We have come to the end of a rather busy and disrupted first term. Disrupted mainly because of the rain-affected cricket matches. What a wonderful situation to be in! To have the much-needed rain we have been praying for! Our fields and the surrounding mountains are looking wonderful at the moment and we are enjoying a steady water supply. Long may it last!
A more recent reason for the disruption has been the Corona Virus (Covid 19) making its way to our shores. The school has been proactive in buying disinfectant hand cleaner for all our classes, ensuring that all bathrooms have soap and towels and educating our boys on correct hygienic practices. A more serious impact has been on sporting interaction. At this stage, the Marlow Rugby Tour and the Kingswood Hockey Festival have been cancelled. A decision on the Reunion weekend will be made later.
The boys have been very busy and as we approach the metamorphosis that is the change to rugby season there is a buzz in the air. Some of our coaches have already been holding pre-season training sessions as they prepare for early festivals and tours.
Our u13A hockey team attended the Stirling Hockey Festival from the 5th to the 8th March, where they won all their full matches. Our under 11 rugby side participated in the Richard Kent Rugby Festival on the 13th and 14th March where they played 7 matches, won 5, drew 1 and lost 1. Our rugby and hockey sides are preparing for the season ahead and we look forward to many wonderful opportunities for our boys on the sports fields.
We saw mixed results with our cricket sides in the first term and the coaches are working on improved results in the second half of the season. Our mini-cricket coaches have also been busy and ten of our ladies have been awarded their Level 1 coaching certificates. This is an amazing achievement and I am very proud of them. Mr Cullinan and Mr Richards have put in much time with the boys and it is paying dividends.
Our squash team enjoyed a very successful tournament at Dale Junior, where they lost to Transkei Primary and beat Dale Junior. I can see a renewed interest in the game and our boys will benefit by playing as much as possible.
Our athletes and our swimmers have also been doing well and have been participating in various events in our province.
As the first term was not an exam term, some of our boys have yet to experience study. This is something I would like all parents to become involved in. The teachers will need you to be aware of what your son needs to learn and to ensure that he is, in fact, learning. The staff have noticed that many boys do not make an effort to improve their results and seldom spend any time studying for a test or an exam. All parents should be aware of what tests, assignments, and tasks their child have been assigned. Please help your child to understand the importance of these tests and exams. Encourage them to put in as much effort as possible.
Another disturbing trend has been the lack of commitment when it comes to the preparation of orals and projects. In many instances the projects or assignments which the boys need to complete are left to the last moment, they are rushed through and boys are losing valuable marks which they can ill-afford.
Please assist the teachers in instilling a good work ethic in your child. We would like to see every child doing their best and we cannot wait until the fourth term before we try to fix what was broken in the first term.
GENERAL 'HOUSE-KEEPING' MATTERS
Please ensure that your son has the correct sports clothing and that it fits and is in good condition. We are proud of our uniform and we would like your child also to be proud. It is sometimes embarrassing for a child when his uniform or sports dress is not in good condition, or if it does not fit him. Please also ensure that all belongings are clean and are marked. Many children leave their clothes or sports bags lying behind at matches or practices and we cannot trace the rightful owner if it is not marked.
Too many parents are still collecting their children late after practices or after matches. The same thing happens at Day Care and our Day Care staff have to wait sometimes until after dark for a child to be collected. This is not fair on our staff and parents are going to be billed on their school fee account if they are continuously late. It is also not fair for your child!
Some parents do not update the school with their contact details when they change. This is problematic because in the case of an emergency the school often struggles to get hold of a parent who has changed cell phone numbers without telling the school. Many children also do not know the contact details of their parents.
I would like to remind parents of the drop-off zones in the mornings:
In the front of the school parents may enter at the Dudley Schroeder gate on-ramp:
From there they may either turn left towards the front of the school and park on the side of the road so as not to restrict any vehicles wanting to leave the area.
They may turn right and drop their son on the side of the road near the tennis courts, or
They may continue through the Dudley Schroeder Gate up towards the school tuckshop. At the tuckshop, they should again park on the side of the road so as not to hinder any through-flow of traffic. After dropping their child they may proceed to the end of that road where they may go left to the Lorraine Thomas Gate or right to the College Street gate.
Parents may also enter through the Lorraine Thomas gate and drop their son off at the top of the Forrest Field. They may NOT come down the road towards the Dudley Schroeder Gate! It is a ONE-WAY street.
Please be considerate to other road users, to the scholar patrol and the QCJ staff helping at these points. They are trying to make it easier for you and safer for your child.
I witnessed a parent stopping ON the pedestrian crossing in front of the school to drop kids off. This is dangerous and shows no consideration for other road users.
Please instill in your child that our school is a no bully zone and I have a zero-tolerance policy for children who bully others.
I want to remind parents that ours is a quintile 5 school and that school fees are therefore compulsory! A number of our parents simply stop paying their fees and this then accumulates into a large outstanding debt to the school. I have instructed our bursar's office to hand over, to our attorneys for collection, parents who are in arrears for longer than three months. This is going to incur extra fees being added to the outstanding account. If parents all paid their school fees on time, we would not have such great increases each year. Please, folks, do the right thing and pay your fees on time. It is the right thing to do and it is not fair on all parents who pay regularly if you fail to stay up to date.
With the recent Coronavirus scare, the school was proactive in sourcing disinfectant hand cleaner and educating the children on general personal hygiene. Parents can assist the school by reminding the boys to wash after going to the toilet. To cover their mouths and noses when sneezing and to sneeze/cough into a tissue. If any parent observes any of the symptoms of the Covid19 sickness, they should immediately take their child to a doctor and quarantine themselves and their family until the medical authorities have concluded their checks. If a child shows symptoms of the virus, he should be kept at home and in isolation.
The school is encouraging parents to prepare healthy lunches for their children. All too often, boys are coming to school with unhealthy lunch packs because it is too easy for the parents to prepare something a little healthier. No fast foods (KFC, Steers or Spur burgers will NOT be allowed). Please keep these kinds of meals to be had at home, as special treats once a month at most.
The school play, “A Day in the Life of a Kudu Kid” will run from the 7th to the 10th of October. Please diarise this event as it is sure to sell out fast! The cast has been appointed and they will be working hard over the next few months at perfecting the play. Don't miss it!
HOSTEL AND AFTERCARE
As from the start of the new term, all boarders will be accommodated in Rosin House. We have decided to do this as, due to the low numbers in our hostel, running two hostels has become financially unviable.
Du Toit House will be used to accommodate our After Care boys for homework supervision. Mrs Nqayiya will be in charge of After Care and all homework will be supervised. We have four new staff members who will also assist with supervision. There are computers available for boys who need to do research and to work on their IXL program. After Care boys should be collected by 17:00 at the latest!
The After Care meal costs have also been reduced as we will henceforth be serving light lunches for our boys. Any parent wishing their son to have a light lunch will have to pay termly upfront for his meals. Please refer to the flyer in the report envelope.
The new, revised After Care prices are: R7 700 per year and meals will cost R6 500 per year. Any parents wishing their child to join the After Care or wanting meals for their child should contact the bursar at school.
Schools open again at 08:00 am on Tuesday, 14th April.
And remember, clean hands are HAPPY HANDS!
Mr Lester Pike