Kingsmead Newsletter January 2019

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Dear Parents and Girls

I do hope that you were able to rest and catch up with your families and loved ones over the holiday period and that you are all feeling strong for the year ahead. I wish you a positive, happy and fulfilling year.

We certainly started the new year on a high note with the release of our Matric results. Congratulations to our Class of 2018, who did themselves proud with their wonderful achievements in the final examinations. Thanks must go to the teachers who have taught them – right from the Foundation phase up until their November exams and also to their family and friends who have provided support for them throughout the year. Please see the poster for further information. 

We also welcome our new staff to Kingsmead and wish them a very long and happy association with the school.

We were delighted to welcome our new class of Grade 8s to the school. They have enjoyed a wonderful orientation week and camp and they are now embarking this week on their formal academic programme. I wish them every happiness as they settle in their new school and start their 5 year journey with us.

At the whole school assembly to start the new year, the theme was greeting others and really “seeing” one another when you greet. Mrs Lowman explained to the girls and staff that when we greet we feel a sense of acceptance, welcome and acknowledgement. This tells us that we matter. At Kingsmead all the girls and staff matter; everyone’s presence is known. She went on to greet all the teachers by saying:

“We see you for your courage, your strength, your generosity and care. Thank you for what you have done in preparation for today and the the preparation and kindness still to come.”

To the girls she said: “We see you for your enthusiasm, your joy, your laughter and commitment to making 2019 memorable. Turn to each other now and greet each other with warmth, with meaning – you matter.” Thank you, Mrs Lowman for such an inspiring and important speech.

I would like to quote from Anne Oberholzer’s opinion piece that was published in News 24. Anne is the CEO of the Independent Examinations Board – through which we write our Matric examinations.

The article was entitled: What is the true measure of ‘educatedness’? In this article Ms Oberholzer questions what it means to be truly educated:

“The notion of being educated implies a range of additional skills that true students develop over time at school – soft skills of perseverance, prioritisation, persistence, working in collaboration with others, problem-solving strategies, debate and discussion, tolerance of different views, critical engagement with ideas, ownership of thought, responsibility and so on. This could be because these skills are difficult to assess or because they will not be overtly assessed in a written examination – or possibly because of both. Very few schools actually encourage experiential learning activities as part of their teaching and learning programme. 

Similarly, almost no school formally assesses these soft skills because there are no established methodologies that provide indisputable validity and reliability. However, even though there are critical skills that children develop during their time at school that are not overtly measured in the final NSC examination, these skills are essential for a quality education.”

“As teachers, it is our responsibility to open up a child’s world, no matter his or her background, and expose them to the range and variety of contexts and opportunities that exist outside their own world and range of experience. Give their minds an opportunity to explore the seemingly fantastical and alongside that exposure, give them the opportunity and the courage to engage confidently with the unfamiliar and the unknown, applying known concepts to address problems in unknown contexts.”

It delights me to know that at Kingsmead we are teaching and formally assessing these “softer” skills as we know the value and importance they have in ensuring that our girls are truly educated.

I was again reminded this past week, when welcoming the Grade 8s, of the importance of the relationships we build. This is particularly true of the triangular partnership that exists between the school; the girls and their parents. I look forward to forging this partnership in the weeks ahead.

I wish you all a wonderful, happy term ahead.

Fondest regards
Lisa Kaplan
Head: Kingsmead College

Transformation, Diversity and Inclusion

UPDATE FOR JANUARY

We have had a great start to 2019 where we had a whole school assembly to continue with our “Hello Campaign”. The whole school was informed as to how to greet all staff and visitors on campus. All adults to be greeted by Sir/ Mam unless the surname is known, in which case the adult can be greeted by Mr/Ms/Miss/Mrs ___ . The idea to remind girls about greeting, is not about having manners, but to greet with the intention of brightening someone’s day and acknowledging their presence.

Our service staff will have name badges and the girls are requested to become familiar with the names of all service staff. Photos of service staff will be placed in all common rooms and staff rooms and the idea is for everyone to become familiar with each other and learn about each other’s story.
Staff and girls were reminded that we need to try to pronounce each other’s names, and not shorten or accommodate pronounciation, when someone cannot pronounce their name.

GRADE 8 ORIENTATION FEEDBACK

The creation of diversity centers around two main differences: a difference in backgrounds and a difference in values. The Grade 8 orientation involved an introduction to TDI and the aim was not to state which value/stance was correct but to simply make each student aware of the different people within their grade to allow for better treatment and understanding.

The orientation began with an ‘Equity Race’ which involved each student standing at the beginning line and a member of the TDI committee would read out a statement that symbolized a different background (e.g. Have you ever struggled with the syllabus not being in your first language?). If the statement applied, the student must step back. After many statements, there was a clear discrepancy between each student. The girls who had stepped back the most were told to take ten steps forward and the race had then begun. The girls had realized that the statements affecting them were not in their control and were explained the ten-step head-start as being a response to that disadvantage- also known as equity.

The second activity involved moral dilemmas, including both racial and fairness-related issues. The girls had to move to the allocated sides of the room of ‘fore’ or ‘against’ and later make their case for that side to convince others to change their minds and join. This aimed to teach the girls more tolerance and open-mindedness.

The Grade 8’s had surprised many of the Matrics with the empathy within their answers and the acceptance they seemed to have amongst the grade.

Ranyah Patel( Student Head of TDI)

We have also been busy in our Grade 8 Collab “ My New School” where girls had to make up a fun way of greeting their friend. Pronounciation of names was also highlighted. The girls did a culture wheel activity where they highlighted and ranked the four most prominent cultures that were significant to them and this was further discussed in the group. These cultures govern the way we think and do things and the way we react to each other also.

Sharekha Banwa
Deputy Headmistress Academics
Director of Transformation Diversity and Inclusion

Academic News

LAUNCH OF THE GROWTH CURRICULUM

you do not just wake up and become the butterfly
growth is a process- rupi kaur

After more than a year of diligent and exciting planning, the Grade 8 and 9 Growth Curriculum officially kicked off with the start of the academic school year.

The Growth Curriculum is a rigorous, integrated, skills-focused approach to teaching non-core subjects in the junior years of the Senior School. Each term, the students develop subject-specific and long-term transferable skills in three modules. The Grade 8 modules for Term 1 are: STEAM, My New School, and Revolution. The Grade 9s will be working on Foodology, Human Rights and Wrongs, and Children’s Theatre, for which the Grade 9s have already visited and interviewed the Grade 1s, 2s and 3s about their interests. In the next few weeks, they will work on developing a shadow puppetry performance based on African folktales. This module integrates Dramatic Arts, Music, Visual Arts and thinking skills, and will culminate with a live performance for the Junior School girls.

All of the Growth Curriculum modules have been carefully scaffolded by subject experts and promise to be challenging but enthralling ways for the students to learn in a highly relevant and contextualised manner. The focus of the curriculum is the individual’s unique potential for growth and we cannot wait to see the results.

Bronwyn Bocher
Growth Curriculum Co-Ordinator

Arts News

MAJOR PRODUCTION

The Major Production for this year is called The Trojan Women – originally written by Euripides in 415BC. The version of the play that we have chosen is accessible for students and audiences in the 21st Century. The play will be directed by professional actress Avril Cummins, who will be assisted by Mrs Frances Wilmot and Ms Rangoato Phogole, and two student directors, Rachel McKay & Mia Oliver. The Art Department, under the guidance of Ms Lynette Jonker and Ms Danielle Wepener, will take care of the set. The production looks to tackle tough current social issues, while being entertaining. The production will run from 13-15 March. Save the dates.

DANCE

The Dance Department will aim to provide more opportunities for our dancers this year. In charge of Traditional Dance this year is our Drama Intern, Ms Rangoato Phogole and her student leader is Angela Ngwenya. They are planning a showcase event for all dancers in the school as well, as an interschools’ event/competition.
Traditional Dance is part of the extra-curricular offering at no cost to parents. Modern Dance and Ballet are offered by private service providers – please see the contact details on the extra-curricular schedule for further information.

DEBATING

The goal of Debating is to provide an exciting opportunity for girls to learn a vital life skill. We have seen continued growth and interest in Debating and wish to nurture this further. This year we have two coaches involved – one dedicated to the Juniors and one for the Seniors. Grade 6 & 7 girls are invited to be involved in Debating in the Senior School and can contact Ms Bronwyn Bocher or Mrs Cindy Delport should they require more information. We have once again entered into the SACEE Central Gauteng League which is by far the most competitive. After achieving excellent results in 2018, we look forward to following this trend.

MUSIC

Our aim in the Kingsmead Music Department is for every girl at our school to have the opportunity to play an instrument at some point during her school career. It is for this reason that we offer a wide range of instruments and run various instrument programmes during the year.

• Instrumental programmes where girls will learn to play the following instruments:
o Grade 2 Violin
o Grade 3 Flute and Cello
o Grade 4 & 5 Saxophone and Brass instruments
• Intokozo: The Grade 1-3 girls have a Creative Arts programme on a rotational basis once a week which will give every class the opportunity to participate in a term of Dance, Drama and Music.
• We will continue to offer opportunities for girls who want to make their own music: Songwriting, Composition, Music Production and DJ courses.

We have a record number of teachers and girls involved in Music and look forward to some exciting events this year.

Please refer to the following documents on the app:
1. A detailed document explaining all information about Arts & Music activities offered at Kingsmead can be found in the folder ‘Arts & Music’ on the app. Any queries you may have will be answered there.
2. In the folder ‘Extra-curricular’: All the early morning and afternoon schedules with a summary of all the Arts activities’ days and times, contact details of all service providers and teachers in charge, as well as venues, are available.
3. We would like all girls to be signed up for activities so that we have correct and up-to-date contact details for everyone. Please find these sign-up forms in the folder ‘Arts & Music’. Click on the link of the relevant group and sign up. The forms will remain open until 4 February. If you miss this deadline and still wish to join a group, please email the relevant teacher in charge.
4. Important Dates and event details for the term, ahead with invitations and posters if and where relevant, will be posted in the folder ‘Arts & Music’.

Upcoming Events:
We would love to get to know our music parents and for you to get to know us as the Music Department. You are invited to attend a music lesson or rehearsal to meet the people who teach your daughters, during the week of 4-8 February.

On the evening of Monday 4 February, 18h00-19h00, we will have a Cocktail party on the Music lawns for parents to meet our Music teachers. There will be a very brief introduction about our philosophy and approach, including some pertinent information about Music at Kingsmead, and after that you can enjoy a glass of wine, chatting to the Music Staff.

We hope to see many of our music parents there!

The Arts & Music team, wishes you a happy and fun-filled year ahead.

Elsabé Fourie
Director of Arts & Music

Sports News

WATERPOLO

We have two National representatives
Caitlin Stott (Grade 9) – SA U15
Kate Galloway (Grade 10) – SA U16 Non-Travelling reserve

We had 27 Provincial representatives in 2018
U16A – 1
U16B – 3
U15A – 2
U15B – 2
U15 Non-Travelling – 1
U14A – 2
U14B – 3
U13A – 2
U13B – 5
U13 Non-Travelling – 1
U12A – 3
U12 Non-Travelling – 2

Senior School – Finished 5th in Premier League in 2018

DIVING

Two of our divers attended the Gauteng age group champs in December.

Olivia van Vollenhoven finished 1st in 1m, 3m, platform and synchro.
Sarah Benning finished 2nd in 1m, 3m, platform and synchro.

In the Open age group section, Olivia finished 4th and Sarah 8th.

ATHLETICS

Helen Cockeran (Grade 8) competed in the Central Cluster of the D9 district’s athletic championships and won both her events (800m and 1500m girls under 13). The first two athletes qualified for the D9 district championships on 2 February and the first two athletes at the D9 champs qualify for the Gauteng Schools’ championships.

SWIMMING

We had six girls take part in the CGA Championships in December and all achieved personal best times in most of their races.

TENNIS

Kingsmead has parted ways with Earl Granger, resident professional tennis coach and has now employed ETA Academy who have years of experience behind them.

NEW STAFF MEMBER

In the Sports Department, we had Bronwyn Cartwright leave us and we have appointed Bronwyn Leeming who has come from Durban. We have also appointed Basetsana Dibetswe as our Intern. She is studying Teaching and is a top Netball player/coach.

SUMMER SPLASH

The event is a Junior and Senior school event for Swimming and Diving. The swimmers finished 5th out of 10 schools, the Diving team finished 3rd overall. The waterpolo finished tie 3rd. Overall a brilliant result for Kingsmead.

Robert Pullen
Director of Sport

The President’s Award

Welcome to all the Grade 9s who have been enrolled for the Bronze level of The President’s Award. For more information on the programme, please visit https://www.presidentsaward.co.za

Congratulations to the Silver and Gold participants who completed an Adventurous Journey in Hogsback during the holiday.

The next Adventurous Journey is from 12-16 April. Please contact Jenny Venter (jventer@kingsmead.co.za) for more information.

Jenny Venter
The President’s Award Leader

Service News

WHOLE SCHOOL APPROACH 2019

From 2019 the Service Department will follow a whole school approach in order to have more cohesion between the Junior and Senior Schools and to address donor fatigue. Mrs Lauren Myburgh will be heading Service in the Junior School. We will be supporting the same organisations and collections and fundraisers will happen as a whole school. Fundraisers will be limited to one per term and collections to two per term.

Term 1 Service Fundraiser: Dance Marathon (11 April)
Term 1 Service Collections: Footloose Friday (8 March)
Share What you Can (27 March – 10 April)

COMMUNITY HOURS

Our very successful partnership with Community Hours continue and Senior School girls are using this platform to find volunteering opportunities and log community service hours. This is a compulsory requirement for all Senior School girls and service hours are reflected on the termly reports.

The community service requirements are as follow:
• Grade 8s are expected to complete 18 hours of volunteering per year.
• Grade 9s are expected to complete 24 hours of volunteering per year. 
(correlating with the requirements for the Bronze level of The President’s Award)
• Grade 10-12s are expected to complete 20 hours of volunteering per year.

GRADE 8 ORIENTATION

The Grade 8s were introduced to some of the organisations we support during the Orientation programme. The Hop-on Hop-Off Service tour included a visit to Park Care, Dlala Nje and Fight with Insight. A visit to AHSA creches in Soweto was also part of the Orientation programme.

WELLNESS WEAK

The Senior School girls were involved in various Service activities during Wellness Week. Activities included a boxing session with Fight with Insight, making Bunnies for Bravery, picking up litter in Oxford Road and a workshop on child protection from Courage.

SERVICE EXCURSION

On our first 2019 Service excursion to Dlala Nje, we delivered books which will contribute to the library that we are growing in their community centre. Service excursions remain a popular activity, that nearly always have a waiting list. The girls are able to volunteer without dealing with the logistics of arranging appointments or transport to the relevant organisations. Grade 6-12 girls are invited to join the Service excursions.

Term 1 Service excursions:

Friday 1 February : 14h30-17h00
Wednesday 6 February : 14h30-17h00
Tuesday 19 March : 14h30-17h00
Thursday 28 March : 14h30-17h00
Saturday 30 March : 09h00-12h00

Jenny Venter
Director of Service

Wellness Matters

“Wellness is an active process of becoming aware of and making choices toward a healthy and fulfilling life. Wellness is more than being free from illness, it is a dynamic process of change and growth”.

Maintaining an optimal level of wellness is absolutely crucial to live a higher quality life. Wellness matters. Wellness matters because everything we do and every emotion we feel relates to our well-being. In turn, our well-being directly affects our actions and emotions. It’s an ongoing circle. Therefore, it is important for everyone to achieve optimal wellness in order to subdue stress, reduce the risk of illness and ensure positive interactions.

At Kingsmead, we value and embrace the idea of Wellness for all students. We encourage our students to nurture and take care of all the pieces (psychological, academic, physical, spiritual etc.) that contribute to their health and wellbeing. As such, we kicked off the year with a Wellness Week which engaged the girls in discussions around various wellness areas; including physical wellness, health and nutrition, sex education, relationships as well as service activities. The feedback from the week was positive and some expressed that they felt energised and equipped to face the stress and challenges ahead.

In starting the year off in this pro-active way, we hope that the girls are more conscious of their health and wellbeing and creating balance in their lives. They have learned skills and tools that they can use in the year ahead to ensure a happy, heathy and successful 2019. We look forward to more wellness initiatives during the year which will be tailored to meet the girls ‘specific needs.

Lucia Harding
Senior School Psychologist

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