From the Desk of the Headmaster – 26 November 2020

Almost down to the single figure now with only 13 school days left to enjoy for this 2020 year.  It is alarming to think that this eleventh month of the year has almost run its course, yet there are still so many activities to focus on before break up day on Tuesday 15 December.

STAFF NEWS
I share with you the recent appointments that have taken place within the school – some that you have already been informed of.
As mentioned before Mr Brett Botha our Director of IT at the school leaves at the end of the year with his family to set up home overseas.  I will acknowledge Mr Botha again before the end of the year but I express our sincerest appreciation to him already for the outstanding service provided.  We have thus decided after a series of interviews to offer the position of Director IT as an internal appointment.  It gives me the greatest pleasure to announce that Ross Bedford will officially move into this extremely important position which required the IT knowledge and skills that Mr Bedford has in abundance.  Mr Bedford will also continue to teach some lessons in Grade 7.  Well done Mr Bedford and thank you for being so willing to be of further service to DPHS in this position.
You will have noticed in our planning that we had thus advertised for a Senior Primary position to assist with this internal shift in position.  After a further round of interviews and getting down to a shortlist of top candidates for this post, the position has been given to Mr Pieter Mouton.  This young man displays the strong work ethic, passion and skills expected of our DPHS staff members and he will definitely add his personal value in both the classroom and extra mural programmes.  Welcome and congratulations Mr Mouton.
At the end of this year we will be saying farewell to Mrs Marinda Tournier who has been a valuable member of the JP team as the Learning Support Teacher.  The boys have benefitted from her specialized assistance and guidance over the 17 years since joining the school in 2003.  You will have recently received a letter from me calling on our families to, if so willing voluntarily, to support a DPHS staff member who has served the school for 10 or more years, by making a cash donation of your choice – please refer to the letter in this regard.  Mrs Tournier is a worthy recipient of your kindness.  I will pay further respects later this year to acknowledge this dedicated staff member.  Thank you for your commitment and service Mrs Tournier.
I further remind you that Mrs Pullen Grade 1 has decided to become a full time mom with their first born-son.  Mrs Pullen was on maternity leave during this year.   She has been a loyal and Proudly Prep member of the JP team for 7 years.   We thank Mrs Pullen, in abundance, for her most valuable input and dedication. 
We were extremely fortunate to have had Mrs Bronwyn Muller as a locum tenens in Mrs Pullen’s class this year where she displayed exemplary service.  We conducted interviews for the position and it was clearly evident that Mrs Muller fully deserved the position of Grade 1 educator in a full time position.  Congratulations and thank you for your commitment noted already in our school.  Our DPHS team is ready and already prepared to fully embrace the exciting challenges that 2021 will bring.

IMPORTANT DATES/HIGHLIGHTS
Please note that we have committed to ensuring that certain end of year events continue even with slight amendments as indicated below.
Prize Giving  – Thursday 3 December 11h30   
This year we have kept Prize Giving to the Grade 7 boys and their families so that Covid protocols can be respected.
Please be reminded that school will close for all grades at 10h30 next Thursday so please make all the necessary arrangements for the punctual collection of your son from school.
There will be no Homework Centre or Aftercare on this day due to the Prize Giving. 
Our guest speaker is Dr Kirsten van Heerden who by profession is a Sports Psychologist and former South African Swimmer.  Dr van Heerden has prepared Olympic        athletes for international competition and has recently been working with The Sharks Rugby squad.
Grade 4/5/6 – Prize Giving  4 December  
This will follow on the Friday after the Prize Giving for Grade 7. We will acknowledge the academic achievers in these lower grades on this day in a formal assembly which we hope to share as a virtual assembly for the Prep community to also enjoy under these Covid regulations. 
Grade 7 Dinner – Monday 7 December
This highlight for the boys/staff will continue but not in formal sit-down dinner format as before.  Plans are well under way to host the event that still caters for the necessary formalities whilst respecting social distancing etc and enjoying the attendance and company of our seniors.

Friday 11 December – Grade 7 Ringing of the Bell
Reports sent home                            
Please note:  We have decided that due to the official closure of the school on Tuesday 15 December that we would prefer to conduct these formalities at the end of the last full week of the 2020 academic year. This means that we can all enjoy and respect the Grade 7 “Walk and Bell Ringing” on Friday 11 December instead of on          break-up day, before a public holiday. The same reason applies for the sending home of the school Report on Friday 11 December with the boys in each grade instead of waiting until the Tuesday 15 December. Our boys and staff can thus enjoy the final two days namely Monday/Tuesday with these activities having been respected.
NB! The Grade 7 Bell Ringing will take place on Friday 11 December at 11h30 after which the Grade 7 boys can be collected instead of waiting for the normal Friday end of the school day.  The rest of the school will continue as per the normal closure times for Friday. Further information will be sent to our Grade 7 families as to the arrangements for you to enjoy this special memory.
Break Up Day – Tuesday 15 December
Grade R                 –   10h30
Grade 1/2/3           –   10h45
Grade 4/5/6/7        –   11h00

SCHOOL MAGAZINE
This is another Proudly Prep production in our annual yearbook – Congratulations to our Editor Mrs Horning and the entire staff, boys and Prep for the combined DPHS partnership.  This magazine can be proudly displayed in homes, schools and venues around the world which clearly captures the Prep spirit, skills, talents and overall achievements of the DPHS partners.  The spotlight must shine down brightly on Mrs Horning for her meticulous planning in this masterpiece as well as to the staff and members who assisted her.  Bravo Prep!

NEW BOYS VISIT
Last week we hosted the Reception Unit new boy’s days with an adjustment to the normal programme.  Mrs Phipson and team hosted an outstanding event over two days.
Today under the direction of Miss Gilroy and staff we hosted the main (Gr 1 – 7) New Boys visit for 2021.  Once again it was an event to cherish as our ‘New’ boys to all grades attended with such positive energy and the happiest of expressions.  The programme was also well organized affording these future (main school) Prep boys the opportunity to enjoy their new surroundings under the Covid restrictions.  Congratulations and thank you Miss Gilroy, Staff, boys and our “2021 parents” for making today so special.

MARKET DAY
Our Grade 7 staff and boys hosted a fun filled market day that truly displayed their entrepreneurial skills learnt this year.  The wide variety of stalls, advertisements, items on sale supported by the efforts of these young ‘salesmen’ set the atmosphere for all to thoroughly enjoy.  Thank you again to Mr Bedford, Mr Jali, Mr Turner, the Grade 7 seniors and their parents for the thorough planning and ‘buy in’ noted for this popular school event.

HOUSE MATCHES
Inter House spirit is buzzing around the school following on from the recent Inter House Tennis Competition.  We are now enjoying Inter House Cricket, Water Polo, Surfing and Bodyboarding events this week with the fields, pool and beachfront thriving with healthy Prep competition and proud house spirit.
Thank you Mr Dick, Sports Department, Staff, coaches, boys and parents for making this happen so that we can enjoy some inter house/sport at this stage of the year.

ART EXHIBTION
Have you been noticing the Art displays for each grade throughout the past weeks where these talents of our learners have been proudly displayed.  This is due to the ongoing efforts of Mrs Thatcher and Mrs Firth for ensuring that our boys have the opportunity to display their masterpieces.  We are so proud of these combined efforts – well done and thank you Art Department and boys.

DPHS GOLF DAY
Prep has made it happen even during this Covid year!  Yes, our annual golf day takes place this coming Friday at the Royal Durban Golf Club with a full field of 39 fourballs which relates to 152 golfers involved and supporting our day.  This is an amazing achievement which needs the loudest applause going out to our amazing committee of Mrs Mia Venter, Liz Elliott and Tarryn Hunter.  Congratulations to this steering committee and all involved and assisting, to all players involved and the Golf Club – Ladies take a well-deserved bow as we thank you for making this day possible.  Special mention must also be made of our Prep community of parents/friends who donated prizes for the day and to our boys for their support in the Golf Raffle of R5 a ticket.  Well done Prep.  I will be swinging my club in action, determined this year to reach double figures at least in points in the score card – most golf prize will not be my title this year.

CONGRATULATIONS MR PREP
JP –  Grade 1 Langley      –  Vahin Padayachee
SP –  Grade 5 Fisher         –  Ryan Walsh

HEADMASTERS QUOTE FOR THE WEEK

“Gratitude, kindness and caring are more powerful than any problem you think you have”

Kind regards
B WILSON
Your Proudly Prep Headmaster

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