START OF TERM
Welcome back to the 4th term. We have planned a full term with all sports having fixtures, Wednesday morning music concerts and a number of special events towards the end of the term. I will write to the Grade 7 parents shortly to explain the farewell functions that will be held for them. Unfortunately our traditional Carol Service again cannot take place. We really miss our singing; it is such a uniting force across the school, inspiring and uplifting.
The term began, as you know, with a Community Week organised by the Old Diocesan Union and the College and Prep Parents’ Associations. Tuesday night saw a Musical Soiree in the Memorial Chapel and the opening of an Art Exhibition. Both included the work of Prep and College boys, ODs and staff. It was wonderful to see how our performances held their own alongside that of the older boys. Equally enjoyable was the chance to see parents again albeit masked, sanitised and screened.
The Music Concert will certainly go down as one of our most memorable. To hear the Chapel resound to the full sound of Bishops music again was completely energising. The standard was so high; Prep and College soloists, our Wind Band as well as the College orchestra. And this after eighteen months of far less practice at times than usual and little or no opportunity of live performances. It really was such an expression of the joy in living and the hope that has kept us going.
I am afraid there are still anomalies. Although we can now have functions inside, providing they do not exceed 50% of the room / hall’s capacity and large gatherings can now be held outside, spectators are still not allowed at sports matches. I know this is very frustrating and disappointing but please bear with us. We are monitoring the situation very carefully.
One boy has tested positive at the Prep and Pre-Prep this week.
I reminded the boys at Chapel Assembly on Tuesday that, although we are now in level 1, we are still observing strict protocols: temperature checking at the school gate, mask wearing and regular sanitising with especially careful behaviour inside. We still advise against sleepovers (especially in large numbers) and avoiding large inside functions where Covid protocols are ignored.
We have made a decision to revert to offering Remote Learning only to those boys who are quarantining or isolating, in other words who are positive or are quarantining because a family member at home tested positive. If your son falls into this category, please communicate with Chris Groom who is responsible for Covid compliance firstname.lastname@example.org. The hybrid model is very difficult for both teachers and boys. It was necessary when we had so many boys away, but we cannot continue offering it to every boy who needs to be away from school.
PERMISSION TO MISS SCHOOL
This is a gentle reminder that permission to miss school for an appointment should be addressed to your son’s Housemaster.
Any request to miss a day or more of school must be addressed to me email@example.com. Please try to limit such days to the minimum. Fridays are now test days and we do not want any boy missing a test unless he is ill. I remind you too that a boy is allowed to miss fourteen days of school in the Pre-Prep/Prep section of school and again in College. This was designed to facilitate overseas travel or another lengthy trip. But school holidays remain the optimal time for travel.
GRADE 7 isiXHOSA FIRST ADDITIONAL LANGUAGE
As you know, boys will for the first time have the option to choose isiXhosa as their First Additional Language in place of Afrikaans. A meeting will be held for interested parents of Grade 6 boys on Wednesday, 20 October and a letter will follow in the next few days.
Office bearers were voted for at the first PA Committee meeting and the Committee has decided to co-opt two further members. The Committee is now as follows:
Delene Mark (Chair)
Ettie Chahwahwa (Treasurer)
Daniela Wakeford (Secretary)
Again, my thanks to these parents for volunteering their services and my good wishes to them for the year ahead.
All the best for a good final term.