Wednesday 9 September 2020
Dear Parents & Guardians
The COVID pandemic has forced us to find innovative ways of handling a situation where we try to maximise contact time with all our boys while adhering to protocols like social distancing. Up till now, the Grade 10s have drawn the short straw by having the least contact time of all grades. Grade 12 start their Prelims next week and so with them isolated to one part of the building, we are able to bring all our Grade 10s back in one large group as opposed to the two AM/PM groups.
Unfortunately, this has necessitated a division of the larger classes (more than 24 in a class) into smaller groups and the reallocation of new teachers to these sub-divided classes. It will mean that some boys will have a new teacher for certain subjects. The changes to the Grade 10 timetable will be published on Moodle together with the slightly revised classes and new teacher allocation. [Parents may access Moodle using their son’s login details.] From Monday, 14 September, the core subjects will have an hour every day (Monday through Wednesday) and the elective subjects will get two hours per week. There will be no more AM/PM groups and the Grade 10 and 11 timetable will run along the same lines as the current Grade 11 timetable i.e. starting at 08:00 and ending at 15:15 on Monday and Tuesday, and 14:00 on Wednesday.
This will also mean that the current sport programme for Grade 10s will change for the better. Grade 10s will no longer have sport on a Tuesday, but will combine with the Grade 11s on a Monday between 15:30 and 17:00 and on a Wednesday between 14:30 and 16:00. This will mean that they can now have two sessions a week and they can train with the Grade 11s who they will mostly be playing with next year. This new programme will start on Monday 14 September.
One of the casualties of the COVID pandemic is, unfortunately, the fourth elective in our timetable. As a result of constraints forced on us we have made the decision to remove the option for our grade 10 boys (next year’s grade 11 group) of taking a fourth elective subject in their timetable. This was always a “nice-to-have” as it allowed our boys to explore an additional subject at no extra cost to their Matric subject selection. They could see which subjects they were best suited to and which they enjoyed, before having to commit to three subjects for their Matric final exams. When we offered this choice to boys in Grade 9 it was always with the proviso that we could not guarantee that it would be available right through to Matric. Sadly, we now need to withdraw this option.
Boys have been asked to make a new subject choice by selecting only three subjects as their elective subjects, and to complete this choice before the end of September. There is a form on Moodle under the GRADE 10 page for them to do this. For many boys it will simply mean deciding which of their four subjects to drop. For those who were only doing three subjects there should be no change, but they still need to complete the form on Moodle.
Once we have been able to analyse the numbers in each subject tie, we will contact parents to confirm that either the subject choice has been successful or not, due to the following reasons:
- Too few boys have opted to take a particular subject (fewer than 15)
- Too many boys have taken a subject (e.g. more than 30 opting for IT, etc.)
Please note that the dropping of a fourth subject in no ways disadvantages them for Matric – all students in the country have to offer three elective subjects, and we are simply reverting to this practice. The fourth (extra) subject was an additional one that must be seen as an exploratory subject to help boys make their final decision on the road to Matric.
For those boys who do Music as a subject, it may be possible to do Music as a fourth (extra) subject outside of the timetable, but special arrangement will need to made with the music department for this. If it is possible, then the boy for whom permission is granted to do so, will miss some academic time in his other subjects in order to do Music.