Dear Parents and King Edward VII School Community,
As I sit and pen my termly Newsletter, I am able to reflect on another busy term that has so effortlessly passed us by, even though it was at break neck speed!
Was this simply just ‘another’ term? Or was it one filled with great anticipation, where boys and staff alike entered into all they did with great commitment and dedication? Where many goals were set with some failed and where others exceeded the wildest expectations? My reflections tell me this was not an ordinary Term – no Term at King Edward VII School ever is!
I marvel at the energy of both the boys and staff alike. We have laughed together, celebrated some wonderful achievements, been there in support of one another when we have failed or let each other down and yes, we have cried together! This, after all, is what brotherhood is all about.
I have been most encouraged to see our Mentorship programme grow to another level this year. This due, in large part, to the efforts of our House Leader team and the wonderful group of Mentors most ably guided by Crispin McKenzie. I have included Crispin’s Matric Dance speech in this newsletter as it serves as a wonderful reminder of the role we all play in the development of our young men. It highlights the wonderful values and traditions of excellence that previous generations established for us. It also captures the essence of our boys in terms of their brotherhood and that, at times, it is also alright to be a little playful! Crispin delivered this speech with great aplomb (you could have heard a pin drop!) and it really resonated with me. I trust you enjoy reading it.
Head Prefect Matric Dance Speech
Good evening Mr and Mrs Lovatt, the staff body present this evening, the class of 2019 and your partners. A warm welcome to you all.
Before I commence with my message this evening, I feel it is important to highlight the incredible efforts that certain people have put in for this evening to run so successfully. I am sure we can agree that the venue, the décor and the atmosphere are beyond words. On behalf of the class of 2019, I would like to pass on a small token of our appreciation to the following people: Ms Koekemoer, Mrs Boshoff, Mrs van Staden, Ms Pretorius, Mr Pretorius, Mr Dedlow, Ms van der Merwe and Ms Asvat. I would also like to extend our thanks to Mrs Groenewald, Mrs Marketos and Ms Schumyn in their absence.
I walked through the front gates in Oak Street 4 years ago carrying a mixed sense of excitement and hesitancy. I was excited for the future at this sacred institution, but hesitant to fail in a new environment. I did not know a single soul, nor what my first move would be. But what excites me the most, is that from our time of not knowing one another, not knowing our surroundings, we were able to build each other up and subconsciously form the next generation of the King Edward brotherhood, a brotherhood that will remain so dear and significant throughout our lives and the various journeys we may endure.
King Edward’s primary function is to provide young men with an education and the ability to shape their own lives academically, and in doing so, the lives of others. But what sets the school apart from the rest, is its continuous ability to impart the hidden curriculum onto the next generation of men in society. Within this hidden curriculum lie the values of respect, accountability, humility, excellence, leadership and belief. It has taught us to justify our own success through the manner in which we prepare, perform and recover. These are all attributes that will guide any physical or psychological ability into a region of growth and extended potential. Not only is it important to ensure that we can influence the world with our occupational skills, it is essential to spread humanity. To be the best fathers. To be great husbands. To be men who stand up for justice and will help lead this country. And it is for these lessons, that I could never thank King Edward enough.
Looking back on our past few years at the school, there are a few distinct memories, for the right and the wrong reasons! I am sure that many of the boarders will remember Tyron Nevan crunching Jared Schmoor’s head with his knee in our very first game of touch rugby. From this day forward, Jared Schmoor was never known as Jared Schmoor. Isn’t that right Bonehead? The circulation of Mr Thorne’s wifi password, “Liverpool1892” (capital L), will still remain very clear with many of us too. That, for obvious reasons, is no longer Sir’s password.
But there are two significant dates that will forever protrude in the stack of memories. The first being the day that the 2019 leadership body was announced, and the second being the Memorial Parade on November 11, 2018. Both occasions were so similar in their significance and ultimate underlying value. During the leadership body’s first assembly, I saw groups of men who had never once conversed with one another, put their arms of trust around each other’s shoulders and unite in a fashion that resonated with responsibility. It marked the start of our service at the forefront of King Edward VII School.
The Memorial Parade was never about us. It was about uniting in service and honour of the brothers that fell before us. The brothers who made every opportunity to which we are now exposed, possible. These were two days where our form made a collective endeavour to serve the school selflessly and the community within it. And that, gentlemen, is an attribute that we need to not only carry throughout this year, but throughout our lifetimes. To serve those and the institutions that continually serve and provide for us selflessly. I wish for us not only to serve King Edward now, but to contribute as old boys and provide the next generation of scholars with the opportunity of a lifetime.
The red machine will always be remembered as the manufacturer of the best memories, friendships and skills necessary for the outside world. Red is commonly recognised as the fear within the enemy. But this evening, red symbolises my love for the King Edward society, as well as for all of my brothers in the class of 2019. I will forever cherish all of you and the impact that you have had on my life. This connection we share will hold its existence for years to come.
It has been an honour to lead you this far, but it is merely the start of our ultimate year. Wearing the renowned blazer and tie is easy but proving worthy of our dead is where the true challenge lies. Be bold, be brave and remember that the behind every red is an entire army.
The place we once knew to be so formidable, will now remain unforgettable.
Ladies and gentlemen, may your evening be everything you wished it to be and more.
Teddy Bears, I love you, go well. Thank you.
During the holidays many of our boys and staff will be involved in various sport festivals covering the length and breadth of our country. We wish them safe travels and trust that they will relish the opportunity to test their skills against opposition from other provinces.
Absenteeism and requests to leave School early
I, once again, request that parents adhere to the published School dates and respect the fact that the Educators are under enormous pressure to teach our curriculum within the prescribed school days. Any day missed is 8 lessons lost. Take note of the following:
- No boy will be excused from School to write a learner’s licence or take his driver’s test. These must be done during holiday times.
- Dental and routine doctor’s appointments must be made for after school hours. Boys can miss sports practices rather than academic time.
- All vacations and special family functions must take place on weekends or during the holidays.
- Job shadowing, appointments at Home Affairs (passports and IDs) or Visa applications must take place after School or during School holidays.
- Medical emergencies and specialist appointments will be duly considered as legitimate leave of absence on condition that I am afforded advanced notice (at least 48 hours where possible, to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com).
- Absence from School for two or more days must be accompanied by a medical certificate.
- Absence from a Standardised Test or Examination must be accompanied by a medical certificate.
If the above requests are not adhered to, then please note, that any work covered during their absence will have to be caught up by the child (my staff will not be obliged to assist) and any assessments written on the date of their absence will result in 0 for that assessment.
In the event that your son is away from School for one day due to illness, then please send an email to his House Group Leader or phone reception at 011 551 5800.
I look forward to your support with respect to the above.
Please take note of the following parent’s evenings in Term 2. These provide opportunities to discuss you son’s academic progress.
- Grade 8 Tuesday 9 April
- Grade 9 Thursday 11 April
- Grade 10 Tuesday 16 April
- Grade 11 Tuesday 23 April
- Grade 12 Thursday 4 April
I trust that the boys will enjoy the holidays and that they return refreshed and ready for a busy term that lies ahead. It is worth noting that mid-year Examinations are written until the last day of Term 2 (so please no early holiday plans!).