As our Matrics approach their very important Trial Exams, the focus for assembly on Monday was: What is required to be successful at tertiary level?

Recent student research by Cheryl Foxcroft Dean: Teaching and Learning at NMMU, reveals interesting and relevant data, some of which is alarming to say the least:

For example:

  • National dropout in 1st year of university sits at 29% (internationally at between 10 & 15%)
  • Recent success rates were 78% overall (best faculty was Education with 94%)
  • Only 50% of students passed a degree after 5 years and only 32% a diploma after the same period
  • A significant number of students change their courses 2 or 3 times

Ideally students should be well rounded and responsible i.e. HOLISTICALLY developed

Factors that impact on success:
1. Inadequate preparation
2. Lack of education
3. Lack of motivation
4. Lack of commitment
5. Finances
6. Curriculum issues
7. ICT and student support
8. Institution fit
9. Social Environment

Research conducted with students themselves on what were the barriers to success:
1. Failed a module 77%
2. Didn't ask questions 75%
3. Poor Time Management 72%
4. Don't stick to a study plan 70%
5. Don't read ahead 70%
6. Exam anxiety 69%
7. No study Groups 69%

Most students did not enjoy double lecture periods and felt that a 45 min period was more than long enough
There was a need to develop HABITS OF LEARNING

There needs to be a balance between challenge and support:
1. Scaffold their learning process
2. Need for appreciation
3. Need for attention ( feeling that one is noticed)
4. Need for importance ( you are cared about)
5. Need for dependence ( feeling of being needed by others)
6. Need for ego-extension ( feeling that someone else feels proud of one's success)
7. Most importantly there is a need for a SENSE OF BELONGING

Students will succeed in settings that:
1. Are committed to their success
2. Hold high expectations
3. Provide much needed academic and social support
4. Provide frequent feedback
5. Actively involve them in the learning process ( collaborative learning)

There is a significant jump from high school to university and an adjustment is required and therefore they require assistance in the transition. 

Developmental needs of first time entering students :
1. Language support and development 24%
2. Numeracy development 42% ( Maths )
3. Academic success strategies (time management , note taking) 43%
4. Supplementary instruction (tutors) 35%

What is required to be successful at tertiary level:
1. Need for informed study choices
2. Academic ability ( good writing skills, understanding, reading comprehension, numeracy skills )
3. Admission selection criteria ; school background and level of preparation ; key subjects done at school
4. Attended orientation
5. No financial worries (bursaries )
6. Support of family and friends
7. Suitable accommodation

What do the students themselves say what needs to be done for success:
1. Mind-set change ( need to work independently)
2. Need to be positive , passionate, goal orientated
3. Need for time management
4. Lecture attendance ( form study groups as well at school)
5. Work consistently
6. Take responsibility for their studies
7. Prepare for lectures and do what is expected
8. Consult lecturers
9. Understand that knowledge builds year on year
10. Need all the tools e.g. textbooks , stationery, study guides
11. Academic honesty

LIFELONG + LIFEWIDE LEARNING = HOLISTIC (recommend that students do co-curricular activities as well to ensure this)

" It is what we make out of what we have, not what we are given that separates one person from another." Nelson Mandela

The F6 start their very important Trial Exams in earnest now. It is important that they are also focussed on their internal test process and strive to do their best.

I wish oour matric boys every success.


Chris Luman


Dear Parents,

The past few weeks have been a tough time for College not only because of the boys writing exams, but also due to considerable negative and factually incorrect publicity in various forms of media. These have been reported to the press Ombudsman and we await their findings. I wish to assure the College community that we have at all times complied with our own Code of Conduct and the South African Schools’ Education Act of 1996 when dealing with disciplinary matters. This has been confirmed by our legal advisors, and the Chairman of the Governing Body published a letter to Parents on the 20th June which clearly detailed the Governing Body’s perspective on the matter.

It has been disappointing that a small element of our Old Boys have continued to malign the school in the media without of course knowing the full details. College as a school is fully representative of a number of cultures, races and boys with various religious beliefs, and we continue to celebrate the differences in a number of forums. Furthermore, we continue to be leaders in numerous areas of transformation, our mentor programme and the establishment of a social awareness forum are examples of this. Our prefects also initiated a forum for prefects and leaders from a number of other schools to meet where they discussed issues of social awareness and will champion a follow up meeting at the end of June. What is unfortunate is that the school is not at liberty to discuss the actual facts in the media i.e. to defend itself. If you have any concerns whatsoever, I urge you to consult myself or any member of the school’s executive.

Term Three – Monday 24 July to Friday 29 September 2017
Please take note of the following important information/dates concerning Term Three 2017.

  •  Friday 28 July: Boys leave for the Interschool Exchange against Affies
  •  Saturday 29 July: Interschool Exchange vs. Affies [A]
  •  Saturday 5 August: Interschool Exchange vs. PBHS [H]
  •  Thursday 10 August: College Careers Focus 2017
  •  Saturday 12 August: Interschool Exchange vs. KES [H] compulsory attendance
  •  Friday 18 August: School Holiday – Staff Professional Development and Leavers’ Dinner and Dance
  •  Saturday 26 August: Skonk Nicholson 7s Rugby Tournament, 5s Hockey Tournament and College Family Day
  •  Monday 25 September is a School Holiday due to the Heritage Day Public Holiday on Sunday 24 September
  •  Thursday 28 September: Sport and Cultural Awards Ceremony
  •  Friday 29 September – Special Routine with school closing at 12:00 for the end of Term 3.

June School Reports
The June Exam results will be available by end of term and reports will be emailed to you early next term. Hard copies will also be given to the boys. Parents are advised to ensure that the school has their latest correct email address as reports are going to be emailed in the future.

Parents’ Evenings [Alan Paton Memorial Hall from 17:15]
Parents are asked to take note of the following:

  •  Tuesday 01 August: Form 6
  •  Tuesday 08 August - Form 5
  •  Tuesday 15 August - Form 4
  •  The Form 3 Subject Choice Meeting for parents and boys will be held in the Alan Paton Hall on Monday 07 August at 17:30.
  •  College Careers Focus 2017 - Directing the unique potential of our boys [Alan Paton Memorial Hall] Thursday 10 August from 16:30

At Maritzburg College, we believe firmly in preparing our boys for life and part of our strategic plan involves striving to improve the work ethic of our boys. We already have a very successful career guidance programme in place in our Pupil Development Centre and Life Orientation departments, but we are seeking to enhance this further. We believe that when young people focus on their future, there is an improved level of motivation and work ethic at school.

In conjunction with the Subject Heads and the Maritzburg College Club, we are excited to launch the College Career Focus 2017. We have identified a number of individuals who we believe would make a valuable contribution to our programme and who are in careers that would interest our boys. These individuals cover a very wide range of careers from the traditional to the more unusual. To this end, we would be delighted if you and your sons would join us at this inaugural event. The event is scheduled to take place on Thursday 10 August 2017 from 17:00 in the Alan Paton Memorial Hall.

There will be compulsory attendance for all Form 5 pupils, but all boys from Form 3-6 are welcome to attend. We look forward to hosting you, our parents and boys at this event, which we are confident, will be valuable in assisting to direct the potential of our boys.

Form 6 Art Exhibition
The Form 6 Art Exhibition will open in the Victoria Hall on Wednesday 23 August at 18:00.We would like to invite all Matric art boys and their parents to attend this momentous event. The exhibition will be open to the public from Thursday 24 August until Sunday 27 August and we encourage all to come and enjoy what promises to be a collection of exciting, risky and thought-provoking artworks that may disturb or delight but certainly not leave you unmoved.

Third Term Free Weekends, Staff Professional Development and Leavers’ Dinner Dance
College will close at 14:40 on Thursday 17 August for the Free Weekend. Boys will return to school on Monday 21 August.
Friday 18 August will be a school holiday and dedicated to Staff Professional Development.
The Leavers’ Dinner and Dance is scheduled to be held in the Alan Paton Memorial Hall from 18:00 on Friday 18 August.

Trial Examinations
The 6th Form Trial Exams run from Wednesday 06 September until Friday 22 September. During that time the 6th Form dayboys will be required at school only when they write an exam, for sport practices and matches. 6th Form boarders have their normal routine.

Sport Exchanges
I again request parents to be generous in their offers of hosting Pretoria Boys’ High on Friday 04 August and KES on Friday 11 August. The success of these exchanges depends largely on the kindness of the home school community and I ask you to help us again in this regard. It is also essential that boys continue to meet their winter sporting commitments until the end of the season.

Please note that we will be travelling to Affies on Friday 28 July for the fixtures to be played on Saturday 29 July.
We welcome the support of as many members of our community as possible.

Tours, Leadership Camps and Hikes

  • The following are taking place at the end of the term:
  •  Form 5 Prefect Identification Camp: takes place from Thursday 17 to Saturday 19 August.
  •  Form 5 Economics Tour: takes place from Sunday 24 September to Wednesday 27 September.
  •  Form 4 Cobbam Berg Hike: Two groups of boys will be involved from Sunday 24 September to Thursday 28 September.
  •  Form 3 Leadership Hike in Umkomaas Valley: Two groups of boys will be involved from Sunday 24 September to Thursday 28 September.

These Leadership Camps will be supervised by our staff and professional instructors.

Passive Fundraising for College
As most of you are aware, College is part of the Makro and MySchool rebate/support programmes. These programmes provide a regular income for facility and ground development/upkeep around the campus. Application Forms for the Makro Rebate Programme are included with this circular. Regarding MySchool, if you have not already joined their supporter programme please contact the school and we will provide you with an application Form.

School Fees
I again appeal to all parents to pay the school fee to enable us to continue to provide an uncompromised educational service to your sons. Please make paying school fees a priority.
I wish you and your boys a restful and enjoyable July holiday, and all our boys who are at provincial tournaments every success.

CJ Luman

Sunday is Father’s Day and time to acknowledge the role that fathers play in our boys’ lives.

Our family is spread far and wide with a daughter and two grandchildren in Pretoria; a son in the UK; a son in Melbourne and a son plus two grandchildren in New Zealand. Keeping in touch is essential and fortunately with today’s technology we can do so easily be it through viber/whatsapp/facetime etc. We are truly blessed with the children and grandchildren that we have in our lives.

College plays a key role in educating boys and we are aware of the significant role that men play as role models in the lives of our boys at Maritzburg College.
Author of ‘He’ll be ok: Growing gorgeous boys into good men’, social commentator and co-ordinator of the well-known ‘Good Man Project’ Celia Lashlie says, “If adolescent boys could tell their mothers one thing, what would it be? Chill out and stop asking so many questions”.

Boys want their mothers to understand they know she’s there, that they know she cares and that they will talk to her if something big happens in their lives, but they also need some space from her on their journey to manhood.

That’s not to say our young men should be left to their own devices. Quite the contrary, says Ms Lashlie. What they do need is a lot less mollycoddling from mum and significantly more time spent with the good men in their lives. A former prison guard in male prisons, Celia is no stranger to the devastating consequences facing too many young men, for whom prison is a rite of passage, a place where they go to prove they are men.

The validity of being male appears to have been undermined. This is seen in male suicide rates, imprisonment rates and the road toll. “A theme that emerged very quickly during my visits to the schools was that a great many mothers are over-involved in their sons’ lives, while many students said they lack a real relationship with their father. We witnessed the importance of mothers stepping back and fathers becoming more involved at this critical stage in their sons’ development.”

She says mothers should never interfere in the relationship a boy has with his father, no matter what she thinks of him. “Regardless of who their dad is, there is a tremendous urge in boys to want to know him, no matter how bad the news is”. The mother has to take a deep breath, step back and let them have that relationship. “If a boy doesn’t find out who dad is at age 15, warts and all, he will still be looking at 55, with a string of broken relationships behind him.”

What is the reality these days? There is no question that fathers do play an important part in their children's lives; that the majority of studies affirm that an involved father can play a crucial role particularly in the cognitive, behavioural and general health and well-being areas of a child's life; that having a positive male role model helps an adolescent boy develop positive gender-role characteristics; that adolescent girls are more likely to form positive opinions of men and are better able to relate to them when fathered by an involved father; that it is generally accepted, under most circumstances, a father's presence and involvement can be as crucial to a child's healthy development as is the mother's; and that experiencing validation of their importance in the general parenting literature has made fathers much more conscious of their value and, in turn, leads to their greater desire to be involved.

But there is still a wide gap between research results and the true acceptance of the value of fathers, with many fathers expressing the feeling that they continue to be second-class citizens in the world of their children. Books, magazines and morning television shows are filled with information about and for mothers and mothering. How many comparable ones have you seen about fathers? It's only recently that domestic courts, recognizing the research on parenting and fathers, have moved to greater equal child custody decrees.

Fathers who want to become more actively involved in their children's lives often hit barriers from employers, the media and even their wives who may feel threatened by a child calling for "daddy" instead of "mommy". “

At College we also deal with families with issues relating to the absent father, the alienated father and the divorced father.
There is no doubt as far as our boys are concerned that the role of their father is significant.

I wish to thank all the fathers out there for making a difference in their son’s lives on a daily basis and to those who are not fathers, but significant male role models such as male teachers, coaches, step-fathers and guardians.
Research also indicates that boys want you to be the hero in their lives even if you aren’t and also to have a sense of humour – to laugh more often. Please try and do so.

Your sons/boys do appreciate what you do for them even if they don’t always show it.
For the sons out there – if you haven’t thanked your dad for what he does for you, please do.

I would strongly recommend that all parents watch the following video on Youtube where Celia is interviewed on TV about her book “He’ll be ok” and her “Good Man Project”.

Enjoy Father’s Day on Sunday and please ensure that you spend time together if not on Sunday during the July holidays.


Chris Luman


Our assembly this week was dedicated to the amazing moms of our College boys and as an appreciation of what they do for their sons on a daily basis – often going by unnoticed and unappreciated.

The following was shared with the boys:

What Mothers want from their sons:
• For you to be truly happy and safe
• For you to have close, decent friends and to treasure friendship
• For you to be proud of yourself and to build esteem in others
• For you to have a zest for life and an enthusiasm for ensuring that you extricate the marrow from the bone of life
• For you to offer deeper answers than 'Ok' & 'fine' to questions and to have a good conversation
• For you to write your own words on the ‘Mother's Day Card’
• To give your mom a heartfelt hug to show that you love her
• To spend quality time with her
• To show her genuine attention
• To do random acts of kindness RAK eg make her a cup of tea, coffee, pick a rose from the garden…

Your task for this Mother’s day on Sunday is to make sure you show your mom how much you love her and do something for her unsolicited.
The following video clip epitomises how amazing moms are in general:

Thank you to our College moms from the College staff and boys. Thank you for the vital role you play in your sons lives. It is sincerely appreciated.
We wish you an amazing Mother’s Day with your sons.

Mr Chris Luman