Cultural Activities

Developing an appreciation of culture

A strong emphasis is placed on the cultural development of our learners. Many activities are offered in order to cater for the diverse talents of the girls.

 

 

Art Society

"...ceramic painting, fabric dyeing, wire and beadwork, candle painting and more"

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Art and crafts

The Art Society provides an opportunity for girls to nurture their creativity, and to develop skills and techniques associated with various crafts.

2013 saw a marked increase in participation, with girls from all grades enjoying the range of products on offer. These included; mosaic, decoupage, stainded glass, beadwork and candle-making. The attractive items that the girls produced provided material for two colourful displays in the school library, which everyone enjoyed. In addition to the crafts, there was also much excitement regarding ther introduction of Art Society T-shirts.

There was much laughter and creativity, and some spilled paint, in what can be deemed as an enriching year for all those involved. (29/1/14)

 

Chess Society

"There are more adventures on a chessboard than on all the seas of the world." — Pierre Mac Orlan

About the Chess Society

Practice times are usually decided upon during a general meeting at the beginning of the year. Inter-schools’ matches take place on Mondays between 15:00 and 17:00 during the first, second and sometimes third terms. During the first term players may participate in the Midlands Individual Challenge. A commitment to play for the full duration of the tournament is required. During the second term our teams participate in the Pietermaritzburg and Districts Inter-Schools Chess League.

The Chess Society has been very active in 2013. Eleven players participated in the Pietermaritzburg and Districts' Individual Tournament during the first term of 2013. They acquitted themselves well. Z Mbokazi won the B Pool of the tournament and V Singh was placed second.

Three teams were entered into the Pietermaritzburg and Districts' High Schools' Chess League which was held during the first two terms. The players performed well and won several of their matches. Most importantly, they gained experience.

During the third term of 2013, three players participated in the Pietermaritzburg and Districts' Championships. they gained a lot of experience by doing so, as they were pitted against mainly senior players from other schools. (29/1/14) 

 

Dance Society

The Modern Indian, Hip hop, Kwaito, Contemporary, Ballroom and Latin American groups have had a successful
year. The focus of this year was on producing a dance show during the 4th term, with each genre producing two
dance routines, choreographed by the dancers themselves. The show was a great success; the dancers enjoyed their time on stage and performed outstandingly. The committee worked well together and must be commended on their efforts.

Numerous dancers from the Dance Society were also involved in the school production 'Much to Do About Nothing.'

Debating

"Debating is a valuable activity that offers learners an opportunity to develop their research, listening and critical thinking skills."

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Thinking critically about issues.

The Debating Society remained strong and very active in 2013 but, unfortunately, did not enjoy the same measure of success it has had over the last few years. Our Senior First Team made it to the quarter-finals. However, they ultimately lost to St John's, ending their league championship hopes. The Senior Second Team did not make it through to the quarter-finals.

The Junior Teams also had mixed fortunes this year, and both Grade 8 teams experienced some success, with the 2nd Team getting through to the semi-finals.

For the second year in succession, both Priyanka Ramgoolam and Kajal Sewrathan were selected for the KZN Senior Team to debate in the National Competition in December. (29/1/14)

 Drama Club

The Drama Club, with its steady core of members, has enjoyed a successful 2013. The members participated enthusiastically in the theatre games and tasks that they were introduced to during the year, and many were extras in the school production of 'Much Ado about Nothing'.

Much Ado A bout Nothing

GHS once again produced a play with much singing, dancing and laughter. 'Much Ado About Nothing' is one of William Shakespeare's most renowned comedies. It has been described as a 'deconstruction of the idea of love' and, as the title suggests, there's a lot of fuss over ultimately very little! The play and its large cast were directed by Arum Bydawell.

The master wordsmith's dialogue is chock-full of clever quips and amusing turns of phrase. The full play was performed in authentic Shakespearean language, with some post-modern digression into lively
song and dance. The girls did a sterling job learning and understanding their lines, and delivered some astounding performances.

FUNK

GHS once again participated in Funk, a Movement Theatre festival produced by St Anne's and Hilton College in 2013. The aim of this enterprise is to allow learners to explore Movement Drama and Physical Theatre, to give them a platform on which to perform their pieces, and to give them an opportunity to be exposed to what their contemporaries are achieving. Groups from many different schools (Government and Private, Girls', Boys', and Co-Educational Schools) came together, and worked exceptionally well, with the group work culminating in a
choreographed finale, which was learned by the entire group in the final week of technical and dress rehearsals. The GHS performers were excellent ambassadors for our school.

This event is in no way a competition; however, standards are always exceptionally high. Our girls held their own, performing well and earning many accolades. The piece performed was entitled 'A Close Watch' and explored, in a
very abstract way, the way we behave and make decisions differently when we think we are being watched. The experience was, as always, invaluable; we look forward to participating again next year with dedication, passion and fervour from our girls. (30/1/14)

Entrepreneurship Society

The Entrepreneuship Society was started very enthusiastically at he beginning of 2013 by die 2013 matrics, together with Mrs Maistry and Mrs Dellar. The main aim of the society is to enhance business skills. The learners made business plans, learned to advertise and market their products, make budgets, analyse their sales and record their profits. The products, made by the girls, were sold weekly. (29/1/14)

Enviro-Care

 

"We normally have one or two outings during the year. Places of interest include: Butterflies for Africa, African Bird of Prey Centre, the Botanical Gardens and Tala Game Reserve."

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Learn more about your environment

Enviro-Care is a group of leaners who are interested in and concerned about our environment.During the year the committee has held regular meetings with the society, during which presentations were made about different species. The presentations were often followed by a quiz. In May 2013 two teams from Enviro-Care participated in the WESSA Inter-schools' Enviro Quiz.

The society hosted two assemblies in 2013 to raise awareness about Water Week (and saving water) and Arbor Day (and the importance of trees). A Cross-berry (Grewia occidentalis) was planted outside the Community Centre during Arbor Week.

After Dr Faulds' presentation to the school about rhino poaching in September 2013, many GHS girls have been spurred into action in order to raise awareness, or funds, to help fight the poaching crises. Enviro-Care has had bumper stickers made in order to raise funds for further awareness about this worthy cause. (29/1/14)

 

 

 

Girls for God

"Through a caring atmosphere and much fun, girls are encouraged to grow in their relationship with God. They are equipped to bring others to a greater knowledge of Christ."

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Taking Christ into the Classroom

‘Girls for God’ is a big, vibrant society which holds a few meetings each week - the main meeting being on a Friday at lunch break. Through a caring atmosphere and much fun, girls are encouraged to grow in their relationship with God. They are equipped to bring others to a greater knowledge of Christ. The society also ensures that work is done in the community.

2013 started on a high note and the society grew in many different aspects. A worship team was established, and worship is now held on Tuesdays during tea breaks in the music auditorium.

During the third term the school was encouraged to donate wearable shoes of any size. Many girls and teachers responded, some even purchasing new pairs of shoes. This drive proved to be very successful, and the people at the youth home to whom the shoes were donated, were very grateful, but also overwhelmed by the vast number of shoes that so suddenly descended on them.

At the Friday meetings a "spare-coin-collection" has been instituted and the girls are responding well. This money, which will be supplemented by money raised from cake sales held during the year, is put into the charity account, which will be emptied at the end of each year and donated to a worthy cause. (29/1/14)

 

Hindu Students Society (HSS)

 The Hindu Students' Society is a relatively new society.

 

The Hindu Students' Society (HSS) has become an integral part of our cultural programme at GHS. Girls meet fortnightly with the aim of fulfilling sevo, which is our obligation to assist those in need. Although other aspects such as major festivals, rituals and prayers, are discussed, this is not the primary focus. The aim is to learn and share our knowledge about our religion so as to promote concern and care for people from all groups in society.

We had the opportunity of visiting the HS Ebrahim School in 2013. This is an LSEN school (learners with special educational needs) which caters for children with multiple disabilities and autism. The girls played games and watched movies with the children. Our learners were touched by the warm, embracing natures of the children, but were also saddened by the limited prospects open to those learners after they finish school. H.S.Ebrahim was selected as our beneficiary for 2013, and the proceeds from our fundraising drives were donated to them.

The theme for the cultural evening in 2013 was "Unity in Diversity", because we recognise the myriad cultures across race and religion at GHS. We recognise too that we are diverse, but that in this diversity we are united by the common spirit of humanity. We acknowledge that the basic principles of all religions are, in fact, one and the same where each of us - Muslim, Hindu, Christian or Jew - strives for spiritual enlightenment and human kindness.

In 2013, to celebrate Diwali, food hampers were prepared and distributed to indigent families in the hope the
hampers would bring some relief into the lives of these people. Our Diwali assembly was a simple yet colourful one during which the girls performed two dance items and delivered a short talk on the essence of Diwali. (29/1/14)

Green Elly

"This society is a community of writers – a group of learners who love to write or who enjoy expressing their views on a variety of topics."

A community of writers

The Green Elly is a termly magazine produced by the learners of our school. It includes a variety of interesting and
entertaining articles. The aims of the society are to encourage learners to enhance their creative writing skills, to
understand how local and current media work, and to engage with their peers on topics of interest.

The society has grown tremendously over the years, and our members include writers from Grade 8 to 12. This ensures that our termly magazine caters for the needs of all learners in the school. In 2013, we included articles ranging from short stories to poetry, and we have even incorporated crosswords and other trivia into sections of the magazine. We try to centre each magazine on a particular theme, and the themes for this year included 'Phenomenal Women' and 'Rebels'.

The Green Elly format has changed over the past two years and the fresh, modern layout has been well-received by the girls. Minenhle Mthembu and Anchal Katiyar have offered our writers tremendous support, and their commitment has set the trend for the next year's committee. Our aim is to continue to offer current and exciting reading material
to the learners of our school. (29/1/14)

 

Interact

“We can do no great things. Only small things with great love.” Mother Theresa

Interact Society

Interact started off very well in 2013 with a large number of new Grade 8 learners joining the society. The year began with a trip to Marian Villa to visit the "grannies" where cards and biscuits were distributed to wish them a happy new year. As the year progressed, Marian Villa was visited on a regular basis  and GHS were fortunate enough to assist them in their annual fête in June by painting posters and serving as waitresses at their tea garden. It was an enjoyable day that allowed the girls to interact with other members of the community.

Another project involved visiting the children from Pregnancy Assist. Time was spent with teenage moms. It was a rewarding time as the girls learnt that being a teenage mom is very difficult, and that the GHS girls are so blessed to have opportunities that others so not have.

The annual Easter egg collection was very successful; the eggs that were collected from learners from the school were distributed to various children's homes, Marian Villa and Grey's Hospital. Interact also helped out at the annual Cars in the Park in June where, as a result, Rotary donated R2 000 to us to be used in a community project.

Tabitha Ministries Children's Home is a project very close to our hearts. We have been lucky enough to see the children grow as the years have gone by, and we regard them as part of our GHS family. On Saturday 12 October 2013, a picnic was hosted at Growing Parks, where the girls were able to play with the children, have a few relay races and enjoy lunch wiht them.

Interact has been able to achive so much in 2013 with the help of a wonderful committee and dedicated girls who are always willing to give to those in need.(29/1/14)

 


Music

"Our thriving Music Department and Music School offers girls a range of musical opportunities"

 

Belle and Bravado

On 1 August, our choirmaster, Jaco Dippenaar presented a programme of beautiful choral music sung by the GHS Chamber Choir and the Hilton College Choir. The McDowall Centre had been specially decorated for the occasion. The programme was varied and included, inter alia, such items as selections from Faure’s "Requiem" and Gilbert and Sullivan’s "Mikado" and African Music and Jazz items. The male and female voices combined to provide us with a wonderful evening’s entertainment.

 

 

 

Offering a range of musical opportunities

GHS Wind Band

The GHS Wind Band consists of approximately 35 members, comprising flutes, clarinets, saxophones, trumpets, trombones, euphonium, tuba and a percussion section. The Wind Band performs at school functions as well as in the broader community. The Band has regular practices during the week and they thoroughly enjoy every minute of it as they consider themselves one big family.  

The year 2013 consisted of the traditional, yet exciting, schedule of performances. The Wind Band performed at awards ceremonies, gave a return performance at the Lutheran Church fete, where they were favourites once again, and enjoyed the much anticipated weekend tour to Underberg at the beginning of August. Besides the warm hospitality and friendly reception at all the concerts performed there, the weekend will be long remembered for the hours spent on the bus, owing to a 50 km road detour every time we had to get to a performance! (29/1/14)

Music as a Subject

At GHS we offer a variety of instruments. The learners are given the option of doing music as a subject instead of art and drama. In this music program learners are taught during school time. Once the learner has enough knowledge about their particular instrument they are able to join the GHS Wind Band.

Performers at Eisteddfod prize winners' concert - 28 August 2013

The Music Workshop

If learners choose to do art and drama as a subject instead of music and would still like to learn an instrument, they have the opportunity to take private lessons after school. The instruments on offer for private lessons include drums, guitar, piano, violin, saxophone and voice training. These lessons are also available to the members of the wider community.

 

The Gospel Choir

The Gospel Choir is an active group that participates in school functions like Speech Day; and publicly if so requested. They also take part in inter-school competitions.

We work together as a group to make the Choir a musical force to be reckoned with. Our music really heals the broken soul.

The Gospel Choir has had a productive and a successful 2013. We participated in school functions and awards ceremonies. We were excited to be invited to the Family Day tea party for Grade 11 parents, which was a fund-raising event.

The number of choir members has increased. The devotion and enthusiasm of the members helped the choir grow, and helped to improve the quality of the sound. We participated in our Inter-schools' Gospel Concert. It was interesting to see that entries were extended to students at tertiary level as well. We were excited to see Nellie Nxele, one of our past students, singing a solo.

GHS Choir and Chamber Choir

The choir has a membership of 60 learners. The aim is to develop first class choral singing through the medium of contemporary and classical music. The choir always performs at Speech Days.

The Chamber choir is a small choir of about twenty members. They focus on dense, more complex choral texture created by three and four-part singing. They perform at Speech Days, corporate functions, weddings and funerals.

The year began with a performance at the February Academic Awards Ceremony. Soon after, focus shifted to the Vocal Ensemble Festival which took place at Hilton College, and which involved the Chamber Choir. The choir also welcomed Mr Khaya Mkhize, who started to work with the voice groups to get through the repertoire they were required to learn for each occasion.

In April, participants from all over South Africa arrived at Hilton College for a three day festival of vocal ensemble
singing with the internationally acclaimed Nordic Voices. The aim of the group was to teach the ensembles to perform vocal music at a sophisticated level. Their warmth and connection with the groups also left a lasting impression on our girls. The Chamber Choir sang a work composed by Frank Havroy, one of the members from
this ensemble, and received a compliment from the composer for their musical execution of the piece. Other memorable moments included performances at the Drakensberg Boys' Choir School and the Gala Concert at the Hilton College Theatre.

In the second term, the choir performed with the Children's Choir from Halle, Germany, and the Pietermaritzburg
Children's Choir in a sold out concert in the St Mary's Cathedral in Pietermaritzburg. The choir's rendition of "Wind Beneath My Wings" and "Nella Fantasia", conducted by Mr Mkhize with violinist Brett Udal, left a lasting impression on all present. Other projects included the recording of a CD of favourite choir pieces.

A performance at the Reunion Day assembly, and a memorable tour to the Underberg area were other highlights.

Several members also sang in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands' Youth Choir. (29/1/14)

 

 

 

Muslim Society

The Muslim Students' Association has been active in 2013.

Weekly meetings have allowed learners to listen to the recitation of the Quran, extend their religious knowledge and plan fundraising projects. This, together with visits from Islamic scholars, has helped our members to attain closeness to God.

A strong sense of loyalty and commitment from our members has enabled us, as a society, to reach our goal of completing the recitation of the Quran.

As part of our outreach programme in 2013, our members visited the Bonella Orphanage in Durban. It was a joint venture with the ISMSA (the provincial body that oversees the MSA). Each orphan was paired with a member of the society. The orphans were treated to an excursion to Mini Town, and were handed delicious meals and goodies. Seeing their smiles and the happy faces made all our efforts worthwhile. It has also helped our learners to appreciate and be grateful for all God's blessings.

During the second term of 2013, learners spent an afternoon decorating cupcakes to sell, the proceeds of which were set aside for the Borehole Project for which we are raising funds.

The Annual Iftaar programme was held during the third term of 2013. In keeping with the spirit of Ramadaan, the girls brought along delicious treats to share. It was an evening of beautiful renditions, sincere prayers, fun and laughter.

During the fourth term, several members delivered an interesting talk in assembly, accompanied by a presentation. They spoke about the two Eids, i.e. the two annual Muslim celebrations, in particular the Eid of Sacrifice. The staff and learners were made aware of the rituals followed on that day. During one of our weekly meetings, members of the society watched a video on the ravaging effects of the conflict in Syria on its people. Classes were encouraged to participate in collecting canned food for the Syrian people. As a result of this, an extensive amount of tinned food was collected and handed over to 'Gift of the Givers'.

During 2014, we hope to educate the GHS community even more about Islam. (29/1/14)

 

The Photographic Society

The Photographic Society has grown in the past year, and become an integral part of the school. At the beginning of the year, several girls took part in our Photo-funography course to better their skills as photographers. Others worked with Mrs Lawrence, with a set theme for each meeting.(30/1/14)

Recycling Society

The Recycling Society was started at the beginning of 2013, and the girls responded very enthusiastically to a
competition designed to encourage recycling and launch the society. Tons of recyclable materials were brought in,
which shows how much recycling can be done at this school and how ready the girls are to make a difference. Mrs Jury and Mrs Dellar would like to thank the members of the Recycling Society, who spent many hours sorting the materials into the different containers. The winning class in 2013 was 9A, who were rewarded with cake and airtime vouchers. The year ended with a paper recycling competition, and the girls brought in vast quantities of used paper to be recycled. Next year we hope to visit a recycling business where our girls can see how recycling takes place on a larger scale. We hope that our learners, and the community as a whole, will start to see the need for recycling as a way of life. (29/1/14)

Theatre Crew

The Theatre Crew continues to grow in competence and efficiency and has played a major role in co-ordinating the backstage duties of all school productions. The committee remains successful in recruiting new members who are eager to take on the challenges of backstage work. This year the duties of the society became more diverse.
The committee handled the new challenges by meeting regularly with society members to hold training sessions. This ensured that all members were able to handle all the different tasks performed by the society.

Nondumiso Mabaso, the head of the well-organised team, was in charge of theatre duties for the schoool's major
production 'Much Ado about Nothing'. She was most ably assisted by Nokukhanya Zulu.

The year's activities progressed very well, with the society rendering assistance not only to the Dramatic Arts Department, but to other departments in the school as well. The Crew worked on the Prefects' Fashion Show and the Living Sculptures programme. They assisted the Hindu Society with their cultural evening by taking care of sound and lighting and front of house duties as well as being waitrons for the evening.

The outgoing committee and newly elected committee worked harmoniously together at the Grade 9 Mother and
Daughters' morning and the Grade 10 Mocktail evening.

The new committee for the 2013- 2014 term of office, the Theatre Crew and Mrs Thaver acknowledge the outstanding contributions made by the outgoing Chairperson Nondumiso Mabaso and Vice Chairperson Nokukhanya Zulu. They have led the society by example and provided valuable guidance to all. (30/1/14)

Wargames

2013 has been a successful yet busy year for the society. Several matches were played during the second and third terms against schools such as Alexandra High, Eastwood High, Linpark High and Marion High. The players have shown amazing skill and effort, and achieved third position in the League. (30/1/14)