The activities and opportunities presented this past week reflect our strong intent to foster a culture and ethos of life-long learning. As an academic institution, we have had the privilege of immersing our girls, parents and teachers in Book Week, where literature and a love of reading has come alive. Our teachers continually embrace new learning opportunities and have attended and hosted some outstanding conferences and workshops.
My gratitude and thanks goes to our entire community for stepping up. Parents, teachers and girls have collaboratively contributed to the success of all these events. We look forward to the many more ahead of us.
Head: Junior School
We congratulate Christine Botha on achieving her Advanced Diploma in Remedial Education from the University of Johannesburg.
Thursday, 17 May
- 13:15 – JS Neball Matches: Grade 3 & 4 (A-D teams) @ St Mary’s. Grade 5 – 7 (A-D teams) @ St Andrew’s
Friday, 18 May
- 07:30 – PTA Exco
- 07:45 – JP Assembly
- 10:45 – SP Grade 4 & 5 Chapel/Grade 6 & 7 Hymns
- 13:15 – JS Netball Matches: Grade 3 (A-D teams) @ Kingsmead. Grade 4 & 5 (A-D teams) @ Brescia House. Grade 6 & 7 (A-D teams) @ St Peter’s
Saturday, 19 May
- Grade 5 – 7 (A/B) Netball Festival @ Holy Rosary
Conferences for Professional Teacher Development
During the past week, many of us had the privilege of participating in various professional learning opportunities. These conferences and workshops have been inspirational and often incorporate ideas on best practice based on the latest research in the field of education, world-wide.
Thinking Schools South Africa (TSSA) Roadshow hosted at Kingsmead, 8 May
The subject of the conference was Developing Growth Mindset Classrooms. The full-day workshop was presented by James Anderson, the Australian author of ‘The Agile Learner’ (amongst others), international speaker and trainer. Anderson works closely with Prof Carol Dweck, the originator of Mindsets. We hosted almost 200 delegates for a fascinating and insightful workshop. We interrogated our deeply held beliefs and prejudices about intelligence and innate abilities. We were challenged to develop our understanding of the complexities in nurturing a Growth Mindset environment – contrary to the quick-fix slogans so often presented in social media. As this philosophy forms the basis of our approach to learning and teaching at Kingsmead, we were delighted to support this event and to have six staff members attend from both the Junior and Senior Schools respectively.
The CEO of TSSA presented Kim Lowman with the plaque for our Advanced Thinking Schools Accreditation with Exeter University. Ingrid Beekhuizen was acknowledged for her contribution in developing authentic Growth Mindset environment in schools.
Raising Boys and Girls Conference hosted at St Stithians, 10 – 11 May
Several members of our staff had the opportunity to attend a two-day conference held at St Stithians College, entitled “Raising Boys and Girls to Confidently Engage in a Changing World”. The conference focused on cognitive, emotional, social and cultural trends in society and particularly within South Africa and in education.
Delegates were given the opportunity to hear from well-known speakers such as Redi Tlhabi, Roy Gluckman, Sue Langley and Vusi Thembekwayo; and were witness to powerful personal stories, the latest neurological research, and critical debate. It was an exceptionally worthwhile two-days with excellent emphasis on the South African education system, transformation, and girls’ education (for our particular context).
Passionately Curious Conference for Early Childhood Educators hosted at Cornwall Hill College, 11 May
Four of our ECD teachers attended a variety of workshops from: Hands on Science, Robotics, Developing Listening Skills to Interactive Mathematics. As passionate educators, we need to ensure that our children are encouraged to discover, explore and experiment. We need to show them that we value problem-solving, seeking answers, questioning the unknown and innovating … in a nutshell, just being passionately curious.
In the words of Albert Einstein “I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.”
iPad Summit hosted by St Andrews School for Girls, 14 and 15 May
Four of our teachers are attending the iPad Summit at present. We look forward to their feedback next week.
Mrs Beekhuizen – Head of Academics Junior School
BUDDIES AT THE BOOK FAIR
Our buddies from the Rays of Hope Foundation joined us at our Book Fair last Saturday. Thanks to the generous sponsorship by our PTA, the children were able to enjoy the wonderful programme as well as the wide selection of eats on offer.
A special thanks to our girls who assisted on Saturday- you really helped to make the day!
Thank you to everyone who donated books during Book Week. We will be donating books to a number of reading and homework clubs in our community.
‘Let the Children Sing’ Choir Festival
As per the school calendar, the Grade 3 girls will be performing at the annual ‘Let the Children Sing’ Choir Festival at St John’s College on Wednesday 23 May.
Girls need to wear their winter uniform with a shirt- or long sleeve white shirt, navy pants, blazers, navy socks and school shoes.
We have arranged bus transportation to St John’s College for the girls. Only let Ms Muller know if your daughter will not make use of the bus please. There will be no bus transportation back to school after the event.
The arrangements are as follow:
15h30 Bus leaves from Kingsmead for St John’s College (Cecil Avenue gate)
16h00 Girls who do not make use of the bus transportation to arrive at Rene England Hall
16h15 Rehearsal of massed item
17h15 Refreshment for pupils and tea for parents and invited guests
17h45 Line up and seating
18h00 Concert starts
19h00 Concert finishes
The girls will receive a snack at St John’s but perhaps you can pack something extra in her lunchbox as it will be a long day for them.
Tickets are not required, and seating will be on a ‘first come, first served’ basis.
Hope to see many of you there to support our girls!
Tuesday 29 May Music performances
Instead of participating in the Jan Celliers Eisteddfod on the 29th of May as per the calendar, we will take our Grade 4-7 Choir, Junior School Orchestra and some ensembles to an Old Age home to perform on this day. More details to follow.
Upcoming Events in June:
Wednesday 6 June: ABRSM Theory Examinations
The Theory examinations will take place in the Macroom in the Learning Centre. Candidates who are entered to write these exams, must leave class at 13h30, register at the venue at 14h00 and start writing at 14h30. The length of the examination depends on the grade they are writing.
Saturday 9 June: Kingsmead Eisteddfod – individual musicians
Tuesday 12 June: Jan Celliers Music Concert – Orchestra to participate
Wednesday 13 June: ABRSM Practical Examinations
Friday 15 June: Trinity Practical Examinations
Elsabé Fourie – Director of Arts & Music firstname.lastname@example.org
I was privileged this week to attend the Raising Boys and Girls conference hosted by Saint Stithians. With impressive speakers such as Redi Tlhabi, Vusi Thembekwayo and many renowned academics, my colleagues and I walked away charged and excited to make a difference in our respective areas of expertise. The conference reminded us of our primary role which is to educate the children regardless of any biological differences.
On the sporting front it was very informative and we spent time discussing Long-Term Athlete development and Mental Toughness in Male and Female athletes. This gave us a chance to take stock of the kind of programmes we have in our schools. Sadly, many of our schools have focused on “Teaching to Win” principles in our coaching sessions and not “Teaching to Learn”. Schools are guilty of “chasing the score board” and too much pressure is being placed on young children to specialise in one or more discipline instead on focusing on development of general skills. These skills will be transferable when the child decides to diversify.
As a sport department, we will be using the next couple of months to take stock of our Physical Education programme as well as the structure of our coaching sessions. We would like to get to a point where our programmes are built around the child and not motivated by external influences. This is an ambitious task on our part and it will be a long process. However; I strongly believe that with the support of various stake holders we will succeed.
Let the Games begin!
ON THE HORIZON
Johannesburg District 2018 Core League QUALIFIER DATES:
* Q4: 16th and 17th June
* Primary Schools: 28th and 29th July
* Primary Schools: During October, dates to be confirmed.
For any information regarding Equestrian contact Ms Feroza Motara. Email: email@example.com
Sheillah Denenga – Head of Junior School Sport firstname.lastname@example.org