On Friday, 16th April, the school was advised that the latest SASAMS “patch” would not be available in time to print academic reports this term. Regrettably, the SASAMS Administrative system is the one used for capturing marks and printing reports. This ruling applies to all public schools. We will therefore issue reports for term 1 at our earliest convenience next term. Please read through all other documents included in the report envelope.
As we come to the end of the first term, a year after our world, as we knew it, was changed so dramatically, I want to urge all parents to be aware of not letting their guard down.
Covid cases are still being reported and as I write this newsletter, there has been a resurgence in cases reported in our province. Our school has been very lucky thus far in the low number of cases reported and we would like to keep it so.
Please encourage your family during this short break to continue to follow all the necessary Covid-19 protocols. We knew that the Easter weekend would likely see an increase in the number of positive cases and we were correct, however, the expected “Third Wave” is yet to hit us.
I want to congratulate all our boys who have achieved good results during the first term. To the many boys, who continue to put in as little effort as possible, I want to warn them that another year in the grade is lurking in the distance. Do not leave it until later to put your shoulder to the wheel. Now is the time! Parents, please encourage your sons to work as hard as possible all the time. Be aware of what your child is (or is not) doing. We are in this together and we need your support.
We will be acknowledging our top achievers from last year and the top achievers from the first term at an outdoor assembly on our fields early in the second term. The parents of the boys involved will be notified early next term.
To the Grade 7 boys, I want to encourage more dedication to your work. I have noticed that some of our Grade 7s are doing very little work. This is the wrong attitude to have. The high school are clamping down on accepting boys whose academic standards are below average because of a lack of work ethic.
At Queen's, we pride ourselves on the manners and behaviour of our boys. The educators are constantly reminding the boys about the "little things" that make decent young gentlemen. Unfortunately, not all our boys toe the line. Please, as parents, or guardians of our boys, I ask that you continue to insist on good manners, gentlemanly behaviour and chivalry even whilst your son is at home.
Our boys should be offering their seat to older people, they should remember to greet someone by looking at them in the eye and saying “Good morning sir/mam” and never to use bad language. These are the attributes that make a good Queenian.
Recently, in the media, there was a case of bullying that led to a child committing suicide. My policy is zero-tolerance when it comes to bullying. Talk with your child about bullying and the consequences if he is found to be guilty. I would urge you to also encourage your child to speak out if he is a victim of bullying so that action can be taken.
Often, the younger child does not understand the concept of bullying and it needs to be explained to him. If he is not happy with a child or group of children at school, it may well be that they are making his life unpleasant at school and that should be reported to his teacher as soon as possible.
We aim to have happy children at school.
Schools have been given the go-ahead to continue with sporting activity against other schools. Unfortunately, however, no spectators will be allowed at matches yet. Our sports department are busy working on fixtures against traditional rival schools, but this is proving difficult as some schools are reticent to play (even without spectator support). We will continue to try and arrange fixtures as long as Covid protocols are followed and we can ensure the safety of our boys.
The school recently held a burger drive-through to raise funds for the KuduCare Centre. I wish to thank all parents who supported this initiative by buying chicken burgers. I also wish to thank the many sponsors who donated chicken breasts, buns, chips, butter and containers for the burgers.
Thanks also go out to the ladies and gentlemen of the P.T.A. who gave of their time in helping to prepare and serve our parents at the evening.
I do realise that this was a mammoth task having to prepare 350 burgers (which were all pre-sold) and be ready to serve within a short period of time. We did encounter a few “teething” problems which will be addressed before we attempt another fund-raiser of this nature.
I wish to apologize for the fact that some chicken was undercooked and some chips were cold when served, but the overwhelming majority of responses from our customers were positive. Thank you for your support. We managed to raise a tidy sum of money which will assist in beautifying Du Toit House, our Kudu Care facility.
Mr Hartley, the deputy principal, has compiled a report on IT development in the school and, more specifically, on the use of IXL by the boys.
IXL Report - 1st Quarter 2021
The IXL learning platform was introduced to our Grade 7 boys in the final term of 2019. It is a platform that our boys can use to consolidate skills that are taught in the Mathematics and English classes. IXL provides questions of varying levels on hundreds of topics that our boys encounter in these two subjects. Boys can use devices such as the Chromebook, which is our device of choice at our school, personal computers, tablets or even the app on a cellular phone to practise and master their skills.
We soon realised the value of IXL and adopted it as part of our academic programme in the Intersen Phase in 2020. We have timetabled periods for the boys to practise both Mathematics and English during the school week, but boys can log in using their login details as found on their IT card, to complete exercises wherever they may find themselves.
It has been most pleasing to see how our boys in the Intersen Phase have used the online learning platform this year. The usage of the platform has far exceeded our expectations and the goals that we set. Our initial monthly goals were set for 40 000 questions for March and April and in both months we have doubled this amount.
The programme provides comprehensive feedback and analysis to our teachers which enables them to individualise the learning for your sons. We can steer your son in a direction to fill the gaps that may have developed.
We encourage our parents to spend time with their sons exploring the IXL programme at home to see what your son has been doing and what skills he has mastered. The ideal would be to have your son complete at least 100 questions at home each week. This will benefit him not only by practising the work but will also promote academic confidence and self-esteem.
Have a lovely holiday with your family and may we all return healthy and invigorated for the second term.
Mr L.M. Pike