From the Desk of the Headmaster

Back into the full swing of the fourth term with a whole week having passed already which means we are down to the last 40 school days that lie ahead for 2019.

I remind each family of the importance of this final academic term which affords each boy the opportunity to raise his academic scores and build on these standards set so far for the year.  Please be aware that continuous assessment and standardized testing are already set in place for the term with the boys already been assessed on the homework assignments, self-study tasks, weekly tests and the examinations that lie ahead for grade 6 and 7 senior grades as indicated here:
“Monday 11 November through to Friday 15 November.”
The school programme is extremely busy throughout the term hence I call on all families to ensure that each boy stays committed to all classroom, homework and extra-curricular activities on a daily basis so that the most positive outcomes are achieved in each area.

I follow on from the above section on academic focus by drawing your attention to ‘Time Management’ which is essential, especially at this stage of the year.
I have throughout my teaching years compared “Time Management’ to that of a “picnic basket.’  We all look forward to the excitement of preparing for a ‘picnic’ by giving certain aspects our best attention to ensure that the picnic (ie report) is enjoyed by all.  Our boys must remember that they are not the only members preparing for this or in attendance at the picnic, so we as the ‘family’ are all hands on in this outing.

  • A venue is chosen to host the picnic so in our preparation an appropriate ‘work area’ must be identified to cater for the academic responsibilities during our ‘time management’ period.  Lying on the bed with the music blaring will not provide the most suitable base to lay down the picnic blanket – nor will the lounge carpet in front of the television.  Find that desk/table which is set up in the bedroom or study at home for the sole purpose of hosting the picnic.  Clear the desk of paper, magazines and general clutter where study material and stationery can be placed without any unnecessary items getting in the way.
  • Most picnics are conducted where the lighting and visibility in the surroundings are clear and good.  Therefore make sure that there is a study lamp or bright enough light by drawing back the curtains.
  • A solid base is always required to sit on at a picnic so ensure that a sturdy chair, that is comfortable and of the correct height for the desk, is in place before the ‘picnic basket’ is opened.
  • Now that the venue is clearly set up it is time to prepare the ‘picnic basket’ ie time management.  The problem normally for young boys is that they wish to play, study, do homework, go to the practice, watch TV etc all at once or in a short period of time.  They do not understand that at a picnic one has prepared the treats and placed them separately in difference tupperware’s ie you can finish everything in the basket but take from certain containers first.  The ‘picnic basket’ must not have fallen over in the trailer, with all the lids having come off which means that all the ‘treats’ are combined into one big mess.
  • Begin with the starters – the fruit, then the ‘main course’ of meats and salads.
  • Now with main course over, one can settle down to a nap or continue with your reading etc before the dessert is served.
  • If you now visualize my description of the picnic/basket you will clearly see that your son will enjoy this outing – his “fourth term” if the picnic basket is packed and prepared correctly to cater for all needs.

     So a Monday could look like this on a time management chart.

  • 13h40 – end of school day.
  • 15h30 – extra mural (cricket) ends.
  • 15h30 – 16h15 – travel home/swim/snack.
  • 16h15 – 16h45 – round 1 homework.
  • 16h45 – 17h00 – watch TV or play ball.
  • 17h00 – 17h30 – round 2 homework (if all this time is needed).
  • 17h30 – 17h50 – free time.
  • 17h50 – 18h20 – begin project/start learning for Thursday’s Test.
  • 18h20 – 18h30 – shower/bath.
  • 18h30 – 19h00 – dinner/family time.
  • 19h00 – 19h20 – complete homework/study.
  • 19h20 – 19h40 – free time.

You and your son then notice that there are actually 6 ‘free’ time slots above of a combined time of 2 hours and 20 minutes versus a set work focus period 1 hour and 50 minutes – yes it is not all work and no play!
Please refrain from comments like:

  • As soon as we get home – get into your room and don’t come out until the homework is finished.  Note that there has been a free time set on arrival at home to relax/cool down after practice etc.
  • The structure I have used here in this basic explanation is the same structure I encouraged families in my class to design and follow when I was a full time class educator.  Trust me when families followed it, believed in it and how this created productivity and peace for all in the home.
  • Yes there is more ‘free’ time than ‘work’ time but the method encourages quality application for 20 or 30 minutes ‘tupperware’ periods rather than quantity two hour periods to finish the so called homework/studies that take up so much time.
  • If this system is followed on a daily Monday to Thursday format with a time management (picnic) chart designed on Sundays for the week ahead, then there will be enough time for academic and family focus.
  • Place the chart on the fridge and allow the child to tick off each time section when it is completed
    eg: homework round 2
    This fulfils that sense of achievement and accomplishment.
    If any child or family would like a personal meeting with me to offer further clarity or assistance on this ‘picnic/time management’ topic then I will be most willing to assist.  I am well aware that there are many boys who are so busy on a daily basis but they too will be able to design a chart that works for them.  Enjoy.


The 1st Team Water Polo squad who excelled as ambassadors for the school both in and out of the pool at the National Tournament for Primary Schools hosted by SACS in Cape Town this past weekend.  There were 22 well respected schools present with the schools divided equally into two pools.  DPHS was the only school who remained unbeaten throughout the pool stages with every other school losing a fixture/s – hence we topped the pool play-offs.  This meant that we progressed through the quarter finals to the semi-finals where we just lost 1-2 to St Davids (JHB) the eventual champions in the finals.
Our school was thus recognized as one of the top four schools in the overall rankings of 22 schools – an outstanding achievement.  It was so encouraging to also hear the positive comments from our SACS host parents about the behaviour of the boys in their homes.  Congratulations to Mr May, Mr Ferreira, the boys, and our full house of parents on tour – it was a wonderful and Proudly Prep experience to be there to witness our Prep synergy.

The Grade 7 section of Mr Bedford, Mr Jali and Mr Davis, our senior boys and their parents must be loudly applauded for their combined efforts in hosting a most enjoyable ‘Market Day’ for our school, yesterday.  I am sure that many of our boys from Grade R throughout the main school came home excited about the variety of stalls on offer as well as displaying their items that they had purchased or enjoyed at the market venue.  The section had given the event their full attention with adverts going up around the school, stalls decorated enticing the customers to browse and buy, with shop-keepers or rather entrepreneurs in respective outfits encouraging customers to their stall.  This is another display of learning and life skills practised at levels of excellence for all to the benefit from.  Thank you and well done Grade 7.

Allow their ‘picnic basket’ in planning their day to be spoiled. Follow a structured ‘picnic – time management’ programme at this busy stage.
Display any form of selfish behaviour. Practise a caring and sharing behaviour amongst their peers.
Expect their parents to do the homework or learning for them. Focus on their own academic responsibilities each day.
Arrive late for school! Respect the arrival and departure times of DPHS.
Forget to say “thank you” Appreciate the ‘blessings’ that they have in abundance.

JP      –        Aiden Martin           –  Grade 3 VA
SP      –        Cole Courtney        –  Grade 4 SCH

What is a friend?  A single soul dwelling in two bodies!”


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