Newsletter September 2018

Dear King Edward VII School Community

As we near the end of another Term, I can look back with a great sense of pride and reflect on the wonderful achievements of our boys and staff alike.

This past term has been one of frenetic energy and wonderful attainments across a wide range of activities, both within and outside the School context.  We have moved from a Winter sports programme to a Spring programme (Athletics, Tennis and Football) to pre-season for Summer sports, all in the space of 11 weeks.  In addition, we have run a full Academic schedule including Matric Preliminary Examinations, a comprehensive Cultural Programme which has included a Dale Carnegie Leadership Course, combined Expressions Evenings, Shakespeare Festival, SACEE Debating, Inter-house Best Speakers and our Drama Awards Evening.  Over and above all of this, our KESCO team and Head of School have organised and participated in several successful charity and fundraising initiatives.

I wish to commend all of those who have taken full advantage of all these wonderful opportunities and would like to encourage those who are less involved to step up and make a difference next Term.

Please note that the Grade 8 to Grade 11 reports will be made available on the Parent Portal after 10h00 on Friday, 28 September 2018.  The Grade 12 results will be made available in hard copy as well as on the Parent Portal on Tuesday, 16 October 2018, prior to the Valediction Service.  Please take note that the Matrics last official School day will be Friday, 12 October and the first official Examination is the IT Practical on 16 October 2018, followed by English Paper 1 on 23 October 2018.

I am aware that several parents have enquired about the end of year arrangements in terms of Examination dates.  We are presently finalising our end of year Examination timetable.   We have been somewhat delayed by the late publication of the external dates relating to our end of year schedules.  We envisage writing examinations until 30 November 2018 or 3 December 2018.  The official close of School, as per the published calendar, is 12 December 2018.  We will thus publish end of year reports by 10am on 12 December via the Parent Portal.   A hard copy, for this year’s Grade 11s, will be made available for Tertiary study applications.   Please plan your end of year holidays accordingly.

I refer you to an extract of my Newsletter, dated September 2017, wherein I introduced The Guardian Mobile Reporting App.  Please can I once again encourage parents to get their sons to download this App and make use of it when the need arises.  We will be launching a campaign at the start of Term 4 to ensure all our boys use this platform as and when required.

Please read the following extract from the Guardian with respect to the App.  I ask that all boys download the App on their mobiles and register accordingly.  We will also use the App to push notifications to the boys re School related matters.  Parents are more than welcome to register as well.

For further information re The Guardian, please visit www.theguardian.co.za

ANONYMOUS REPORTING

It is a given that learners, certainly teenagers, will not disclose anything they feel may embarrass them.  Another challenge is the belief that the respect of their peers is extremely important, so confidential information pertaining to friends very seldom comes out due to the fear of reprisal.

 As the Guardian our experience teaches us that most children want to do the right thing when it comes to the protection of their friends but are worried that they would be victimised if it became known that they were the reporter.

The Guardian Schools Anonymous Reporting App gives learners the ability to report he information they may need to disclose anonymously, and so essentially making their friends and themselves safer by ensuring their information reaches those charged with safeguarding the learners.

 What could learners report?

The app is not restrictive in terms of what can be reported however the primary reported incidents are:

  • Bullying or cyber bullying that could lead to suicide or sexting
  • Inappropriate relationships with adults or abusive relationships
  • Knowledge that a certain learner was using or dealing in drugs
  • An educator that was using corporal punishment as a discipline measure, or being racist or sexist

 So how does it work?

  1.  The school registers as a Guardian member
  2. The school appoints staff to manage and investigate any reports
  3. The learner downloads the application from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store for free onto their phone and selects their school in the registration process
  4. Then using the app, they can report on anything they may need to
  5. The identity of the reporter is removed from the report and the school receives the information and can manage it internally
  6. Any incidents which may need forensic investigation can be reported to The Guardian for private investigation

 Any false reports and abuse of the system is dealt with in the terms and conditions on the app and every learner is aware that if they abuse the system their details could be forwarded to their school.”

I am excited about the possibilities of this App and the fact that our boys will be readily able to report incidents of concern without the fear of retribution or further victimisation.

The School has had very meaningful discussions with the head of the Guardian group and we firmly believe that with their support and expertise we will provide a far safer environment for all our boys.

The Matrics recently completed their Preliminary Examinations.  These have, by all accounts, run smoothly and by and large the Examinations provided a fair challenge.    The Matrics will have a few days of School next term.  I urge parents to ensure the boys’ attendance at School during this time.  The contact time and revision during this period can make a substantial difference to their end of year results.  Valediction will be held on 16 October 2018, following which the Matrics will have study leave prior to their first full Examination on 23 October 2018.   Please take note that the IT practical will take place on 16 October 2018 at 9am.

Important dates for Term 4:

Parents Fee meeting               Monday, 15 October 2018 at 18h30

Valediction                              Tuesday, 16 October 2018 at 19h00

Matric Exams                          IT Practical, Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Followed by English Paper 1, 23 October 2018 until 30 November 2018

Grade 10 & Grade 11 Exams  Start Friday, 2 November 2018

Grade 8   & Grade 9   Exams   Start Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Remembrance Day                 Sunday, 11 November 2018 at 10h00

End of Year Reports                Wednesday, 12 December 2018

 

Yours sincerely

DCP Lovatt

Headmaster