Once again, time has flown by and the term is over. For our Form V boys, this brings them one term closer to the end of their school careers in six months’ time! I hope it has been a good term for your son and, if he is new to the school, that he has settled in quickly, made good friends and become involved in school life.
I am aware that the news of my appointment as Principal of Bishops in July 2020 has raised a few eyebrows and come as a shock to some. I would like to share some of my thinking in this process.
When I was appointed to PBHS at the end of 2009, it was with effect from July 2010. I was asked how long I would stay, given that I had 20 years left before compulsory retirement. I indicated then a belief I still hold dear, that any good organisation needs to have change in its leadership, particularly in these times, and said that I would probably move once more before retiring. It was simply a question of time and opportunity.
I have loved my time at Boys High and think the world of the school – its boys and staff, parents and Old Boys. My family has been extremely happy in Pretoria and we have made really good friends. It was just that an opportunity arose that I simply could not refuse. Bishops is one of the leading schools in South Africa and I leave one great boys school to go to another. I shall miss PBHS enormously but am looking forward to the new challenge with much excitement. I shall thus complete ten years at Boys High in June 2020.
The process of finding a suitable replacement will begin in earnest. The job description and specifications will be set for the role, bearing in mind that Boys High is vastly different from most other schools. A sub-committee of the SGB will be tasked with driving this process which will include advertising in the provincial gazette, interviewing and appointing. I have no doubt that this position will attract many good candidates from which my successor will be chosen. I ask that you have faith in the process and rest assured that the SGB regards this appointment as their single most important task in the months ahead.
First Term Reports
You will have received your son’s first term report and I ask that you study the contents carefully, taking note of the teachers’ comments. Please bear in mind that this term is one in which most of the assessment is based on shorter tasks done, usually as class tests. The second term is an exam term and your son needs to prepare accordingly, using past papers as a reference source. These are accessible in the Library and also, in most cases, online as Google docs.
International Boys School Coalition Conference 2019
The IBSC regional conference took place at Boys High over 6 – 9 March and we hosted 185 delegates from all the top boys’ schools in Southern Africa, public and private. The conference went very well and I am extremely proud of our organising team of staff and boys that did such an excellent job, headed by our project co-ordinator, Mrs Joanna Holliday. The delegates left feeling inspired and re-energised for the year ahead. The entertainment provided by our music ensembles was world-class and commented upon very positively by all delegates.
The conference theme of “The World Behind our Boys” focused on boys and what they bring of themselves into the school. Much was said about the dangers of social media and screen time and this will filter into our processes at school over the next few months.
Sport at boys’ schools
Prior to the IBSC conference, 24 Heads from traditional boys’ schools met to discuss the question of schoolboy sport. We are gravely concerned about a number of things, broadly under the heading of how much the importance of sport has been allowed to grow in schools. Those who say that sport can itself be a career option and that we should be more professional in our approach as we are preparing our boys for the world after school, forget two things – firstly that a miniscule fraction of 1% of boys make a successful career out of sport and thus the vast majority do not. Secondly, we are worried that too much pressure is being placed on first teams, rugby in particular, and that is resulting in boys giving up the sport as soon as they can, instead of growing their love for the sport after school. Simply put – they have had enough pressure.
We are concerned about boys playing too much sport and about burnout of top sportsmen, we are concerned about ranking systems that are flawed to start off with but which add to the pressure on school coaches and players. Finally, we are concerned that with all this pressure, as mentioned above, schools engage in questionable practices with regard to poaching players from other schools.
It is time for us to regain the joy of schoolboy sport and instill a love for the game in our boys instead of a fear of losing due to the pressure placed on them by a public obsessed with winning.
I have been delighted with the majority of boys’ reactions to the new cell phone policy and have noticed far greater interaction between the boys during the breaks which is one of the objectives we were trying to achieve. At the IBSC conference, much was said about hand-held devices and you are urged to read the works of two of our keynote speakers, Dr Shimi Kang who offers what she calls a “tech diet”, and Dr Abigail James who spoke on the same topic but with an emphasis on the dangers of content, including pornography, and the ease with which boys are bullied using social media and chat groups. Both speakers can easily be googled and the articles found.
Our congratulations go once more to our boys and staff in our Music Department for another excellent Café Concert. The talent on display is quite remarkable and the extraordinary effort required to put on a show like this is greatly appreciated. Our compliments go to Dr van der Watt and his superb team of teachers and boys.
We are still awaiting the final GDE admissions regulations that pertain to the 2020 intake. At this stage, the admission date is set for 6 May but we are aware that this may change and we ask prospective parents to watch the press and our website for details. Current parents who have another child they wish to enroll MUST make sure that they also apply following the set procedures, the most important of which is applying on time on the GDE online system. There is NO automatic admission to the school and the GDE process must be followed strictly.
If I had a magic wand to wave and could eradicate anything from society, it would be bullying. Bullying in the home, the community and in our school. We try hard to teach our boys what is good and right and how to treat others, yet often a nasty word or action can cause such harm. The greatest source of bullying these days is on social media and I ask parents to check their son’s online presence and teach them about social media responsibility. One of the speakers at the conference, Emma Sadleir, is SA’s acknowledged expert on social media law and boys need to be aware that they have a legal responsibility when it comes to posting comments, re-tweeting content and even “liking” a picture or a page. By doing so, you become complicit in the content, whatever that might be. I urge parents to familiarise themselves with social media law and consult Ms Sadleir’s books, her latest being Selfies, Sexts and Smartphones, which are readily available and which are a great source of help for parents and teachers.
We are aware of a number of concerns the boys have about the new tuckshop system and are addressing these with our service providers.
We congratulated Mr Illsley on obtaining his Masters in History Cum Laude.
This past term we congratulated our clothing shop manager, Tiziana Giacinti (now Lazarides) on her marriage on Saturday 12 January and welcomed a new addition to the Boys High family, a son, Jesiah, born on 3rd March to Barend and Catherine Engelbrecht.
We say goodbye to Brad Burrow who will be leaving us at the end of this term. We wish him well for the future. Dr Janice Robertson has been appointed in a permanent position to fill Mr Burrow’s place.
In May this year we will have a general election. For most of our boys, this will be the first time they will be exposed to the process as a young man as opposed to a primary school child. For some of our boys, they will have the opportunity to cast their own vote for the first time. As co-educators in this matter, I ask parents to have political discussions with their children, ask them who they would vote for and why (if they could) and, if they don’t know, help them learn about political parties, their manifestos and promises and their record of performance. I think it is vital that our children are educated as responsible citizens which includes their right to elect representatives in government.
I wish you all a restful and pleasant school holiday period. If you are fortunate enough to be on leave with your child, I hope you enjoy this time with him. If you are travelling, please be safe and we will see each other again at the start of the second term on Tuesday 2 April (day 2 on the timetable).
Holiday Sporting Activities
The following festivals will be taking place:
U14A team at Parktown Boys Festival on 14th March, 15th March and 17th March
The 1st team are taking part in the annual Nomads Festival being hosted by PBHS from 15th to 18th March.
The U16A team will be attending the U16 Nomads festival which takes place at King Edward VII School from 15th March to 18th March.
The U14A team will take part in the U14 Nomads festival being held at Wynberg Boys from 15th to 18th March.
Our warm congratulations go to the following boys:
Representative Council of Learners – 2019
RCL Committee: Chairman: Mbulelo Stephen; Vice Chairman: Adam Vorster; Secretary: Miguel de Oliveira, Advertising Officer: Dylan Talbot; Teacher Liaison: Mrs M Petrou
Abernethy: Graham ten Krooden, Andrew Holdt, Raoul Mahabeer, Douglas Elcombe, Greg Balshaw
Arcadia: Gimoll Legodi, Tinotenda Mukiwa, Julien Neser, Tshepang Saliwe
Armstrong: Michael van Jaarsveld, Jason Visser, Divan Dirkse van Schalkwyk, Gregory Dimitrov, Sam Mtshali
Hofmeyr: Fedor Litvinov, Neil van Schalkwyk, Pedran Wessels, Kitso Tlape, Miguel de Oliveira
Matheson: Vito Vukomanovic, Hope Chauke, Tinotenda Chirozvi, Adam Vorster, Luke Cavaleiro
Rissik: Justin Tattersall, Ntokozo Dlamini, Siyakha Dyasi, Andrew Isherwood, Dylan Talbot
School: Thando Mabanga, Beckham Ntike, Matthew Meise, Thomas Pearse, More Skosana
Sunnyside: Moreshan Soobramaniyen, Keagan Trollip, Hlulani Ringane, Gino Sapalo, Mbulelo Stephen
Solomon: Christopher Smith, Sechaba Mathe, Qhawe Magwevana, Michael Dunlop, Sean Vernes
Town: Marinus Louw, Konstantinos Katsikis, Liam Gillesen, Benjamin Anthony, Thomas Isebeck
Academic Colours (based on 2018 promotion results)
Half Colours Form III: Aidan Allison, Benjamin Anthony, Calvin Botha, Andre de Bruyn, Janco Jonker, Andre le Roux, Ryan Symons, Alexandros Theodorou, Tseke Tladi, Pierre van Hoven, Matthew Wepener
Form IV: Massimo Bruzzaniti, Nathan Fogwill, Lloyd Hansmeyer, Rialdo Roeloffze, Hilary Smit (new awards); Werner Bronkhorst, Justin Cross, Keanu Jardim, Kopano Moumakoe, Alexander Paulsen (re-awards)
Full Colours Form III: Calvin Comins, Kewan Holman, Emile John, Junhyeop Kim, Emile van den Boogard, Josua Viljoen
Form IV: Alvin Drabile, Can Kacar, Grant Petzer, Noko Phukubye, Zander Polson, Mbano Sibande, Kian Trathen, Reinhardt von Brandis-Martini (new awards); Brendon de Beer, Luke Cavaleiro, Daniel Cloete, Juan Fourie, Declan Humphries, Mel Janse van Rensburg, Dylan Nel, Halloran Stratford (re-awards)
Honours Form IV: Christian Pretorius (new award); Joshua Meise, Keaton Urquhart (re-awards)
Allen Harding Swiss Daniel Wohlfahrt
Form I Championship Adrej Ristic
Half Colours Tino Ajay, Alvin Drabile, Brendan de Beer, Grant Finlayson, Ricardo Marques, Naledzi Modzuka, Brandon Robertson, Mbano Sibande, Dylan Talbot
Full Colours Daniel Lobo
Full Colours Sachin du Plooy-Naran; Jaryd van Straaten, Pierre van Hoven
Junior City Council
Form V Representative Mbano Sibande
Form IV Representative Vuyo Tswago
Form III Representative Connor Magill
Gauteng Colours Tristan Dean (U19 100m)
District Colours Jorim Bangue (U17 110m hurdles); Tristan Dean (U19 100m); Matthew Forrester (3000m steeplechase); Elshammah Kandoro (U17 long jump and triple jump)
New School records: Jorim Bangue: U16 110m Hurdles – 13.81
Matthew Forrester: U19 Mile – 4:18.40
U19 1500m – 3:59.62
U19 3000m Steeplechase- 9:39.88
Half Colours Tim Ferguson, Jaryd van Straaten
Full Colours Nathan Meyer, Liam Treadwell, Ruan van Rooyen, Hanu Viljoen (re-awards)
Team Award Wisani Mushwana, Wald Truter, Daniel van der Merwe (re-awards); Anton Marx, Ethan Webb (new awards)
Half Colours Greg de Kock (re-award)
Junior Inter-House Nicolas Ackermann
Senior Inter-House Matthew Forrester
U14 Nicolas Ackermann
U15 Eric Booyens
U16 Olerato Thabetha
U17 Daniel Keil
U19 Matthew Forrester
King of the Mountain Race Brendon de Beer
Form 1 Race Reagile Langa
Social Race Brendon de Beer
Old Boys Race Matthew Forrester
10 km Classic-Junior Nicolas Ackermann
10 km Classic-Senior Brendon de Beer
Half Colours William Fairhurst, Joshua Lifschitz, Ross Tosi
Full Colours Bruce Anderson, Thomas Calenborne, Nathan Fogwill, Ronan Perring (new awards); Tristan Lunt, Tshepiso Ntuli (re-awards)
Honours Matthew Neser
Team Award Liam McKenzie, Brandon October, Matthew Wessels (re-awards)
U18 NTS Currie Cup Bruce Anderson, Thomas Calenborne (Captain), Nathan
Squad Fogwill, Tristan Lunt, Tshepiso Ntuli, Ross Tosi
Reserves Brandon October, Ronan Perring
U18 Central Gauteng
Currie Cup Team Matthew Neser
Water Polo: Service
Half Colours Nicholas Minnie (new award); Tshepang Ramathibela, Christian Shandu, Matthew Wessels (re-awards)
Full Colours Thomas Calenborne, Justin Cross, Karl Muller (re-awards)
Athletics Matthew Forrester
Basketball Mixo Shipalana
Climbing Mel Janse van Rensburg
Cricket Ruan van Rooyen
Cross Country Matthew Forrester
Fencing Jesse Ndjeka
Golf To follow
Hockey To follow
Rugby To follow
Squash Kian Trathen
Swimming Rialdo Roeloffze
Table Tennis Stoyan Simov
Tennis Logan Repko
Water Polo Matthew Neser
Simfonia Juventi – The following boys were selected as members of the Simfonia Juventi: Nico Botes (Cello), Brendon de Beer (Clarinet 1 and concerto soloist), Christiaan Holm (Trumpet 1), Christof Joubert (Cello), Brandon Robertson (Violin 1), Kehan Taljaard (Cello), Markus Taljaard (Violin), Kemp van der Watt (Horn 2), Jonathan Wisniewski (Horn 1)
Climbing – Seven boys who competed in a Bouldering League have been chosen to compete in the Gauteng Bouldering Final, which will be held at City Rock early next term. They are Mel Janse van Rensburg, Daniel Cloete, Thomas Isebeck, Emile Hollamby, Edward Harvey, Loren Ehlers and Keegan Cator.
Congratulations to the boys for these outstanding achievements.