Message from the Desk of the Headmaster

The end of July is now upon us which indicates that the seventh month of 2019 has passed.  We are well on our way into the latter half of the year with only two important terms left to enjoy – I remind you that there are only 36 days left until break-up day on the 20th September this term.
Last week I shared with you the concept of DPHS being that leading brand in society and ‘Prep’ taking up that pole position on the Grand Prix circuit.
I thus highlight the above statement this week encouraging all partners to focus on striving for those levels of excellence that our beloved school has emphasized. We must never lose sight of the past, but the present and future success is dependent on the combined ‘buy-in’ and genuine commitment of all partners on a daily basis in the competitive environment and western world that we are now placed.  Doing things well, over and over again, simply leads to routine programmes and gradual complacency, as people then begin to take things for granted.  We as a DPHS community are ignited by developing, achieving and focusing on raising the bar in all that we do, with fresh and innovative ideas in our academic extra-mural and cultural pillars.  Reaching for the stakes of ‘leading with excellence’ is what we as Prep pride ourselves on but it is imperative that we remind ourselves of these levels that have and will continue to take us there.

  • Academic standards in each year stretching from Grade R through to Grade 7 are firmly established with our educators ‘wanting’ to inspire and educate their respective learners with the latest teaching methods and strategies.  I can back this up by referring to the:
  • A high pass rate year by year for all our learners in comparison to results across the city/province.
  • The constant feedback from the various high schools that report back on the academic results and achievements of our Old Boys now in Grade 8 and throughout the years in comparison to other boys in those high school grades.
  • Boys from Prep who have achieved that position of Dux and academic merit in their secondary years.
  • The annual/ongoing staff development courses that our staff from management, through to the level 1 educator attend, relating to current educational programmes. This proves their ‘want to better themselves in their teaching and hence their boys.
  • Each year we encourage a group of over twelve staff to attend the Independent Boys School Conference to participate in this internationally recognized workshop, where world leaders in education share in presentations.  Our staff return inspired but feed back in certain sections with “but that is what we are already doing at Prep’! – a reassuring fact of ‘excellence’ in education circles.
  • I remind you again that we have recently purchased 35 Ipads for our ‘Academic library’ so that staff can book these items to equip each learner in their class for that lesson, so that teaching can be supported through this format.  Staff are at present undergoing specific training here at school with regards to the ‘want’ to use and implement the Ipad in their teaching levels of excellence.
  • We offer a wide range of subjects that are driven by specialists in each subject in the classrooms and the ‘specialist areas’ that cater for our boys overall educational development, incorporating their skills and talents in lessons beyond academic theory.
  • I recently addressed the boys at assembly on the fact that simply turning up for practice/fixtures on a weekly basis, following the extramural time table, is not enough.  Prep has always arrived with that hunger, passion and ‘want to win’ for their school, team and themselves.  I emphasized to the boys that by playing the fixture and by representing their school is a major reflection on the ‘marketing’ aspect for our school.  The general public have always identified DPHS for their ‘winning’ culture and here the partnership of staff, coaches, boys and parental support is essential in together raising this wanting to win focus.  Results are important for the brand of Prep across the country, especially with future parent stake holders and our following of Old Boys who have established the brand in the 109 years history of our school.  Please believe me when I motivate my statement that ‘you have a lot more FUN when you win” as this result bears testimony to the many hours of dedicated personal/team training to now reach these constant levels of excellence across all codes.  Prep partners don’t just participate – they ‘want to win’ in their striving for excellence and this is an extremely healthy and positive mindset to believe in.
  • I have constantly referred to the ‘want’ to buy-in to the DPHS/Prep way of life that creates that winning brand.  The following brief reminders are not the minor issues but are the ‘major’ common denominators for that winning brand.  The community of Prep and the public must know and support that at Prep the school prides itself on:
  • Arriving punctually for the start of the school day and for extra mural activities.
  • Our school uniform which is worn neatly each day.
  • The raising of the Prep Cap in our greetings.
  • The manners of the Prep boy – seen and heard to be at the highest respected levels at all times.
  • The general levels of excellence in positive attitude around the school, city and country.
  • The behaviour of boys on excursions and tours.
  • The wearing of our blazer/tracksuit to and from practices and inter-school fixtures.
  • At our institution there is a ‘sense of belonging’ for all partners to be proud of and to be involved in ie. – a ‘family’ environment that encourages full participation of all staff, coaches, boys and parents at all events.
  • Strongly committed and visionary committees in School Governing Body, School Trust and Management leadership.
  • Being a ‘boys school’ leading the way in education for boys – hence living proudly up to our motto of “Preparing Boys for Life”.
  • Constantly aiming to create and maintain a safe and caring environment for all partners, especially amongst the boys in their social well-being here at school.
  • As seen in the practise of the ‘Prep Pal’ system cemented each month on our, calendar where boys meet in their ‘family groups’.
    In conclusion we as a DPHS stakeholder must believe in and proudly promote these core values, principles and best practices that we generate and emphasize on a daily basis.  None of us can afford to turn a blind eye to these general issues above so that united we can promote our Proudly Prep brand amongst ourselves and in the eyes on those looking on in admiration or even as a ‘critic’.
    Remember that by aspiring for success and victory in achievement is to be celebrated as a ‘winning formula’ – how committed and dedicated we are in ‘wanting’ to maintain, build on and re-charge the formula is of paramount importance.  Let us cherish that pole-position up front on the ‘leading schools’ race track – we worked hard to earn this over the years!
    Leading on from the above, I hereby remind all partners that I have the privilege of attending the conference for state ‘boys’ schools across the country next week starting Tuesday through until Thursday.  The respective Headmasters from these 16 schools meet annually to work on educational matters and initiatives commonly shared across our country.  These conferences are always so well organised with presenters focusing on current issues, as well as inspiring these leaders with modern day ides and out of the box thinking.  We as DPHS hosted a most successful H2G Conference last year under the theme of “Some Like it Hot” where we really dissected some ‘spicy’ school leadership programmes.  This year we will be hosted by Wynberg Boys Primary School in Cape Town.  I eagerly await to participate in their theme “Seasons of Change” and return further inspired to share and implement the ideas learnt there.
    Please note that if there are any urgent matters needing attention whilst I am at Conference then these can be directed to our Deputy Principal Mr Phipson.  I will remain in daily contact with the school to hear of the continued school functionality.
    Thank you in abundance to our Chairlady of the Mothers’ Committee, Mrs Cheryl Turner, the committee and all involved in hosting this ‘Proudly Prep’ event here tonight.  I believe that the function has been extremely well supported for which we are so grateful.  Enjoy every minute of your time together as our ladies of Prep so that we can encourage our Mothers’ Committee to host similar events going forward.  A Proudly Prep effort!

    There has been such positive feedback from staff, parents and our boys about this tour that took place last weekend.  I was kept well informed of our boys (and staff) hosting ‘workshops’ there for other schools and also able to watch video presentations sent of our performances which clearly received glowing praise and applause from the audience present.  Once again I highlight this combined effort as a ‘winning formula’ for Prep whilst attending this Conference in Johannesburg – Thank you to our Director of the Cultural Pillar – Mrs Briscoe, Mrs Nixon James and Mrs Kasia Vosloo for leading the touring party into these ‘levels of excellence’.  Congratulations Prep!

    It is that time of the year for our Senior Tennis Tour to take place again.  Our school will be leaving during next week with our teams to participate in the National Tennis Tournament that will be held in Bethlehem.  All our teams have a high standard to maintain after the success of this senior tour last year, especially with the A team just losing out to Grey (Bloemfontein) Primary in the finals.  Our tennis squads have excelled throughout this domestic season in our tennis leagues and can now look forward to again performing at these levels of excellence whilst on tour.  Best wishes and thank you are forwarded in advance to our Director of Tennis Mrs Smith, staff namely Mrs Fletcher, Mr May, Mr Tshabalala and Mr Khoza, coaches Natalie and Gary, the boys and parents on tour.  Bring the honours home ‘Prep’

Just participate. Perform at a ‘winning’ level
Make the same mistakes. Learn from any slip-ups and raise the bar of excellence.
Disrespect any opposition. Acknowledge the efforts of all participants.
Challenge the ‘traditions’ of our school. Value the proud traditions of our school.
Ever ‘throw-in’ the towel. Courageously and enthusiastically stay committed until the very end.

JP      –        Muhammad Abdoozahim – Grade 2 Horning
SP      –        Nkaba Ndhlovu – Grade 4 Johnston

“When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the aeroplane takes off against the wind, not with it.”

B WILSON Headmaster

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