The School Day
1. School Hours:
08:00 – 15:00. First bell 07:45. Pupils must be in class by 08:00. Lessons should end by 14:45. They may be followed by some optional extra time (OET).
Variations in closing times occur from time to time, for example:
- On Tuesdays, lessons end at 14:05 (to allow time for staff meetings). Extramural activities commence at 15:00 as usual despite the early close.
- On Fridays, the school closes at 14:25 to allow more time for afternoon fixtures.
- During examinations, school usually closes at 13:00 for non-writers and as soon thereafter as possible for writers, unless there is an afternoon examination.
- School usually closes at 11:00 on the last day of term.
2. Telephones, cell phones, privately owned computers and other electronic devices.
Contacting parents: Since calls to cell phones are expensive, parents will only be contacted this way in an emergency. Please assist communications by providing land-line numbers wherever possible. Extensive use is also made of SMSs, the D6 School Communicator and Facebook. Please see point number 9 below.
Pupil’s phones & gadgets: Please note that the use of electronic devices is permitted only at break times, before and after school. These devices must be off and out of sight at all other times.
Pupils who ignore this regulation will have their device confiscated for a week. They may contribute R60 to the school’s charities to get their property back sooner. For repeat offences, the penalty will be increased to R100. However, where a pupil is in any way defiant, rude or aggressive during the confiscation of his/her phone, the pupil will forfeit the right to buy back their phone earlier.
Smart phones are very useful tools. However, they do open the way to temptations and unkindness such as cyber bullying. Cameras can be a real problem. They may result in the invasion of privacy and ultimately to legal action. In addition they also seem to encourage unscrupulous pupils to incite playground fights. Please ensure that your child is aware of the responsibility a smart phone represents and that serious consequences may flow from its misuse.
The school is attempting to allow pupils to benefit from the advantages of laptops and tablets while avoiding problems that might arise from the abuse of these devices. At present, pupils who would like to use a personal computer at school must have the written permission of each of his/her teachers. Application forms are available, on motivation, from the office.
3. Public Transport
The school is a 20-minute walk from Fish Hoek Station. Buses run from the surrounding areas before and after school. There is a cycle track from Sun Valley to the high school.
4. Absence From School
The only reasons accepted for absence from school are family emergencies or for medical reasons. After an absence, a letter signed by the parent/guardian explaining the child’s absence, must be produced on the day the pupil returns to school. The letter must include, in print, your child’s full name, class and dates absent.
After an absence of three days or more, a medical certificate must be produced. Under the current assessment policies, all marks are taken into account for term marks and hence promotion at the end of the year. A medical certificate is required if a pupil is absent for any test, examination or activity for which marks are assigned. If, during the year, a pupil is away for a total of 10 non-consecutive days, then for each further day’s absence a medical certificate may be required. If a child is absent for 50 or more school days he or she may be removed from the school’s roll or barred from writing exams.
A pupil’s record of attendance and punctuality record may be reflected in reports and on the testimonial that the principal may issue to school leavers.
Pupils who arrive at school after 08:00 must report to the foyer of Hepworth Hall to be issued with a “late slip” by the members of the Forum. Pupils who arrive after the end of register must report to the secretaries office to get their “late slips”. If pupils are late, they must hand in a note explaining the late-coming from a parent/guardian to the staff member on duty in the late-comers entrance/secretary’s office, or they will have to stay in after school for 20 minutes on that day.
Please note that repeated late-coming (five times in a year) will lead to the matter being raised with parents and/or a detention. Pupils who have been late 10 or more times risk spending each subsequent late day under the direct supervision of a senior member of staff rather than in class.
6. Medical and Dental Appointments
These should be made, as far as possible, after school hours, including extramural activities. Where an appointment can only be made during school hours, please notify your child’s teachers in advance.
Where a pupil suffers from a permanent or recurring illness, the school must be informed so that staff may be forewarned. It is also imperative that the school has your family doctor’s name and telephone number.
Please note that the school may not supply any medication other than plasters. In the event of an emergency, the school is able to call on the services of the Cape Medical Response, thanks to the generosity of Mr Ron von Til of Central Mica Hardware.
8. Change of Address
Please inform the school in writing immediately of any changes of addresses (physical, postal & email) and telephone numbers (home, work and cell).
As far as is possible, communication is done electronically. Three methods are available, namely D6 School Communicator, email and SMS.
D6 School Communicator is a website on which a variety of resources is published, such as daily notices and newsletters. A very useful feature of D6 is the alert function. An alert allows the school to draw attention to notices of last-minute arrangements that have had to be made (e.g. postponement of matches). Every family is encouraged to download the software and register their details. The system may be downloaded onto as many computers as required, including smart phones. Please see page 1 for the URL.
Please ensure that the school has the correct email addresses for your family.
SMSs are used too, but sparingly, since they are the most expensive form of the electronic communications, after cell phones.
In addition to the principal’s newsletters and notices of important events, such as board elections, there are regular notices of tests, assignments, examinations, reports and parents’ evenings.
Parents are also encouraged to consult the website and Facebook pages referred to on page 1.
Homework, “prep” and daily review
The following hours of study at home are recommended:
- 1½ hours per day for Grades 8 and 9.
- 2 hours per day for Grade 10 increasing to 3 hours for the matrics.
This time should be spent not only completing specific homework set but also on revision, consolidation and preparation. Pupils should plan their afternoon activities and recreation. All pupils should possess a homework diary in which all homework should be recorded. Parents are asked to encourage regular study habits and review of work done each day.
Sidelining (removal from the lesson) is used where pupils fail to respond to warnings or disciplinary interventions and particularly when the pupil is disrupting the class and thus infringing on the rights of others to learn. Parents are informed of each instance and pupils are given detention.
Academic and behavioural detention classes are held on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday afternoons.
Deliberate absence from detention will lead to the rapid escalation of the punishment. The first time a pupil defaults on a detention, the time will be doubled. Any subsequent default will lead to a Saturday detention. Thereafter the pupil will face a disciplinary hearing.
Detention must be done on the day of the offence or the following school day. Relaxation of this requirement may only be negotiated with the grade head. Very little latitude will be given to pupils who accumulate a number of detentions.
From time to time it is necessary to hold a Saturday detention class, usually between 14:00 and 16:00. Parents will be informed in advance if a pupil is required to attend one of these classes, the most severe of the routine sanctions used by the school. Absence from Saturday detention will be viewed very seriously indeed.
Pupils who qualify for two Saturday detentions may be referred to an internal disciplinary interview. If there is no improvement, a disciplinary hearing of the board of governors will be called.
12. Books & Cases
The WCED will provide most (but not all) textbooks. Unfortunately exercise books and stationery are not provided by the school. As a service, however, orders for exercise books are processed by the school, but the school does not run a bookroom.
A sturdy school case or briefcase should be used to carry books. Cases or haversacks may not display graffiti.
The school cannot be held responsible for any valuables lost and parents are advised to discourage their children from bringing such items to school. Uniform items and other possessions should be clearly marked with the family name.
The board of governors has invested in lockers that may be leased. Pupils are informed of details such as contracts, deposit, rental and spare keys at the start of each year. The deposit is refunded when the locker has been cleared by the pupil at the end of the year.
15. Physical Education
Physical education classes are a compulsory part of life orientation. The intention is to encourage physical well-being. Please ensure that your child has the appropriate clothing. See the uniform regulations.
16. Tuck Shop
The tuck shops are an important service. Parents are asked to volunteer to assist us to keep the hatches open.
17. Uniform shop
There is no uniform exchange at the moment. New uniform items may be bought from the shop at the school. The shop is open weekdays from 13:30 to 16:00, with extended hours at the beginning of the year, or as notified.
18. Religious Policy and Devotions
The high school upholds a Christian ethos, reflecting the dominant religion of the community of Fish Hoek. In all interactions, the school encourages tolerance and respect for all religious beliefs.
Devotions at assemblies are usually from a non-denominational Christian perspective. Staff and students of all religious backgrounds are encouraged to take a turn to lead devotions. Parents may request in writing that their children be excused from devotions on grounds of conscience.
19. Motorcycles and Cars
Parents who permit their children to drive themselves to school should inform the principal of their decision by means of a letter which should include details such as the make, colour and registration number of the vehicle to be used. The pupil will be issued with a suitable sticker to be displayed on the vehicle.
Permission is granted on condition that the rules of the road are obeyed at all times. If reports are received regarding reckless or illegal driving, permission may be withdrawn.
20. The Right to Search
In terms of the Regulations for Safety at Schools of the SA Schools Act 1996, any person who enters the school’s property may be subjected to a search.
Unfortunately, from time to time, pupils have to move on. Please note, that with the exception of the Grade 12s, a simple form must be completed when a pupil is withdrawn from the school. The form is necessary in order to inform the bursar of the withdrawal and to ensure that textbooks and equipment which are on loan are returned and other outstanding matters are resolved. The form must be signed by the parent or guardian as well as several members of staff.