Half Term Weekends
There have traditionally been two or three lessons on the Thursday morning of half term but as a result of an ever increasing number of boys requesting to leave early to enable them to catch flights, these lessons have gradually been eroded over time.
Therefore, lessons on Thursday morning have been taken out of the timetable and half term now commences at 07:30 on the Thursday morning, at which time coaches depart for Johannesburg and Durban. Please treat this time as the official start of half term and do not ask for your son to leave earlier unless it is absolutely necessary.
Requests for early departures put the school in a difficult position - we do not want to be unreasonable but equally, we need to be protective of the time needed for the academic, cultural, pastoral, and sporting facets of the Hilton education. We are therefore appealing to parents to be reasonable. If leaving early is a necessity from a logistical perspective, the school will do its best to oblige. Requests born out of convenience will, in most cases, not be accommodated.
- Please direct any requests for early departures to your son's Housemaster. Concessions will be granted under the following circumstances:
- Flights to the airport closest to a boy's home are extremely limited (e.g. once a day, or only alternate days) and returning home for half term would not be viable if the school was not prepared to be flexible.
- A boy's parents are with their son at a school-sanctioned function (e.g. a concert in Pietermaritzburg, or a Parents' Day at Hilton) and it would not be logical or feasible to make two time-consuming trips to pick up their boy. The pre-requisites for this concession would be that it does not compromise a boy's other school commitments on a Wednesday evening, and the boy departs for home after 17h00. Boys cannot get lifts home with another boy's parents in these instances.
The following requests will not be granted:
- Boys wanting to extend their holiday (away from home)
- Boys wanting a lift with a friend's parents who are at the school on Wednesday evening
Should the system be abused, e.g. parents requesting for their sons to leave on Wednesday morning, the school will need to consider going back to the old model and re-instituting Thursday morning classes.
End of term departure times
End of term commences after the chapel service on the last day. Boys need to be in their houses the night before to assist with pack up.
Speech Day is held on the last evening of the term, and parents who attend may take their son home immediately thereafter (no lifts for other boys allowed). Alternatively they may leave the next morning (note the earliest admissible flight times overleaf)
A carol service is held on the last evening of the term, and parents who attend may take their son home immediately thereafter (no lifts for other boys allowed). Alternatively they may leave the next morning (note the earliest admissible flight times overleaf)
Transport arrangements for both half term and end of term
We do not recommend that boys travel to airports in the dark, and we are therefore more likely to decline requests for departures outside of daylight hours. Please do not book flights leaving Pietermaritzburg before 7.30 a.m. or before 8.30 a.m from Durban - unless there are no other flights available on that day.
Hilton College will continue to book taxis and buses for boys to get to and from the airport, but we do require parents to have sent their son's flight numbers and departure times (for return flights) to firstname.lastname@example.org at least five working days in advance of half-term and end of term.
A contact number is now available for emergencies while boys are travelling at the beginning and end of each term and half term. This number: 066 263 6962 will be monitored from the day before travel starts until the day after boys are scheduled to have arrived at their destination.
2021 Term dates
(New boys arrive on Monday 18 January)
Tuesday 19 January to Friday 26 March
Half-term : tbc
(Easter Friday 2 April – Monday 5 April)
Govt dates : 27 January - 31 March
Monday 19 April to Friday 18 June
Half-term : Thursday 20 May – Monday 24 May
Govt dates : 13 April – 25 June
Monday 12 July to Friday 17 September
Half-term : Thursday 12 to Monday 16 August
Govt dates : 13 July – 23 September
Tuesday 28 September to Wednesday 1 December
Half-term : Thursday 28 October to Monday 1 November
Govt dates : 5 October – 8 December
(Starting dates refer to the day on which boys have to be back at school)
NOTE : Due to Covid-19 there is always the possibility of the dates being changed. Should there be changes to dates of the State schools, we reserve the right to reassess our dates.