Developing the whole person is very important at St Andrew’s, it is part of our ethos and philosophy that learners are prepared for the work of life outside school. Ample opportunities are given to all boys to participate wholeheartedly in academics, sport, and cultural activities on campus.
Public Speaking at Saints is a ‘club’. Boys enter public speaking competitions and are assisted with their speeches by the teachers.Public speaking competitions are hosted each term by a different Bloemfontein school, although Covid has of course impacted on this in 2020/21. When Public Speaking is back on again, we intend to host a competition at Saints. In the last competition entered in the first term last year, one of our speakers came second and we have also had two Saints boys make it through to the national round of the ‘On the Tip of Your Tongue’, national public speaking competition. In 2021 we have multiple boys who, from both the junior and senior schools, make it through to the National finals.
Senior School Public Speaking: Deryn Soldo
Saints has a long, proud tradition of drama at the school, with the first productions being performed in the 1960s.
An inter-house one-act-play competition takes place every year, where the boys choose a one-act play and hold auditions in their houses. The boys are entirely responsible for the play for directing, props etc. with teachers in the background providing help and suggestions.
Saints also produces a big production every second year – usually a big musical to coincide with the school anniversary and Old Boys weekend. Amongst others, Grease and West Side Story. These involved large casts, fantastic props and sold-out audiences! In between these musicals, a smaller production is staged, amongst others – 12 Angry Men in 2019 and Endgame in 2018.
The Chapel Choir traces its history back to the founding of St Andrew’s School (then known as the Diocesan Grammar School) in 1863. The Chapel Choir has been an inclusive space for all characters for its entire existence: from sportsmen to academics; the boisterous to the introverted.
All have been linked by a shared love of music and the palpable legacy and heritage associated with the Choir at St Andrew’s. The Choir has been led by some illustrious Organists and Masters of the Choristers such as Colin Yorke, Christian (Bunny) Ashley-Botha (who went on to lead the Drakensberg Boys’ Choir for many years), Clive Mott (who went on to conduct the St Andrew’s Chapel Choir on a “temporary basis” for 35 years) and presently, Lance Phillip.
Old Choristers include many businessmen, academics, clergymen, and even some professional international singers, such as William Burger.
The Choristers comprise boys from grade 4 to Matric.
The Choir sings many traditional, classical, and contemporary pieces, in unison and four-part harmony. These pieces are sung at many of the Services the Choir leads, such as Communion, Evensong, Confirmation, Old Boys’ Services, the Valedictory Service, and the Carol Service.
The Choir also sings on tours and at outreach outings.
The Choir practises on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, from 16:30 to 17:30. Probationers (younger boys who are on a probationary period before they formally join the Choir) practise from Mondays to Thursdays. Even with such a hectic schedule, every Chorister is encouraged to take part in as many other activities as possible.
In 2018, a Chamber Choir was founded. The main aim for this group was to sing more technically demanding pieces as well as a more modern repertoire – some acappella and some accompanied. It was formed also as an avenue for the competitive side of choral singing. Membership of this choir is made up of members of the Chapel Choir. The Chamber Choir practises on Tuesdays, 16:30 to 17:30.
The Saints Music Academy started in 2008 with 17 students. Today we have over 300 students from all over Bloemfontein. The Academy has become the cultural hub for musicians in Bloemfontein.
Part of the Saints Music Academy has a band of vibrant, young personalities anywhere from Grade one to matric, that all contribute to the beautiful sound this band radiates. This Music Academy provides tuition in a wide variety of instruments and ranges from Classical to Pop and even Rap genres and styles.
The Music Academy is a big success story and these energetic groups regularly play gigs and go on enriching tours. This stimulates the growth of each individual by developing their skills and encourages new relationships and memories to be formed.
Our Classical students take part in our annual Eisteddfods and have received very high marks with their exams.
They also have annual concerts.
During 2021, a new block was added to the Music Academy to allow for its exponential growth.
Stage performances and theatre productions are a regular part of a Saints’ boys’ education. Each grade annually puts on a production where all boys are required to participate.
St Andrew’s School has a long and proud tradition of debating. The society offers speakers the opportunity to engage in discussion, dialogue and debate around relevant issues that affect the world they live in. In doing so, speakers learn valuable skills such as confidence, communication and quick thinking. Above all, speakers learn to embrace different points of view, and learn to voice their opinions while being mindful of those who are different from them.
Debating at St Andrew’s School is divided into the junior section which extends from grade 7 to 9, and the senior section which extends from grade 10-12. The society meets weekly in order to practise speaking as well as to learn about the issues affecting the world today. Teams have regular formal debates with other Bloemfontein schools, as well as participating in the local SACCEE debating league and the Free State league. The format for these leagues is the increasingly popular world schools style debate. Several speakers have gone on to represent the province in national competitions. Most importantly, our speakers go into the world as confident, knowledgeable and responsible citizens of their community.