Circular 21 End of Term 1 Report

On March 31st, 2015, posted in: Circulars, Circulars, News by

 

1 April 2015

 

Circular 21

 

Dear Parents/Guardians

TERM 1 REPORT

This has been a very busy term academically with many boys raising the bar regarding their academic goals.

A number of notes to help the rest of the academic year:

1. PACE Ratings, Position in Grade, Average Mark

The overall trends in the PACE ratings on the report are a very good indicator of what is happening for your son within the classroom. A number of C and D ratings is usually a good indication that it is time to take stock and to turn things around in the new term. The reports include your son’s average mark and his position in the grade. In Grades 8 and 9, Geography and History count as one subject (Social Sciences) towards this average. In the senior grades, where a pupil takes an extra subject (AP Mathematics, etc.), this is included in the average only if it is better than one of his three choice subjects or his First Additional Language. The grade averages for every grade are as follows:

Grade 12 – 68,2% Grade 11 – 64,8% Grade 10 – 62,8% Grade 9 – 62,2% Grade 8 – 63,5%

2. New Pass Criteria for Grades 8 and 9

As of last year the National regulations regarding what constitutes a pass for Grade 8 and 9 pupils changed. The new minimums required are higher than in previous years and boys in Grade 8 and 9 are advised to take note of these new levels to ensure that they are in a position to be promoted at the end of the year. The new regulations are printed on the back of the report card but include a minimum of 50% for English, and 40% for both Maths and the First Additional Language (Afrikaans or isiXhosa).

3. Disciplinary Record and Academic Merit (Pink Slip) Record

Your son’s report will no longer include his disciplinary (academic default, behaviour warning, detention, late for class or school) and merit records (good test result, great project, etc.) but these are available from the Tutor or House Head should you wish to obtain more details. We have smsed parents on a daily basis regarding many of these – should you not have received any smses then you need to contact the school secretary and inform us of this, and leave with her the cell number to which we should send future smses.

4. Accuracy of First Term Results

Please remember that first term results are, in some cases, inflated results based on small sections of work over a very limited number of assessments. We have worked hard to include as many pieces of work as possible, but greater stability of results will only happen over a longer time period. In some cases marks may also be lower than would be expected as a result of poor performance in just one small piece of assessment. Overall, however, they build a good picture for the year ahead.

5. Pupils at Risk

Those who have not met the requirements for promotion or progression to the next grade are recorded on an “At Risk” list. They will be expected to improve their academic work by the end of the new term. To help them with this they will all be expected to attend at least one afternoon session per week of the Academic Institute or Bridging the Gap. In addition they will not, except in exceptional circumstances, be considered for any sports matches or practices, trips, outings or tours that will require them to be out of normal classes.

6. Individual Minimum Performance Level (MPL)

Those who achieved their MPL (an explanation of the MPL system appears on the report card) will find more and more that they have benefits accruing to them. During the examination period they will be given the freedom to study at home on non-examination days, they may miss test periods in which they do not write and will be allowed to miss certain lessons when they have extra sporting or cultural events that take place during the school day. Of course a long term benefit of exceptional marks is being first in line when applying for further studies at tertiary institutions.

7. Parent–Teacher–Pupil Meeting

The first of these for the year will take place on Tuesday 21 April 2015 between 16h30 and 19h30. In the age of easy electronic communication between parents and teachers, the focus of these evenings is changing. More and more, parents and teachers are in communication on a continual basis, rather than at once-off meetings.

The booking sheets will be up in the school foyer from 15 to 17 April for parents to book sessions with particular teachers. If it is more convenient, you may get your son to book a session for you on these sheets.

All meetings (10 minutes) are by booked appointment only and will take place in the relevant teacher’s classroom or office. We encourage your sons to accompany you to these meetings.

8. Subject Changes

There are no subject changes available at this stage of the year. The next time for changes is at the end of the second term for grade 10 boys only. No requests for changes of teacher can be considered at any stage.

9. Missing Examinations and Tests

During the year we frequently have requests for pupils to miss final examinations or tests for a variety of reasons, often extended holidays and the like. Please note that this is not within our authority to grant and a score of zero has to be recorded for all assessments missed; the only exceptions being bereavement (a letter from the parent or guardian is needed), illness (a doctor’s certificate is needed for examinations missed) or official provincial or national representation. It is also not possible to allow tests or examinations to be written outside of the scheduled times.

During the course of the first term we have sent home 21 circulars. If you have not received some of these, they can be downloaded from the school website, www.wbhs.org.za.

I trust you will enjoy a wonderful holiday with your sons!

Kind regards

LARRY MOSER