to attend live performances of dance shows; these include local dancers as well as international festivals such as Jomba! Our learners grow from strength to strength in this area and we hope to see many more years of this amazing teaching from Flatfoot Dance Company.
For the last three years, Open Air School has been a part of the Durban Music School project. Initially, seven learners were chosen to learn the clarinet and the recorder; we now have 80 learners learning a variety of instruments, including a guitar group, two violin groups, euphorium, trumpet, recorders and percussion. One of our learners was awarded a Special Music school prize in 2013 after having achieved the Highest Exam result at the Music School.