Leadership Overview

Leadership at DHS

Part of preparing our boys for life, is preparing them for leadership. DHS has a history of producing outstanding leaders in various field including Cabinet Minister Alec Erwin and a former Lord Mayor of London, Sir Gavyn Arthur. DHS is recognised as a top school in the country for producing South Africa’s leaders.

If there is any doubt about the ability of DHS to produce leaders both locally and internationally, a quick glance at the 20 pages on Wikipedia listing prominent DHS Old Boys will silence it. However, at Durban High School we are not satisfied with those 20 pages, we are committed to adding to those pages year by year. In our continued efforts to develop leaders for the 21st Century, we recognize that it will take a combination of valuing tradition and seeking innovation.

At DHS we believe that while it may not be possible to offer every boy a leadership position at the School, we can help every one of them grow in their leadership skills. The leadership programme at DHS therefore consists of a number of different initiatives.

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Leadership Programme

  • School Prefectship
  • RCL (Representative Council of Learners)
  • Blackmore Prefectship
  • House Prefectship
  • Mentorship
  • Co-curricular Captains
  • Class Captains
  • Work Experience in Grade 11
  • Toastmasters in Grade 11
  • Drakensberg Hike in Grade 10
  • Outdoor Camps in Grades 8 & 9
  • Community Service

Some Notable Alumni

Sport: Hashim Amla, Lance Klusener, Barry Richards, Jon Kent, Lee Ervine, BJ Botha, Alistair Hargreaves, Greg Rawlinson, Antonie Claassen, Rory Sabbatini, Mike Cullen, Adrian Hansen, Hank McGregor, Jason Ribbink, David Weare
Politics: Sir Gavyn Arthur, Sir Albert Robinson, Alec Erwin
Academics: Sir Aaron Klug, Professor Phillip Tobias, Dr Ian Robertson, Dr John Bradford, Dr Nicholas Spaull
Nobel Prizes: Sir Aaron Klug, Professor Phillip Tobias (nominated three times)
Business: Stephen Saad, Christopher Seabrooke, Bronek Masojada, Dr Jonathan Beare, Howard Buttery, Pat Goss, Sizwe Nxedlana
Military: Major Edwin Swales (VC, DFC), S/Ldr Geoff Chater (DFC), Lt Guy Brokensha (DFC), Sgt Peter Keogh (MC)
Cultural: Roy Campbell, Fernando Pessoa, Noel Langley, Neil Coppen, Liam Magner (Veranda Panda).

Representative Council of Learners

The Representative Council of Learners is democratically elected by the learners of Durban High School. The formal election process is conducted in a free and fair manner. There are 20 members on the Council who hold various portfolios.

The election process has over the years been taken very seriously by the learners as they vote for responsible and dynamic leaders. The Council meets every Tuesday during 2nd break, unless an urgent need arises. They address various concerns of learners brought to their attention, as well as mapping out the way forward. These concerns are often referred to the various sub-committees to address.

Activities and decisions are made in the best interest of the learners at DHS. The Council members engage in the following activities:

  • Attending and engaging in Youth Forums
  • Attending Governing Body meetings
  • Ratifying exam time-tables and matters pertaining to learners
  • Encouraging learners to achieve academic excellence
  • Acknowledging and appreciating educator and non-educator staff
  • Encouraging appropriate conduct inside and outside the classroom
  • Engaging in charity activities
  • Initiating and setting up the Matric Dance Committee each year
  • Engaging in various activities to maintain DHS tradition
  • Making a positive contribution towards the School’s 150th celebrations in 2016
  • Fundraising and various initiatives to improve DHS infrastructure
  • The Maintenance Committee intends establishing a maintenance board to monitor the progress of infrastructure.

All Council initiatives are intended to make DHS a better place for the learners.

mini-RCL 2018

RCL 2018

Chairman: Ethan Mack
Vice Chairman: Cameron Naidoo
Secretary:  Donovan Adams
Treasurer:  Anas Moola
Leadership:  Rogan Green
Culture:  Jevesh Sooriah, Nhlankanipho Gumede
Sport:  Martin Mugoni
Sport:  Taine Owen
Academics:  Mohammed Shaikjee
Discipline:  Zakariya Adam
PR:  Connor Mack
Staff Liaison:  Matthew Delderfield
Maintenance BE: Lutho Ndamase
Grade 8 Reps:  To be selected
Grade 9 Reps:  Sinazo Situta, Mikael Kruser
Grade 10 Reps:  Grant Khuzwayo, Connor Mack
Grade 11 Reps:  Taine Owen, Mohammed Shaikjee
Grade 12 Reps:  Anas Moola, Martin Mugoni

Mentorship Programme

Grade 11 and 12 boys are given the opportunity to mentor new boys to the school each year. New boys are helped to find their niche in the school through this established mentorship system.

Groups of 2 – 3 Grade 8 boys are assigned to a Grade 11 mentor, and grade 8 and 9 classes are each assigned a Grade 12 Senior Mentor. Many mentors have also been through Peer Advisor Core Training to ensure they are equipped to advise and mentor their peers.

The mentorship system has a number of very palpable benefits. Most importantly, every new boy to the school gets to have a “big brother” at DHS who can help him, guide him, and look out for him at school. This relationship benefits both parties: the junior has someone he can go to for help and advice at any time, and the senior can put into practice the leadership lessons of his past few years.

The boys get together for 20 minutes every Wednesday morning to discuss the current topic in the mentorship syllabus, and to deal with any other issues that come up. DHS shamelessly uses the mentorship syllabus to induct new boys into the ethos of our school. Some topics in the syllabus include: DHS traditions, respect, fairness, honesty and integrity, humility, courage, tolerance, empathy, bullying, peer pressure, goal setting, proper planning, work ethic, good manners and how to prepare for exams properly!

Mentors for 2018 - Copy

Community Service

At Durban High School we pride ourselves on instilling a sense of social and personal responsibility in our boys and this means that community service is an extension of the attitudes and values we want our boys to possess. We want our school to be sensitive toward social, cultural, economic and environmental issues. Striving for social responsibility helps individuals and institutions like Durban High School have a positive impact on development, business and society.

The DHS social responsibility philosophy is underpinned by the understanding that our involvement operates on three distinct levels, all of which need to be present in order to meet the needs of targeted communities as well as providing a broad basis for involvement from the DHS Community.

These levels, broadly speaking are:

  • Hand-Outs: This is where we give resources to needy communities (food, clothing, time, etc).
  • Hand-Ups: This essentially is the sharing of skills and the encouragement to develop them that would leave the targeted community better equipped to face the future as it improves their prospects of success. This includes tutoring programs, IT skills, entrepreneurial opportunities, etc.
  • Partnerships: This approach recognizes that all communities are rich in some resources and may be poor in others. DHS then needs to build relationships with other communities where the key would be to identify the abundance and deficits in each community and seeks to build partnerships that direct the abundance into the areas of deficit of the other. Both communities then become equal contributors and the possibility of a partnership that may lead to power-sharing and increasing understanding then becomes a possibility.

Generally programmes and projects incorporate boys from across grades to allow for a good spread of skill and maturity in order to best meet the needs of the targeted communities. Our approach is aimed at our school not just becoming involved but learning, sharing and building meaningful relationships with organisations. DHS learners are required to complete a stipulated number of community service hours per year (Grade 8 and 9 – 12 hours, Grade 10 and 11 – 24 hours).

A number of projects are identified and community service initiatives run throughout the year where boys can engage. Typical initiatives would include: environmental clean-ups, blood drives, collection of various items in need e.g. food, sporting equipment for the under privileged, academic peer support, visiting and supporting orphanages/old age homes/schools for the disabled, fund raising for NPO’s, and feeding schemes.

At DHS we strive to create an environment where social responsibility skills and opportunities for practice are created to ensure that we produce young men able to successfully navigate the world beyond the school.

“We are not just a school, we are not just learners,
we can make a difference, one community, one South Africa.”

Organisations DHS has supported include:

  • Denis Hurley Centre
  • SANBS
  • Durban Youth Centre
  • Durban Beach Clean-Ups
  • Open Air School
  • Gozololo Children’s Home
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