Dear Parents and Girls

Welcome to the start of what promises to be a fabulous year. At our first assembly we welcomed our new Grade 8 pupils to the school and wished them every success and happiness in their five-year journey with us.

Grade 8 Orientation Week fun!

We congratulate the Class of 2016 on their wonderful results last year.

I am going to be focusing on wearing our blazer with pride this year. As I explained to the girls in the assembly, they need to wear every part of their uniform with pride. Our uniform is part of who the school is and it gives us a sense of belonging and a sense of community.

You buy into the school when you wear your uniform with pride. We know that Kingsmead demands the highest in terms of attitude, discipline, respect and work ethic and the way we wear our uniform, is a part of this.

Our founder – DV Thompson – who spoke at length about the individual – still believed that the wearing of a uniform with pride was essential. She said in 1946 – “People connect our school with our uniform, and when a girl is helpful and courteous, gentle and generous, or when she is rude, pushing or noisy, people judge the school by that behaviour and the school begins to get a good or bad name because of it.”

I urge all our girls to wear their uniforms with pride this year, as we look magnificent when we do so.

Welcome to all the new staff at Kingsmead. We are delighted you have joined our family and we wish you a long and happy association with the school.

The staff started the year with a staff development day on which we walked 4 kilometres across the city of Johannesburg from the West to the East. We were given a guided tour by Luke Lamprecht who is the founder of one of our main school charities, Fight with Insight. The tour was a real eye-opener for all as we saw the rejuvenation of the inner city; the magnificent architecture of the buildings and we were reminded of the history of this great city.

As you are well aware, the renovation of the tuckshop, kitchen and dining area should commence any day now. The plans are in to the City Council and we will be putting them out to tender in the next short while. Thank you for bearing with us while this project is completed. I know that the girls, parents and staff are going to really enjoy the new spaces when they are finished.

I wish you all a wonderful term ahead and I thank you for your continued support of our wonderful school!

Fond regards
Lisa Kaplan

Prayer – First day of school

Dear Lord

In the midst of the vagaries of the world and the worries about the problems in many countries, may the sweetness and stillness of Your presence be felt moment by moment.

Days are full of rush and busy-ness; may we be mindful of You. As Psalm 23 says: ‘He makes me to lie down in green pastures: He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul: he leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.’ May our hearts rest in peace of the ever-present stillness.

Bless all at Kingsmead: the Academic, the Administrative, the Service Staff and all the Girls and Families in the year to come. May the vision of Miss Thompson be guarded: that service and love guide our decisions and that happiness fill our days.

Amen

Gillian Wilkinson

Kingsmead Bursary Fundraiser – Movie Night Wednesday 22 February

Please see the invitation to Beyond the River – the movie adaptation of Kingsmead’s Director of Academic’s, Piers Cruickshanks’s book, to be released in April 2017 about his participation in the Dusi Canoe Marathon. It is a heart-warming story about persistence and perseverance: one of a privileged older white man and a younger black man, from humble beginnings in Soweto, who come together, both needing each other to achieve a dream.

Click here to book your ticket.

Click here to view the YouTube trailer.

All proceeds will benefit the Kingsmead College bursary fund.

R130 per ticket, which includes popcorn and a soft drink.

The movie received the following acclaim from Thuli Madonsela:
“Every South African should see this film.”

Tickets are limited, so book now to avoid disappointment!

Arts News

CONGRATULATIONS!

At the end of last year, two of our (then) Grade 9’s, Ranyah Patel and Raisa Essa were successful in being selected for the Gauteng team and took part in the National Debating Championship in December. The tournament consisted of nine rounds, the last three of which were knockout rounds. Ranyah’s team won the Junior SANSDC, and she ranked 10th in South Africa. This means that she has now qualified for the Bratislava Schools Debating Competition, which takes place in Slovakia later this year. We are very proud of both Ranyah and Raisa’s achievements.

 Ranyah Patel with her Certificate of Achievement from the competition

Genevieve Stride was accepted to attend classes at the Jo’burg Ballet Company and has been placed in the most advanced level of the Youth programme. This is a outstanding accomplishment and we wish Genevieve everything of the best as she continues to grow and advance as a dancer.

Genevieve pictured outside the Jo’burg Theatre in Braamfontein

MAJOR PRODUCTION 2017

The highlight for the Arts Department this term will be the major production in the Senior School. Girls Like That by Evan Placey is a play that reflects on the consequences of a social media post gone wrong, and how a seemingly small act of posting a picture online can have repercussions that last a lifetime. It also touches on the perception of women in society, now and through the ages. The girls are very busy with rehearsals currently, and the process is one that seeks to combine film and live performance on our Lange Hall stage. Performance dates are 8-10 March, and tickets will go on sale from next week. This exciting production, that deals with very current issues, hopes to serve as a platform of authentic expression for our girls.

ART CLUB

Art Club will continue in the Senior School, and is a new addition to our Junior School Art offering. The Junior School group is now full, but we still have space in the Senior School club. Girls can click on the link below to enrol for this activity. The cost will be R100/pupil/term and this fee will be used to cover the necessary materials; this will be charged to the relevant school accounts on sign-up. Girls can sign up for these classes by clicking on the link:

https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=RoUozhKgx0ek_jvUEmqu7rAzytxsNy5FhyIpDKcBWMdUNUxRWDlHVkIyT1lTMkRNUEZQWFIxVDBKTC4u

DANCE

You will notice on the extracurricular schedules that we will be offering Modern Dance, as well as Afri-fusion (a mix of Contemporary and African Dance) in the Senior School, as well as Modern Dance in the Junior School.

  • Junior School: Sign up by visiting dmbryanston.com and sign up online. Cost and other details are all available on the website.
  • Senior School girls can sign up by clicking the links below.

Modern Dance:

https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=RoUozhKgx0ek_jvUEmqu7rAzytxsNy5FhyIpDKcBWMdUOFY2V0FFSDlUTDdHV0o4Q1ZCMDRGU004Ri4u

Afri-Fusion:

https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=RoUozhKgx0ek_jvUEmqu7rAzytxsNy5FhyIpDKcBWMdUQ0RTMk9KVlZJTUNESE41OUpBSUhVSkVKMS4u

DRAMA CLUB

Drama Club is offered to Grades 1-9 on Wednesday afternoons. This is offered by Dania Gelderblom from ‘The Playhouse’. She offers a well thought-through curriculum and will be working towards small performances with the girls. Please contact Dania should you any have any queries or questions regarding the club on daniagelderblom@gmail.com, or 083 410 9299

Senior School girls can enrol by clicking on the link below:

https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=RoUozhKgx0ek_jvUEmqu7rAzytxsNy5FhyIpDKcBWMdUOEpPRjVIRFU5OFpHNDZRVTIyUFJNMjVSUS4u

GeekGirl Club

GeekGirl Club is an exciting new activity and anyone interested in Robotics (lego and other), and/or Coding (sphero, Arduino) will enjoy this exciting club. We will be entering various worldwide competitions to give our girls exposure and to ensure that we are current in our use of technology. Contact Lulu Burger on lburger@kingsmead.co.za for more information.

MUSIC

Music is a life-long gift and parents are encouraged to consider enrolling their daughters for music lessons. We offer a wide range of instruments and have numerous group music-making opportunities available. The Music application form can be found on the Kingsmead app, at all the Reception desks, or via email: pmpeke@kingsmead.co.za. There is no need to reapply if you were part of the Department last year.

Music lessons will be charged at R192/half hour in 2017, and this will be charged for every scheduled weekly lesson, unless the teacher has had at least one week’s cancellation notice, or a calendar event, such as a school tour, clashes.

Music Theory classes

The Music Department will offer a Music Theory class every morning from 06:45 – 07:15. The girls will be divided into ABRSM Music Theory grades ranging from Grades 1-4. The classes will not exceed 7 pupils and the cost will be divided between the number of girls in the group. All participants will write an examination, external or internal, in October. Girls can sign up for these classes by clicking on the link:

https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=RoUozhKgx0ek_jvUEmqu7rAzytxsNy5FhyIpDKcBWMdUMTFBQ0dZQlZMN1lXTkQ2Vjg2WElQUFVNMS4u

Music Groups:

It is imperative that all our instrumental players get involved in an ensemble or orchestra, while our vocalists should participate in the respective school choirs. It is an essential part of any musician’s development and musical journey, to participate in group music-making. A more detailed letter will be sent to parents of music pupils. You are welcome to contact me should you have any questions about the opportunities available in the Music Department.

Elsabé Fourie
Director of Arts & Music

Academic News

MATHEMATICS AND EXTRA LESSONS

The Mathematics Department is very proud of our 2016 Matrics. The results achieved in all spheres of Mathematics were excellent, with 40% of the grade achieving distinctions. The standards set throughout the year entailing rigorous and challenging examinations are difficult but the result is that the Kingsmead girls perform excellently and are well prepared for this Final Examination.

With the new year and new resolutions and goals set by each student many students decide that they would like extra tuition in Mathematics. These opinions forwarded in this article are substantiated by many years of experience of being both a teacher and an extra lesson provider.

When should a learner start having private extra lessons. Any time that there are learning difficulties it would be advisable especially in terms of organisational skills and preparation for examinations. However, Grades 8 and 9 are not ideal times for extra lessons. This is when the pupil is required to develop their own understanding of concepts and a stronger sense of resilience.

At Kingsmead, we stress to the girls that extra lessons are not meant to replace classroom teaching. Whilst the pressure in the lower grades is much less significant, this would be an ideal time for the student to develop discipline in listening in class and ensure that they practise their Mathematics on a continual basis and develop their own sense of discipline. This is when the adage of drill is so important for the concretisation of basic abstract concepts.

In research, it has also been found that children who rely on extra lessons too early in high school become disengaged in class and not proactive in their own learning. Each teacher in the Mathematics Department provides enough extra material and is always available to answer questions. We would encourage students not to have extra lessons in the younger grades. `There is always the danger that they also will get bored with the extra lessons too early on in their school career and when these lessons are required, they will be unenthusiastic about attending them.

In the senior grades, extra lessons are helpful for students who require additional help and clarification. The ability to disseminate knowledge one on one often is very helpful. One of the foremost roles of the extra lesson teacher is to instil confidence in the learner. It is most definitely advisable to have an experienced teacher who is aware of the demands of the Grade 12 Curriculum to aid the child. Secondly, extra lesson teachers should never teach ahead of the primary teacher. The lessons should be used as clarification of what has already been taught and revision of past concepts. The extra lesson teacher should be providing the student with material to complete at home and thus motivate and inspire their student. This does not mean to say that the extra lesson teacher will not explain and reteach some concepts at times, but this should not be the aim.

The acquisition of knowledge in Mathematics is cumulative and the more the reinforcement of these concepts the more sure the student is of their ability to cope. The idea is to engender a feeling of being in control and understanding at all times rather than confusing the student.

Sharonne Isack
Mathematics Teacher

Sports News

Successful Senior School swimming gala hosted by Kingsmead College.

The President’s Award

Congratulations to the following girls who completed Adventurous Journeys and Residential Projects during the holiday:

Raeesah Wadee
Paula Duggan
Anya Shah
Amy Viljoen
Vutomi Mageza
Amaarah Wadee

Adventurous Journey: Kaapschehoop Hiking Trail, Mpumalanga

By Paula Duggan (Grade 12)

On 7th January 2016, Anya Shah and I joined Chameleon Adventures along with pupils from other schools on a four-day hike in the Kaapschehoop escarpment in order to complete our adventurous journey for the Gold level of The President’s Award.

We carried our backpacks with sufficient clothing and food for four days. Parts of the hike were challenging especially walking up steep hills, crossing rivers and hiking in the rain but these challenges were soon forgotten when we reached our overnight huts each evening.

Here we were able to cook our own dinners, appreciate our beautiful surroundings and enjoy the company of our peers.

During each day’s hike, we learned a lot about various plant and animal species in the area. We also visited the Berlin caves that were once inhabited by bushmen.

Despite the challenges of rain, blisters and wet clothing, this hike was invigorating, enriching and a lot of fun and given the opportunity, I would definitely do it again.

Residential Project at Owl Rescue Centre in Hartebeespoort

By Raeesah Wadee (Grade 12)

During the December holidays over a period of four nights and five days I completed my residential project at the Owl Rescue Centre in Hartebeespoort.

Owl Rescue Centre is dedicated to protect owls, rescue owls that are in danger and rehabilitate and care for owls that have been injured, are sick, poisoned or orphaned and then release them back into their natural environment using specifically researched release methods.

Owl Rescue Centre is involved in several conservation projects to decrease the high mortality rate of owl species.

I arrived at the centre with an open mind and a clear focus in order to accomplish a common goal. I was joined by girls from Roedean School and Crawford School, Lonehill .

The first day was comprised of a briefing which provided information about what the programme entailed, followed by an environmental clean-up, during which we removed alien plantation.

Day two was exciting as we embarked on a vulture hike that pushed us to the edge of our comfort zones. Although we were walking in a heat of thirty-six degrees, it was all worth it when we witnessed the serenity and picture perfect view of the vultures soaring through the air, wings spread out and moving gracefully through the sky.

The following day we had a more relaxed itinerary in which we fed multiple different species of owls and learned more about them and the different reasons why they are at the rescue centre. It was fascinating learning about the different species of owls and their circumstances. We also built new enclosures for the parrots and eagle owls and were afforded the opportunity of feeding these magnificent creatures.

On the last day of my stay, having accomplished all of my goals and learning a lot through the project, we were treated to a show. During the show we watched a snake and bird presentation where we were taught about them whilst being able to interact with these animals.

This experience is one that I will cherish dearly for the rest of my life. It has pushed me to my limits and made me leave my comfort zone. Not only was I able to learn more about myself, but I was also able to gain knowledge about animals that I did not know prior to coming to the centre. The experience also enabled me to widen my group of friends and meet new people. Most importantly, it made me aware that it is imperative to help rescue these animals as well as learning about the process in which these animals are protected.


Adventurous Journey to Magoebaskloof, Limpopo

By Amy Viljoen (Grade 11)

From the 9th to the 12th of January, eleven intrepid high school students could be found braving the Magoebaskloof hiking trail. The trail itself was spread out over rough terrain through alternating bands of natural and commercial forest. Our path was was riddled with many steep uphills and precarious bridges comprised solely of half-rotten wood. To make matters worse, we found ourselves hiking through either rain, or drenched forest. We were constantly required to manoeuvre ourselves around the fallen trees which littered our path.

However, the endless views, fantastical waterfalls, and sheer immersion in nature were worth the exhaustion, cold showers, and stiff muscles. Our small group cooperated well, and I am sure we have all made friendships and memories to add to our treasure troves.

Upcoming Adventurous Journeys:

Magoebaskloof Hiking Trail, Limpopo for Silver and Gold participants
23-27 February 2017

Please contact Jenny Venter for more information jventer@kingsmead.co.za

World Challenge Expedition to India

There are still spaces available on the World Challenge Expedition to India in August 2017. All Grades 8-12 girls are encouraged to sign up for this exciting expedition that includes a trekking phase, a project phase and some well-deserved rest and relaxation. Please join us at the Parents Information Evening on Thursday 9 February at 18h00 in the Learning Centre for more information.

Jenny Venter
The President’s Award Leader and World Challenge School Leader

Service News

Kingsmead College supports many charities and the Senior School holds one main fundraising event per term. Our major fundraiser this term is the annual Dance Marathon in support of Dignity Dreams and A21, which will be held on Friday 10 February from 18:00 to 20:00 in the Lange Hall. This is a compulsory event for all Senior School girls. Besides the Dance Marathon, the only other events where girls will be asked for donations this term are Footloose Friday (gently worn shoes collection), Easter Egg Collection and the two Civvies days.

Dignity Dreams is a Non-Government Organisation which focuses on assisting South Africa’s young girls and women to meet their personal hygiene requirements by providing feminine, washable and reusable sanity wear which can be used for up to five years. Dignity Dreams has also given previously unemployed women the opportunity to run their own businesses by training them to sew its products. The overarching goal of Dignity Dreams is to disseminate information about menstrual health and to ensure that every underprivileged girl in South Africa receives a Dignity Dreams pack so that they are able to attend school.

The A21 Campaign is a Non-Profit Organisation that works to fight human trafficking, including sexual exploitation and forced slave labour. The campaign focuses on combatting slavery around the world through educational awareness and prevention, the protection of victims (by providing services such as medical and psychological treatment, as well as legal and vocational assistance for victims of human trafficking in their crisis centres, shelters and transitional homes), the prosecution of traffickers, and various partnerships. The A21 Campaign has teams on the ground in Ukraine, Greece, Bulgaria, the United Kingdom, Norway, the United States, South Africa, Thailand, the Netherlands and Australia.

Our goal is for every Kingsmead pupil to raise donations to the value of R150 for the cause of their choice. There are fantastic prizes for the girls who collect the most donations. A minimum donation of R150 is requested as entrance fee to the Dance Marathon. Alternative arrangements, with regards to the entrance fee, can be made with Jenny Venter.

There will be refreshments on sale at the Dance Marathon, from which all proceeds will go towards the Kingsmead Social Services Fund. Strict security will be enforced, and girls will not be allowed to leave the premises during this time without written consent from Jenny Venter.

FOOTLOOSE FRIDAY

On Friday 17 February we will collect gently worn shoes in support of Rays of Hope, Kids Haven, Fight with Insight and Sunshine Centre Association.

Jenny Venter
Head of Service

PTA News

The PTA welcomes you to Kingsmead College. Welcome back to all our families and a special welcome to the newest members of our school. We trust that you are settling back into a routine and please do not hesitate to contact us should you need assistance in any area. We are grateful to our class parents and welcome any parent who would like to become involved.

The Junior School Parent Co-ordinator is Stella Fenster and in the Senior School, Paula Tolksdorff, has responsibility for this role. Please contact them in need.

We thank you, the parent body, for your support last year and are very excited about the bus that we are going to purchase with the funds raised. We have received a 2017 wish list from the school and will communicate more details to you in the near future, but do draw your attention to some of the events and fundraisers planned by the PTA this year.

We will hold the termly KCC Draw and Car Parking Bay Raffle in addition to the following initiatives:

First Term:
Sale of Valentine rose bushes: 06 February
Footloose Friday: 17 February
Shrove Tuesday: 28 February
Family Outdoor Movie Night: Friday 31 March

Second Term:
Kingsmead Book Fair: Saturday 13 May
Parent Social Evening: Friday 09 June

Third Term:
Goodwill Day/Fun Walk and Major Raffle Draw: Saturday 07 October
947 Ride for Bara: Sunday 19 November

The School Shop has a selection of uniforms and merchandise available for your convenience. Pop in and take a look! The PTA supports the School’s Outreach initiatives, including the Easter egg collection at the beginning of March.

We thank you for your commitment to our school and hope that 2017 is a successful and happy year for you and your daughters.

Kind regards                                                                                                    
2017 PTA Executive Committee