At the outset let me apologise for the late distribution of the June newsletter. A number of factors contributed to this for which we are sorry. These included working with a very challenging admission process that required the use of all the admin staff. I do hope though that you enjoy reading this latest edition.
Our Form V pupils enter their last school term and there will be the usual mix of emotions accompanying their final few weeks of school. Either way, my advice to those leaving is still to leave with dignity and treasure your last few days at school.
The June examinations have passed and I hope your son receives results in line with his efforts. While these are not the final exams, they do give an indication of what is expected and what lies ahead. Please discuss your son’s results with him and give him advice and guidance for the second half of the year. If you have any concerns you would like to discuss with his teacher, please make the necessary appointment to do so at the upcoming parent-teacher consultations.
I have been concerned by the number of incidents of dishonesty we have had to deal with. With the advancement of technology comes an increase in potential for boys to use unfair methods to help them. We are looking at our current systems with a view to tightening up on this area. I remind parents that we will take the firmest possible stance against dishonesty which includes awarding zero marks for the assessment but could also include other punitive sanctions.
If a boy is dishonest in a final Grade 12 exam, he will be barred from writing this qualification for three years. If a boy is dishonest in university, he would face expulsion. We are in the business of setting up our boys for the rest of their lives and teaching them honesty is one of the qualities we believe will serve them well.
I would also like to give my annual reminder to our Form IV boys and their parents of the importance of their final Form IV results when it comes to university admission. Most of our boys apply using these results and are indeed accepted based on how well they have done. It is most certainly in their best interests to work as hard as possible.
The online process has been significantly better than last year but has still raised a number of challenges. Our selections have been made and successful applicants will be advised shortly. Once again we were oversubscribed with over three times as many applicants as available spaces and I feel very sorry for those who will not be able to have the Boys High experience.
One of the pieces of disinformation I encounter always around admission time is the discussion around IEB examinations and the NSC examining system when talking to parents who are weighing up the merits of State education and Independent education. I remind parents that there is no proven difference between the two examinations, both carry exactly the same international recognition and the certificate that is issued at the end of matric does NOT state which exam was written as it is issued by the moderating authority, Umalusi. Our boys are most certainly not disadvantaged by writing the NSC. It is also worth noting that two of the top independent schools in SA, located in Cape Town, both write the NSC as they see no reason to do otherwise.
We wish Mrs Sarah Bouwer well for the upcoming birth of her first child and welcome Mrs Marie Geffen who will be teaching her classes in the third term. Mrs Desiree Glover will be acting as Head of Subject: Mathematics during this time. We said goodbye to Mrs Lyn Vermeulen, after 23 years’ service to the school and wished her well in her retirement. Welcome to Mrs Natalie Brett who is the new administrative assistant in the Estate Office. We hope she enjoys her time at Boys High. Congratulations on the birth of Mr Mark Blew’s son at the end of last term.
Staff diversity workshop
A group of over 130 staff members, comprising teachers and many support staff, spent a full day looking at diversity and difference including implicit bias and other difficult topics. This was a most worthwhile exercise and will hopefully add to the personal journey of development we are all on as individuals and as a school and a nation.
Part of our commitment to recognising diversity was the Freedom Day special assembly, put together by the boys and done to acknowledge differences yet a common belief in values and what is right and good. It was a most uplifting assembly indeed with boys from different backgrounds giving their opinions on the significance of the day, what freedom meant to them and where they saw their future.
We had a very successful Founders Weekend with an inspiring assembly message from Old Boy and ex Springbok rugby captain John Smit, a great day of fixtures with St John’s College and a good Old Boys Dinner attended by just under 300 Old Boys. What impressed me about the weekend and John’s message in particular was his advising the boys to be the best version of themselves they could be. This message which linked personal excellence to ability and talent, was very much in line with our ethos and I hope the boys were inspired by the assembly.
Parent service – SGB and PA
I am always extremely grateful to the many parents who volunteer to help serve on these two bodies, the School Governing Body and the Parent Association. The focus of these two organisations is completely different, yet each has the best interests of the school at heart. The SGB is a legal entity and is responsible for the business side of school, setting fees and determining a budget, employing staff, developing policy, dealing with serious disciplinary issues of staff and boys and admissions to name but a few of their tasks. The PA works more in the parent fellowship space and their efforts promote togetherness in voluntary service to the school, providing catering facilities at sports events, hosting special evenings such as the Music and Light show and helping when required.
The SGB’s current term of office expires in March 2018 and we will have to elect nine parents from the then parent body to serve as the parent representatives for the next three years. The PA elects its members every year.
If there are any parents who are willing to be put forward for service for either group, they are most welcome to contact me to find out more information and what would be required of them in terms of time commitment.
Support on Saturdays
I have been largely pleased with the level of support on the weekends for our sports teams and would like to thank parents and friends of the school for coming out to support our boys. I would like to remind our supporters though that we are watching school sport and we have a very high expectation of our boys in terms of appropriate support. We have had to deal with a number of incidents that were not acceptable, particularly at a school event and at a school like ours. Let us never ever put our school in a position where people can point fingers at us for comments at referees, umpires or the opposition that don’t have a place in sport and certainly not at PBHS.
That said, I do want to thank our parents who continue to come out every week in support of their sons and his friends. It does not go unnoticed and we do appreciate what you do for us.
Pipe band gathering
Our Pipe Band and community of supporters hosted yet another successful gathering and we commend them for their efforts. It was truly a special day with the cold Highveld weather combining with the stirring sounds of the pipes and drums. My thanks go to Mr Orr and the team of parents who helped put this event together.
It is with great sadness that we heard of the tragic accident that claimed the life of one of our Form II boys, Christiaan Keiser. Christiaan was on the way back from a family holiday in Mozambique when the car in which he was travelling collided with a truck. Christiaan’s father and brother were also killed in this awful tragedy and we hold their surviving family members and friends in our thoughts and our prayers at this difficult time.
A number of incidents of human loss have affected us recently and almost everyone I speak to has a story of a tragedy that they have personally experienced. This latest loss has affected me deeply and I continue to question when a child is killed the natural order of life is changed. Our school community is large and there will be times when lives are tragically lost but that doesn’t ease the pain of a young life over before its time.
I read an article recently by parenting expert Nikki Bush on the benefits of playing games together as a family. For as long as I can remember, my family get-togethers were always accompanied by games whether indoors or outside and the rivalry between siblings, cousins and friends helped form very special bonds. I have seen this in my own children too and encourage parents to provide the space for their children to play.
One can never be too old for games either and I have been known to be quite competitive in family games with the children! Normally parent-child time is business time with plans being made, appointments kept or a child being disciplined for some or other misdemeanour. Game time allows for teenage interaction without the awkwardness that sometime comes with these moments. We get lost in the game, the competition and the victory or defeat. These are special times and I urge parents to provide the space and time for game-playing in their families.
Also mentioned in this article was the need for children to be bored. This sounds like strange advice as we are usually trying to provide some kind of stimulus for our children or indeed entertain them but the author recommended that in this fast-paced world we live in, a few hours of idle inactivity leading to a relaxed feeling of boredom would actually help us.
So in your next break as a family, try these two things – family games and not trying to fill every moment with activity. The body and the mind needs these times.
I hope that your son has come back refreshed and ready for the new term.
Our warm congratulations go to the following boys:
Art & Culture Awards
Half Colours Ipeleng Lehobye
Half Colours Redirile Malete, Sedise Makhura
Full Colours Lebo Bambo, Malesela Malapile
Half Colours Greg Comins
Full Colours Hennie Duvenhage, Robin van Wyk
Half Colours Luc Delpierre
Half Colours Creston Dewrance
Full Colours Michael du Plessis
Full Colours Chesney Drabile (re-award)), Ningi Macheke, Arnold Magezi (new)
Technical Support Team
Full Colours Dylan van Rooyen, Levi Ravenscroft
Junior City Council
Half Colours Ningi Macheke, Tarik Lalla
Half Colours Dharshan Pillay, Lucca Swart
Full Colours Geordie Collaros, Timothy Fogwill, Garnet Müller
Inter House Plays
1st Place Armstrong
2nd Place Town
3rd Place School
Half Colours Allan Perfect (Javelin)
Full Colours Bruce Campbell (800m), Jan Joubert (1500m)
Honours Keagen Fulton (100m re-award), Kuda Musanhu (Triple jump)
Half Colours Kieren Killen, Justin Smith
Full Colours Jan Joubert
U14A Tinotenda Chirozvi, Divan Dirkse van Schalkwyk, Nicholaas Du Plooy, Joshua Rossouw, Callen Stephens, Jethro Stoltz,
U14B Morgan Booysen, Claudio Jardim, Frans Marx
U16A Grant Finlayson, Anton Marx, Nathan Meyer, Wisane Mushwana, Martin Oel, Thomas Pearse, Halloran Stratford, Hanu Viljoen
U16B Devon Allen, Luke Andrew, Riley Newberry, Thomas Minnie, Michael Tullis
U18A Joshua Andrew, Dylan Greeff, Dean Lamprecht, Jordan Morris, Lafras Van Vuuren
U18B Travis Broughton, Jason Jordaan, Arno Snyman, Khanyisile Xaba
Noordvaal Team Tino Ajay, Mikhail Edwards (Vice Captain), Reinhardt Nel
Grant Khomo Wandile Madodonke
Noordvaal Team Aiden Bristow, Tom Calenborne, Matthew Caldwell, Pieter van der Merwe (Captain)
U18 Academy Amin Awofolu, Kagiso Woodbridge
U18 Craven Week Khanya Jada, Mpho Kubheka, Kgala Mothomogolo
U19 Noordvaal Tumelo Sachane
North Gauteng Colours
U14A Gareth Craigen, Aren Repko
U16B Calvin Botha
U19A Geordie Collaros, Zian De Swardt, Blaine Verhage
U19B Muhammad Abraham
Half Colours Devon Greyvenstein, Kyle Mathews, Francois Mellet, Kganya Ranamane,
Full Colours Adam van Harte
Honours Jordan Sauer
Team Award Scott Hudson
Junior Justin van der Merwe
Senior Jordan Sauer
Winter Sport Captains
Golf Keegan McLachlan
Hockey Dean Lamprecht
Rugby Chris du Toit
Squash Blaine Verhage
Climbing – Two of our boys, Daniel de Roubaix and Mel Janse van Rensburg qualified at the recent National Lead Climbing championship for the IFSC Youth World Championship taking place in Austria. They will be representing SA in junior Protea colours.
Squash – Blaine Verhage has been selected to take part in the World Junior Squash Championships in New Zealand in August.
Judo – Brendan Pretorius received his Protea colours at the Cadet Africa Judo Championships held in Egypt (in the U/90kg division). He is currently ranked 11th in the world.
Equestrian – Michael Buchan (Form I) took part for Pretoria Boys High School in the Gauteng SANESA Equestrian qualifier. He received second place in the 18/U 70cm Stadium eventing class.
Golf – Keegan McLachlan won both the Junior and Men’s Club Championships at the Silver Lakes Golf Club.
Squash – Zian de Swardt has been selected to represent the Northerns Men’s D side at the annual Jarvis Cup in July.
Model Gliders – Tiaan Van Rooyen won the junior division of the F3K model gliders national championship. He has been invited for the second time to represent SA in the World Championships being held in the Ukraine in July.
Choir – The Boys High choir received a gold at the regional ATKV competition.
Afrikaans Speech Festival – The Form IV team consisting of Jan-Hendrik Dreyer, Francois Grobler, Nicholas Holtzhausen and Theron Treurnicht were awarded the joint overall winners of their category with an A+.
Congratulations to all these boys for their outstanding achievements