Hermannsburg Happenings

2017-04-12 06:01
Hermanns-burg Nature Club members with a tumble weed in the ‘flower patch’ they help to conserve.

Hermanns-burg Nature Club members with a tumble weed in the ‘flower patch’ they help to conserve.

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“THE problem with stereotypes,” says best-selling Nigerian author, Chimamanda Nogzi Adichie, “is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story.”

In spite of knowing better, how often have we not all fallen into the “single-story trap” - hearing something about someone or something, jumping to conclusions, becoming incensed and, in true millennial fashion, venting on social media. Not guilty? Not possible.

This year’s IEB Advanced Programme (AP) English syllabus explores the theme: “The Danger of a Single Story” in an in-depth study of various films and novels. Our AP pupils (in weekly evening lessons) have been investigating, through the characters and filmic techniques used in these texts, how stereotypes are unwittingly created, how easy it is to form unsubstantiated opinions, how not exploring more than the single story has the potential to destroy lives - as is so aptly demonstrated in Ian McEwan’s Atonement and in Adichie’s must-read novel, Purple Hibiscus.

AP English is a voluntary course offered by the IEB. Passing this course gives matriculants the equivalent of a UK A-levels matric, opening global doors for them. For those who prefer to study locally, most SA universities give extra points to pupils who have taken AP English, but more importantly, it gives pupils even greater exposure to a variety of quality texts, films and poems, in-depth analytical skills, and formulating and substantiating an argument.

Most IEB schools who offer AP English only have a very small proportion of matriculants who choose the subject, and even fewer who finish. Here at the Deutsche Schule Hermannsburg, year after, we have had more than 80% of our matriculants not only choose to take this extra highly challenging subject, but also go on to pass it comfortably.

We wish our 2017 HMB AP pupils success as they tackle the poetry section of the syllabus in term two.

Hermannsburg’s Nature Club meets regularly and the meetings take various forms - sometimes the group visits a local place of interest, or watches a relevant film or documentary, or has indoor “show-and-tell” sessions, where members bring interesting bits of current eco-news, relevant photographs or live specimens to identify and ponder upon.

Autumn is the time of year when most plants develop seeds ready for distribution - an interesting afternoon was spent recently looking at various ways in which plants distribute their seeds.
The group came across a “tumble weed”, a member of the Brunsvigia family, which tumbles across the grasslands in the autumn winds, cleverly distributing its ripe seeds as it goes along - stop and have a close look, next time you see one, like the one in the photo.

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