From the Desk of the Headmaster – 10 September 2020

It is encouraging to again report that we have enjoyed another productive week here at school with more boys returning to their classes.  There has been a positive synergy in the teaching spaces where much teaching and learning is clearly evident.  This positive development and interaction has also transpired through to the various activities also available for the boys to participate in.

Thank you and well done to all Prep partners for your combined efforts.

“BACK TO THE FUTURE”

This statement is so appropriate to now re-address the focus on the levels of excellence that we have constantly practised before this Covid-19 pandemic.  We as a school rightfully adjusted our stance on certain criteria and DPHS standards to assist all partners of the DPHS community during the times of ‘uncertainty’ and ‘new’ challenges.  However, moving ahead we now need to remain forward thinking for the future but we also need to move ‘back’ to attend to those foundation blocks that have been laid down in our DPHS lifestyle.

There are many but I will now highlight certain points, which I, on behalf of our staff, call on all families to monitor and support with immediate effect.  There are many Prep families who have already shown such initiative but the time is now upon us to tighten up on common issues as listed below, especially that the majority of our boys are back at school.

DPHS believes in…………

  • Manners ie. – good morning, please and thank you.
  • Punctuality – in arriving for and collection from school.
  • Accountability – boys to ensure that homework and study tasks are immediately attended to on a daily basis.  The time has now come to ensure that ‘everything’ expected of our boys is closely monitored here at school and on the home front.
  • Responsibility – This can relate to the signing of the homework book, the filling in of the health slip questionnaire to hand in on arrival at school, the pack of the books for homework and to return to school for marking etc.
  • Commitment – attending school on that day that your son is expected to be present, attending the variety of activities that your son has chosen to attend each time that opportunity is available, the continued payment of school fees.
  • Appearance – haircuts are now ‘compulsory’ not optional, short back and sides with no mop of hair on the top of the head is the DPHS standard.  No fancy styles/cuts are permitted.
  • Garters – are compulsory and must be worn with the DPHS long school socks.
  • School shoes – must be polished for each school day.
  • Blazers are now re-introduced as the official item to be worn with the academic school uniform.  The DPHS tracksuit top or tour jackets to be worn with the PE kit or House Dress uniform.
  • NB – The Proudly Prep recognized DPHS school cap is ‘back’ as the respected item of our school uniform.
  • The wearing of predominantly ‘white’ running shoes on non-academic uniform days has been clearly emphasized in various letters from staff across the school – please attend to this request.
  • Alternate Days – The ‘mindset’ must shift with the understanding that “every” day is a school day not only those days when your son is present at school.  The ‘away’ day is still a school day where each boy is required to spend time focusing on the academic tasks sent.  If these tasks are completed then a timetable needs to be followed relating to studying, projects, revising, reading.

ONLINE LESSONS

There are those days where some boys/families feel that it is acceptable to miss these important lessons.  Please note that these meeting times are compulsory and are of paramount importance for all Prep partners.   We do understand that load shedding can interfere with the meeting times but please communicate such issues with your respective class educator.

These lessons must be conducted as formal lessons where teaching and learning is the respected focus.  Boys at school are not permitted to slouch, lie down, get up and walk around during any lesson. This behaviour has and is happening at times during this ‘on line’ period which needs immediate monitoring and attention.  Staff would not tolerate that behaviour here at school and are not expected to allow this to happen whilst formally inter-acting with any Prep boy because of the change in the learning environment.

Your support and understanding in these matters is greatly appreciated.

We as DPHS respect the requests of certain boys/families who need to attend their online meetings due to comorbidity reasons.  However, it must also be respected that any such boy also maintains the same ‘health and safety’ restrictions at all times which have prevented him from returning to school, ie. not to now have regular outings to areas of general public gathering and inter-action.

  • Proposal: – Please seriously consider for the ‘away’ day from school and the on-line teaching programme to implement the following:

–        All boys to wake up to prepare for a normal school day.

–        To follow an academic day approach from as early as 7h30 ie. – start with set tasks, read, revise.

–        Try to adhere to the timetable that would be followed if your son was at school ie.– do Numeracy or Mathematics at the time normally set for that period at school.

–        Follow the dress code at home ie. – if it is a day to wear uniform or sports/house kit then dress accordingly.

–        Boys receiving online lessons should now please attend in that respective dress code or in full school uniform.

–        Have free time similar to the break time slots here at school.

This “Back to the Future” call is important for the mindset of all partners especially our boys so that each boy can focus on preparing for that normal school routine.

This approach will definitely encourage those self-disciplines expected by staff, parents and even the boys themselves to have that smooth transition back into the school routine irrespective of whether that transpires now or later.

I do not wish to follow up with ‘consequences’ as we have repeatedly requested for those mainly non-negotiable standards to be respected.  Please trust that these focus points are essential for further development of our Prep boys where we practise the call of “preparing our boys for life”.

It is the right time for all of us to attend to such important ‘needs’ not only for the individual but also for the general needs of our beloved school DPHS.

Your continued understanding, co-operation and full support is greatly appreciated as we steer ourselves “Back to the Future”.

“Let us all welcome back our DPHS standards of excellence”

HEADMASTERS QUOTE FOR THE WEEK

An arrow can only be shot by pulling it backward.  So when life is dragging you back with difficulties, it means that it is going to launch you into something great.

So focus and keep aiming!

Kind regards

B WILSON

Your Proudly Prep Headmaster

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