Parents’ Association

OVERVIEW

The P.A. is a sub-committee of the Governing Body and is dedicated to promoting and maintaining a warm, enthusiastic and compassionate family spirit among K.E.P.S parents, staff and learners.

Our Mission is to actively engage with parents and staff in the arranging of fun and fund raising events and activities that enhances school facilities and broadens the educational experience for all boys.

Our aim, as the P.A., is to create an environment for you and your boys where you can enjoy being a part of the K.E.P.S family and your boys get the most value out of their Prep school experience.  Every parent and teacher has automatic membership of this association and by the simple act of supporting our fundraisers and attending our events, you form an integral part of our K.E.P.S community.


2020 NEWS

Let’s be honest – 2020 has been a year like no other, and never before has our motto “Strenue” been more appropriate. In years gone by, the Parents’ Association has been instrumental in helping parents and learners be stewards of the heritage of King Edward VII Preparatory School, adding to a legacy to hand on to the next generation by supporting various charities – both at home and abroad, arranging and running various functions like Carnivals, Soap Box Derbies, Valentine’s Days and Carols By Candlelight. All of these wonderful events have raised the esprit de corps and some funds for the betterment of the school at large and the boys in particular.

So as 2020 began, there were some storm clouds on the horizon, and for the first part of the year – all was normal… Grade Tours, Valentine’s Day market, etc. Planning was in full swing for a generous year of fun and fundraising activities – mixed in with a healthy dose of support for those less fortunate than ourselves. A new outdoor chess set was donated by the “Old Boys” Steve & Nick Burke. Part of the funds raised through 2019 PA functions was used to purchase two new weatherproof notice boards for the sports quad. In February, the PA assisted in the annual Shavethon, where boys, teachers and parents either shave or spray their hair as a sign of support for those that have been struggling with cancer. As a school we are very proud to have raised a handsome R30 000 which was donated to CANSA. Amongst all the noise, laughter and some dares, the chairperson on the PA (Yours Truly) dutifully continued the tradition of shaving the headmaster’s head – this time with a little nuance of spray painting a green Mohican. This, Mr Shead wore proudly to an educator’s district meeting where it was learned that quite a few schools in our district where not aware of the fundraising initiative and will join in the fun and fundraising next year. So, here’s hoping K.E.P.S. will lead the way again in supporting this worthy charity. A small mountain of gently used clothing and blankets were collected for the Yeoville Soup Kitchen in early March. Again, the K.E.P.S. community came out in support for the Winter collection. To all who gave so generously, many thanks.
The whole PA then put their collective shoulder to the wheel in support of the annual K.E.P.S. Water Polo Festival – arranging for hundreds of t-shirts, caps, water bottles, sunscreen and sweets to fill goodie bags. The Festival was held at Old Ed’s swimming pool (while we wait for our aquatic centre to be completed) in association with Arnold Chatz Cars and DHL. The fun, laughter and friendly competitiveness was a sight to behold. Teams came from all over the countryside and made a spectacular event a joy to host. Besides the fun in the pool, there was also the outside the arena competition to “Pack ’n Panda” where the teams, team managers and, if possible, siblings and mascots could squash into a Fiat Panda 4×4… K.E.P.S. took that “trophy” with 21 bodies crammed inside the vehicle! Unfortunately, the world caught up with us on that weekend as news of the spike in coronavirus cases worldwide had reached our shores. A new vocabulary entered our world – COVID-19, Sanitize, Quarantine, Lockdown and possibly the worst, social distancing…
Within weeks, everyone was fluent in Zoom and Microsoft Teams jargon, downloading class content on WeTransfer and D6. During these last few months, the lockdown and the virus has caused untold pain and suffering, both from the health aspect and also from the impact on earnings and livelihood. It has been during this time that I can honestly say I have never seen our little community stronger. As some of us have lost friends and loved ones to the disease, some have lost jobs and have struggled to make ends meet. The boys, parents and teachers have all stepped up and come to each other’s aid like never before. It was such a joy to watch boys being recorded sitting in their living room or bedroom in full uniform waiting for the content to be downloaded by our exemplary teachers, and then to watch the boys take this new challenge in their stride and continue their studies. It was also quite interesting to be challenged by the sports department to exercise along with them on video – something I never thought possible… although I am glad we didn’t revert to the 80’s TV aerobics clothing… The glue that kept our great school together was our wonderful teachers and support staff that continued teaching in the new “weird-new” way and kept a tender ear available to those that were struggling just a little bit. Our teachers were in turn supported by an amazing team of class moms who would religiously distribute class work, news and advice to try and make it simpler for everyone. So, while we were not able to start nor achieve many of our FUN-raising goals in 2020, we continue to be committed to supporting our school family wherever possible and look forward to a time in the near future where we can join together again and continue building the legacy that is King Edward VII Preparatory School face to face, hand in hand.

I would also like to take this opportunity to bid Mrs Viljoen, and later in the year, Mr Shead a fond farewell and we wish you the very best for your next steps. K.E.P.S. is all the greater for having you as its leaders and you will not be forgotten. To the Parents’ Association Executive Committee of 2020 – Sindzisa, Nadia, Lorella, Leanne, Betina, Bronwyn, Samantha, Prishal, Craig, Nhlanhla and Shehzaad – a huge thank you for all your efforts and support. And to all the other moms and dads that joined in where they could to make a success of the functions, fund raising initiatives and FUN-raising events we had, we appreciate you!

In closing, King Edward VII Preparatory school is one of the coolest schools in Johannesburg (ok – probably the country)! We are a boys’ School that offers a top-quality academic education, dedicated staff, traditional values and innovative ideas. Our school is known for developing well-rounded boys with a caring spirit, an excellent work ethic and with gentlemanly traits. Our sporting curriculum is like no other with K.E.P.S. being the foundation for numerous athletes, businessmen, and innovative thinkers. We are all about helping our boys to succeed in life and to give back to the community we come from. We have numerous community outreach programmes and encourage all of our boys to give and be part of those initiatives. “Kindness to one another” is one of the main themes at our school and we actively worked against bullying throughout the year. We take a proud stand against GBV and any other form of violence and bigotry. We have events and programmes around these concepts each year and have worked this into our curriculum to ensure that our boys are the coolest kids in town. To help with these concepts, the K.E.P.S. Teddy Bear picked up a Pro-Women Anti GBV sign and is now emblazoned on the official red buffs that can be worn at school in solidarity with women’s month. These facets of our school will not change and we as a PA Committee, together with the parent body, will continue to assist the school in achieving all these goals in years to come – to take our school and its legacy from good to great!

Strenue!

Gary Davies
2020 PA Chairperson


SPECIAL PROJECTS

READING PARENTS

This is a group of parents set up a few years ago to assist with the improving reading skills in the lower grades, and to assist teachers in listening to the children reading on an individual basis, so that each child has an opportunity to read out loud and have their reading skills assessed. There are currently approximately 15 parents, both mothers and fathers, who offer an hour of their week from 8-9am, to assist in this way.

Should you wish to join, please talk to Mrs Carrie Viljoen, or email her at cviljoen@keps.co.za

THE EARLY BIRD BREAKFAST CLUB

The Early Bird Club provides a nutritious breakfast to any child arriving at school before 07:00, who has been unable for any reason to have breakfast. The donation of Jungle Oats, Cereal, Milo and Long Life Milk is always appreciated. Should you wish to assist with the Club in any way, please contact Mrs Debbie Dart.

FEED-A-FRIEND

Feed-a-Friend is a Foundation Phase initiative, in which K.E.P.S has partnered with Yeoville Primary to provide the scholars of Yeoville Primary with a nutritious lunch every Wednesday during term time. Grade 1,2 and 3 pupils are encouraged to bring a double lunch on Wednesday. The extra lunches are delivered to Yeoville during the course of the morning.


K.E.P.S. SECONDHAND SHOP

The K.E.P.S. Secondhand Shop operates on a volunteer basis.

Trading hours are:

Monday: 06:45– 07:45 and 14:15– 15:00

Tuesday: 06:45– 07:45 and 14:15– 15:00

Wednesday: 06:45– 07:45 and 14:15– 15:00

Thursday: 06:45– 07:45 and 14:15– 15:00

Friday: 06:45– 07:45

The School Shop is coordinated by Mrs Lee Villavicencio. Should you wish to volunteer your services, please contact Lee on lgs@hotmail.co.za or 063 296 2948.


P.A. COMMITTEE

If you are considering being even more involved in the school, there are a number of ways to do so.  We have the following sub-committees within the P.A. and we invite you to please feel free to contact the person listed within the area you feel you can best contribute to. After all, many hands make light work!

Chairperson- Gary Davies
Vice Chair- Sindzisa Mbhalati
Secretary- Leanne Berry
Senior Class Convenor- Lorella Venceslau
Junior Class Convenor- Betina Fleming
Mothers’Committee- Leizl Eykelhof
Events Coordinator- Bronwyn Nienaber
Charities- Nadia Bhabha
Communication- Samantha Daines
Dads’ Club- Craig Tuck
Sponsorship- Gary Davies
Gary.Davies@sableinternational.com
nomaswati@hotmail.com
lhberry13@gmail.com
lella@flavio.co.za
betina.fleming@wits.ac.za
aqualeiz@gmail.com
bronwyn.nienaber@yahoo.com
nadia_bhabha@yahoo.com
sam.daines@gmail.com
craig.tuck@liberty.co.za
Gary.Davies@sableinternational.com