As the third term comes to an end, I wish to communicate on a number of items leading into the final leg of a very trying year.
I want to thank those parents who have continued to pay school fees even during a difficult time. This has assisted the school tremendously in honouring salary payments to our staff. There have been no salary increases this year and I appeal to those who are in arrears to please come to the party and get up to date as soon as possible. The SGB are finalizing the budget for next year and the non-payment of school fees places pressure on the school to keep any increases to a minimum.
A reminder to all parents that the Annual General Meeting to approve the school budget for 2021 will be held in the school hall on Wednesday, 11th November at 18:00. An invitation to attend via an on-line platform will also be sent out closer to the time. Please note that voting will only be done with those present in the hall.
In an attempt to keep costs down, the school has been able to procure stationery at a very reasonable price for next year. I understand that the issuing of stationery this year was troublesome and so each grade has been asked to keep their costs for stationery to a minimum. There will also only be ONE payment for stationery for 2021 which will include the costs of exercise books, stationery, homework diary and Prac Maths books. The cost for each Grade will differ and parents can start paying for these packs as soon as they receive notification of the price of their book packs.
Next term is going to be a very short term with schools closing on the 15th December.
Teachers are confident that all work requirements will be met and we will be concentrating on quality of work to ensure that our boys can achieve the best results possible. Of course, this will involve a commitment from each child and I would ask parents to assist the school in encouraging good work habits from their child at home. Ensure that he completes the tasks he is given. Ensure that he studies for any assessment test he may have and ensure that he has the correct stationery at school. If parents, teachers and pupils work together, we can achieve amazing results. Have a careful look at your son's academic results for the term and if alarm bells are ringing, we need to ensure that intervention takes place before it is too late.
We have been very fortunate with no cases of positive infection being reported at our school since the pupil's return. I would like parents to encourage their sons not to become complacent. There are reports circulating of a “second wave” of high infection rates in our area. We have been very vigilant at school in ensuring that we maintain the following of Covid protocols and we encourage all families of our school to do the same during this short break. We cannot let our guard down and break an outstanding record!
Some boys are arriving at school without a mask. We do not allow a pupil to enter the school without a mask. Please ensure that your child remembers his mask!
During this past term, some Grade 7s were asked to bring their cell phone to school for a mathematics task. Once the task was completed, boys continued to bring their phones to school. Towards the end of the term between twenty and thirty boys were bringing their phones to school. As from next term, we will be reverting to following school policy as far as cell phones are concerned. NO CELL PHONES will be allowed to be brought to school. No child needs a mobile phone at school. If a child wishes to phone a parent or guardian, there is someone available in the front office until three 'o clock every day who will make the call for them. Any phone found in the possession of a pupil at school will be confiscated and held until the end of the year. No exceptions will be entertained without prior knowledge of the Headmaster. This policy is in place for the protection of all our boys. As mentioned in a previous communication, some pupils are not following the correct protocol with their phones.
A number of pupils are wearing the incorrect uniform to school. At the moment, the summer uniform is to be worn. Please ensure that your son wears the correct uniform. This means that he should not be wearing his tracksuit top with his school clothes. On cold days, the school jersey is to be worn. Grade 7 boys may only start wearing the brown “Grasshopper” shoes in the final term of their Grade 7 year.
Short grey trousers should be worn with a short-sleeved school shirt, black school socks and black school shoes. Only the black school bag is required for his books and predominantly white sports shoes on days that he has physical education.
A large number of boys have been arriving late for school this term. Some even after nine 'o clock! When questioned why, their answer is that they overslept. This is unacceptable and must be corrected. Assessments next term will be starting early in the morning and boys are going to miss valuable marks if they continue to arrive late. Parents, please assist us in this regard. Boys who arrive late will be getting a letter to be signed by the parent and returned to school to go on his file. As parents, you are expected to instil a good work ethic in your child and punctuality is essential.
Parents are, once again, asked to be punctual when collecting their child from school or aftercare. It is unfair to expect a staff member to wait for a parent who is late in fetching their child.
Our aftercare centre is operational and boys are given the opportunity to complete their homework in a classroom environment, with teachers present. They are also offered the choice of a light meal. The cost of aftercare has been reduced to R700 per month and the meal costs R20. If you would like your son to attend aftercare, please send the money to the bursar with all the relevant details. No child will be allowed to attend the aftercare if his fees have not been paid.
I want to thank Ms Adolph and Mrs Muller for the anti-bullying awareness campaign this term. All classes were spoken to and shown videos on bullying and on how to identify what bullying is. Many children report that they are being bullied at school and upon investigation, it is found that it was a single event of over robust play or an exchange of words. As a school, our policy on bullying is zero tolerance and we are constantly trying to eradicate any form of bullying from our campus. Unfortunately, when there is a case of genuine bullying, we get to hear of it when it is too late and has been going on for some time. Reports of bullying will always be followed up on and, where necessary, action will be taken. There are no excuses for ignorance or for making life difficult for a fellow pupil.
In closing, I wish the Queen's family a restful short break. Stay safe, stay healthy and return invigorated.