Rector’s eNews – 31 May 2023/ Newsletters
It has been a busy time for our boys balancing travelling up to Pretoria Boys’ High School for our cultural and sporting engagement and working towards their exams but, in general, they have found the challenge rewarding. For some of the 580 boys who made the journey up to Pretoria, this was the first time that they had experienced a “tour” and this added, therefore, much to their overall Michaelhouse experience.
Pretoria Boys’ High School hosted us with great decorum at their beautiful school and the experience of playing keenly contested matches against a much larger school was a happy one. A huge thank you goes to those of our parents who hosted our boys in Gauteng and fetched and carried them to their matches at a range of different times – some of which they would not have chosen. Our boys gave of their best in all the matches we played and, overall, we acquitted ourselves well.
It was also a pleasure for some of our senior staff to meet with 104 Johannesburg parents who came to the Bryanston Country Club last Thursday evening prior to the weekend’s fixtures. The main purpose of this was for current parents to get to know each other better and to overcome any barriers which may have been created by boys coming from different feeder schools and/or belonging to different Houses here. Many parents have commented appreciatively in connection with this evening and also in relation to the fixture between Michaelhouse and Pretoria Boys’ High School.
The focus has shifted, partially or in some cases more than partially, to the exams which start for some of our senior boys today. Exams are an important yardstick to measure the progress of the boys at this stage of the year and to assess their academic strength when the work of several months is taken into account. Exams should reflect the work that the boys have steadily put into each of their subjects throughout the past five months and how they have assimilated this material and established links between different sections of work. These exams, in particular, enable corrective action to be taken in the latter part of the year if it is clear that the expectations of both the boys and teachers is not a reflection of their ability.
Our Deputy Rector: Academic, Mrs Win de Wet, spoke on Monday in assembly of the importance of academic integrity and the consequences of not upholding such integrity: the creditability of the academic achievements of all of the boys depends upon the maintenance of that integrity and violations of it are taken seriously and result in disciplinary action which will include getting zero for an assessment, an academic disciplinary meeting, recording the incident on the files of boys and an academic sanction letter to boys and their parents. A second incident of cheating would result in a disciplinary hearing which could result in expulsion from the school. The boys are aware of the Academic Integrity Policy which has been posted within the school and is available on the intranet and boys are to be reminded of this as a part of their tutor group meetings. I attach aspects of the Academic Integrity Policy for your perusal.
In any event, intellectual development occurs when boys are challenged to think through problems and grow to understand how to advance from one stage of a problem to the next. To find the solution by “borrowing” it from a friend will leave the brain dormant. In this there is a second reason for the maintenance of academic integrity.