DSG is the only independent girls’ school in South Africa where boarding is offered full time. Everyone who boards at DSG enjoys the same experience and the opportunity to participate fully in school and house life throughout the school year. It is essential therefore that the boarding facilities we provide enhance this experience and provide for the girls’ needs in terms of accommodation, privacy, study space, safety and adult supervision. We constituted a dedicated Boarding House User Group to develop the standards DSG is committed to matching in all these areas, and the document they produced is the DSG Boarding Promise. It has been adopted by Council and represents the commitment we make to all girls and parents for the quality of life we offer in the boarding houses.
Delivering the Boarding Promise to all
The next step was an audit of all existing facilities. Not surprisingly in a school with boarding spaces that in some cases have been in use for more than 100 years, there are areas where the Boarding Promise cannot immediately be realised. These have all been mapped and comprehensive plans developed to upgrade Merriman, Crewe and Espin to match the Boarding Promise. This is an ambitious commitment but one we are determined, with your help, to realise in time.
As many of you will know, upgrade work has been ongoing in the boarding houses for many years. What has had to be a piecemeal approach is now being replaced by a systematic plan to improve facilities across the board. The first step towards full realisation of the Boarding Promise was the creation of a fourth boarding house in 2014. Knowling House, the extra boarding house has helped relieve some of the pressure of growth in existing houses, while enhancing inter-house dynamics and opportunities for girls to participate in representative events with their peers.
The final phase of renovations
We are pleased to announce that the building of Knowling House is complete, the renovations to Espin, Merriman and Crewe are complete, and building works on the Espin Annex have in February 2018. We hope to complete the work by the end of 2018 provided everything goes according to plan.