Kids act on nurturing

2016-09-14 06:00
FROM the left are Ian Appleby, Jenny Fern and Tony Gray from England during their visit to the Harrismith Secondary School. They facilitate a long-standing partnership and project between this school and two schools abroad. Photo: Supplied

FROM the left are Ian Appleby, Jenny Fern and Tony Gray from England during their visit to the Harrismith Secondary School. They facilitate a long-standing partnership and project between this school and two schools abroad. Photo: Supplied

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HARRISMITH. – The ­management of the Harrismith Secondary School are hoping that the school will produce actors who will one day play in some of the top soap operas and dramas in the world.

Having presented an Ian Appleby production for the eighth year in succession, the Intabazwe-based school believes that some of its learners have gained confidence and are ready for the challenge.

They are confident that Appleby’s contribution and experience in drama will guide the school in the right direction.

Spanish Eyes was written and arranged by Appleby and had its premiere at the Harrismith Secondary School in Intabazwe on Friday, 5 August, after only two weeks of rehearsal.

The school has ties with the Bablake School in Coventry, England, that go back many years. Also, Appleby is a former head of English and Drama at Bablake.

Appleby has been working with Tony Gray and Jenny Fern of the Kings Norton Girls’ School in Birmingham, Eng­land, which also has ties with the Harrismith School.

Leonard Mphuthi, a teacher at Harrismith Secondary, said the British Council had initiated the partnership between the South African School and the ones in Britain in 2006.

He said they had a programme called the Schools Sport Mass Participation.

“The programme was aimed at reintroducing physical education in South Africa,” Mphuthi said.

A student exchange programme was established between schools in Europe and South Africa.

“We normally taught them our indigenous games, things that they had never been exposed to.”

Mphuthi said they ended up focusing more on drama, because Appleby was an expert in that field.

He said their first production was a drama called Micado, which was followed by Poison – Poison, Lipstick on the corner and many others.

“Our children have made tremendous progress academically because of their involvement in drama.

“They are now fluent in English and their listening skills have also improved.

“The partnerships have helped the school a lot.

“Some of our children were awarded bursaries and we have also received help with the installation of computers with internet.”

Mphuthi is, however, concerned that children who they think are good at acting, do not seem to have an interest in drama.

“A few years ago we had a girl with lots of talent, who had an opportunity to go to Britain.

“Her parents, however, would not allow it.”

Mphuthi said they were still considering the possibility of introducing drama as one of the subjects at the school.

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