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An UPDATE on the return of the next cohort of learners

Updated: Aug 31, 2020

As you may have seen, heard or read over the past two days, the Minister of Basic Education has reportedly done an about-turn with regards to the opening of schools for the next cohort of learners. This decision has been necessitated by the recent, rapid increase in positive Covid19 cases in the country.

Grades 0, R, 1, 2, 3 and 6 were meant to join the Grade 7s next week (6th July). Yesterday, I received notification that ONLY Grades R, 6 and 7 will be at school next week. Whilst I am still awaiting confirmation of this directive, I have made the call to contact the parents of our school to inform them that we will only be opening for Grades R, 6 and 7. This decision is based on letting our parents know what is happening sooner, rather than later.

At this stage, the boys should come to school in civvies until the 17th of July. From the 20th July, boys must wear their school tracksuit with their sports clothes on the days that they have Physical Education.

Although our school has prepared for all our boys to return and I am confident that we are ready for all grades, a gradual, phased-in approach is deemed safer and more reassuring for our parents.

I am also confident that the environment within our school grounds, together with the Covid19 Protocols we follow, is very safe. I believe that the chances of a boy contracting the virus whilst at school are very low, especially if all boys follow the rules and parameters which have been set for them. To this end, we have not turned our school grounds into prison with regimental, military rules. We have, however, put in place signage, screens, dispensers, paper towels and clear directions to assist our pupils in following protocol.

I am aware that some of our pupils may well test positive with the virus at some stage in the future, based on the Law of Probability, but I am also sure that if boys wear their masks, maintain social distancing and regularly sanitize their hands, NO boy should contract the virus whilst at school. The teachers will be monitoring our boys throughout the day, including at break times.

Whilst the Grade 1,2,3,4 and 5 boys are not at school, the teachers will continue to prepare work for those grades to ensure that they can continue with their academic progress.

I want to remind parents of boys in the grades that have returned that should you wish to keep your son at home when his grade is back at school, you have to apply to the Department of Education, with valid reasons for wanting to keep your son at home. Boys who remain at home with valid reasons (i.e. he has a co-morbidity, is diabetic, has a compromised immune system) should send supporting documentation from a physician to school. Work will be sent to those boys to continue with their schoolwork as well.

I trust that this communication will ease the anxiety and confusion surrounding the return of pupils to the school.

Should you have any further queries, please contact the school.

Please note: The Department of Education prohibits any visitors to enter the school premises without the permission of the headmaster.

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