Dear Parents, Guardians and Students,
I hope that you have started the year well and I thank you for the support from parents and guardians at the Parent Information Evening.
I reiterate what I said on the evening that the most successful schools are those in which the partnership between the parents or guardians, the school and the students is strong and the level of trust is high. You are all at some point along this five-year journey with us and I hope that you are appreciating the milestones that your daughter is reaching at the different points along the way.
Appreciate how your daughter is growing and maturing as a wonderful, independent citizen of society; how she is finding her voice and has a strong opinion on matters or how she is reaching her potential on the stage or on the sports’ fields.
While we certainly do use the final matric results as one measure, I can tell you that we rejoice as much over the students who have achieved 9 and 10 distinctions as we do over those who have shown great improvement over the years. Kingsmead is well-known for its nurturing and pastoral care of each girl and we ensure that we stretch and encourage them for success beyond matric and the classroom.
I love to use the quote by John Hopkins University which states: “Our charge is to create parent-friendly schools and school-friendly homes.” Please work with us to create this environment. Ensure that communication is ongoing and two-way and that feedback is meaningful, talk Kingsmead up at home and in social environments and please trust that the school will act in the best interests of your daughters.
There are a few updates that I would like to bring to your attention:
The school is usually notified before the cut-off of water, which allows us to make provision for water to be put into the various bathrooms. We do also have two main bathrooms – one in the Junior School (near Joel Hall) and one in the Senior School (near the Grade 10 locker room) that are linked to the JoJo tanks and always have water. This water is safe to drink. We are in the process of putting in another 3 large tanks at the school (in the Learning Centre, Music block and behind the Grade 0 classrooms).
Exit passes and the San:
We are finding that there are students who are phoning their parents before they reach the San and parents are fetching them without Sister Megan’s knowledge and without the knowledge of Ms Shibambo at the reception. This compromises our security processes. If your daughter is feeling unwell, then she must get a slip from her teacher to take to the San. Sister Megan will see her and decide if she needs to be fetched to go home. Please do not fetch your daughter from the San without a call from Sister Megan.
A reminder that exit passes need to be collected from Ms Shibambo in the Kingsmead House Reception and that the email to request permission to leave early should be sent at least 24 hours in advance to Ms Venter, the Grade Co-ordinator and Ms Shibambo, unless there is an emergency, in which case the school should be contacted.
I started a discussion in Chapel on ethics and ethical behaviour and what that means in everyday life. We discussed how we use our values to inform the decisions that we make on a daily basis. It is, however, no good paying lip-service to values and to ethics, it is most important that these are reflected in our actual behaviour and in how we treat each other every day. It would be wonderful if you could continue this discussion at home with your daughters.
I wish you a wonderful term ahead.
Executive Head: Kingsmead College
The Grade 11 Consumer Studies students started the term well doing what they do best. They enjoyed making their home-made Dunked Chicken nuggets which tasted scrumptiously delicious. Looking forward to more exciting dishes through the term.
Johannesburg Junior Council (JJC) Loaves of Love
On 4 December 2022 my fellow councillor Ntuthuko and I attended our first event for the Johannesburg Junior Council. Loaves of Love took place at the Pick n Pay Hyper in Norwood. We started at the busy hour of 10 in the morning and we were expected to make 1000 sandwiches before 12hoo. This was a daunting task but thankfully there were many councillors to help, who were all well-equipped with the necessary hairnets, aprons and knives for spreading jam. During the course of our time there, 100 loaves of bread were wheeled out to us in shopping trolleys. Despite the task of 1000 sandwiches, we were somehow able to complete all the loaves of bread before 12 o’clock. This was a great feat and we are all very proud. These sandwiches were all donated to the Angel Wings Care Centre located on the outskirts of Benoni. Ntuthuko and I are both looking forward to representing Kingsmead College in 2023.
Grade 11 Student
On 12 January the Grade 10s met by the tennis courts. We were all dressed in clean outfits (something we would miss in a few days) with our excessive snacks, clothes, and other necessities for the next nine days on our backs. Our teachers took register, and we were good to go. The energy in the bus was mainly nervous as we had all heard very mixed emotions regarding OutVenture. We did not know what to expect. Hypothermia or lifelong memories?
The drive to Magoebaskloof was long and our lunch destination felt forever away. When we arrived, we had two options for our last meal made by someone else: Wimpy or KFC. After we ate as much as we could to prepare for our journey, we were on our way again.
On arrival at Magoebaskloof Hotel we were divided in our groups. There were some tears but mainly happy faces as we walked with our group, guide, and teachers to MAC Country Wedding Venue for our first night. The walk to MAC Country was not supposed to be strenuous however those two kilometers could not have felt longer. Despite our heavy schoolbags, we weren’t used to carrying everything we would need for a week on our backs and the midday Limpopo heat was not helpful. However, our jaws dropped when we reached MAC Country. Lying in front of us was a lake reflecting the tall trees surrounding it. After a long day of driving and an unexpected walk getting to our beautiful campsite was just what we needed.
We pitched our tents surprisingly easily when our food drop arrived. We were clueless at first, but we eventually figured out somewhat of a plan for what to cook and how to carry it for the next four nights. We cooked a nutritious meal of two-minute noodles, and it was time for bed.
In the morning we got onto the bus which took us to Tusanang which is where we would be doing our community service. Tusanang is an education training facility whose hall we would be giving a revamp. My group was lucky in that we got to be the first group to see the hall before any work had been done and the last after all improvements had been made. I am extremely proud of us as the hall went from a very dusty cobwebbed room to a freshly painted well organised space.
After completing service, my group forged our way towards a Forestry hut where we would be spending the evening. We honestly struggled a lot on this hike. We were very segregated and didn’t know how to hike as a team which led to us being extremely drained when we reached our Forestry hut. Tears were shed as we thought that if this was how the camp would go, we would be in for quite a ride, but our team debrief helped us to see that if by the next day we improved our hiking style everything would go smoothly. It did not get much better the next day as morale was low. We started the hike at the incorrect spot, and this felt like our longest hike. Day three had the most amazing scenery which at our teams DMC that evening while eating Mari biscuits and caramel was everyone’s highlight.
From day two and three onwards our group jelled like never before and got to have a lot of fun. For the next few days, we got to our campsites early and spent our afternoons swimming in the lakes and rivers, washing our clothes in basins and getting to know each other. That was the best part of this camp. Before OutVenture, my group was not close however on day three after listening to our group members entertaining life stories we made friendships that I hope will stay until after school. Sharing your personal space, snacks, bathrooms, feelings, rationed food from custard to canned meatballs, bonds you in an unexpected way. On our second last day we had two hours solitude which as an extrovert was surprisingly pure bliss. It was impactful to have time alone with your thoughts and process the past few days, with chance to write it all down on pen and paper.
Our last day was spent kayaking from one point of Ebenezer dam to the other. I found it rewarding and loved the break that my back got from my backpack. For our last dinner we were all treated to not only one but two boerie rolls, which sounds like a feast to those who have had only eaten crackers for lunch for a week. While eating marshmallows, our group did a reward ceremony to pay tribute to all the people in our group as well as our phenomenal guide and teachers.
I cannot tell you much about the trip home as I was fast asleep for most of the ride. Seeing my mom was surprisingly tear jerking, but the lack of communication does impact you sometimes unnoticeably.
No matter how many negative stories from OutVenture you hear from any grade, there will always be the fact that OutVenture brings you towards people you are not normally drawn to and teaches you about yourself. You might learn that you are a fast walker, or that without your own bed for a week you become cranky, or you might dig a little deeper. You might just learn how much you love your family but most importantly: that you can be strong and independent. You can make your own meals, carry all your necessary belongings, pitch your own tent, and use the bush as a bathroom all while deciding where to go to find home for the night through strenuous hikes and smelling horrific.
Majority of my group cried but I know that despite the tears, we laughed with and got to make memories with varied people, and I will never forget this lifechanging experience or the people I got to know along the way.
Emma de Kock
Grade 10 Student
First Chapel Service Reflection
On Tuesday, 24 January, we the Grade 8 group of 2023 experienced our first chapel service in the St Bridgid’s Chapel. The theme of Ms Palmer’s address to us was ‘New Beginnings’. This got me thinking about what new beginnings meant to me, more specifically what it means to start at a new school, which I would call my home for the next five years.
There were two themes that Ms Palmer mentioned that stuck with me the most, this was the idea of “beginning with the end in mind” and the “legacy I would want to leave behind”. Ms Palmer’s goal for us as the new Grade 8s is to be a group that is remembered not for our achievements but for how we made people around us feel. She encouraged us to participate actively and always give our best for the school, and to serve as positive role models over our five year period at this amazing school.
Ms Palmer also emphasised the importance of being unified as a grade and always lighting up each other’s days, which Ms Palmer demonstrated through the use of candles which we all had been given to light.
We ended off the service with ringing the bell named after our founder Miss DV Thompson. Miss Wilkinson helped each student to ring the bell and gave us the important message of being fully present each day for the next five years to make the most of our high school careers.
It was an uplifting start to our high school career and I look forward to creating a legacy that I would want to leave behind at this great school.
Grade 8 Student
Grade 8 Camp
Could you imagine going on a 2-night stay with people you met a week before? I don’t think anyone would do that, let alone with ‘strangers’ but for the Grade 8s of 2023, nothing was impossible.
The Grade 8s departed at Cecil gate at 07h30 on Wednesday the 18th, leaving behind the fears of no Wi-Fi and very teary parents for some.
Our arrival at Hadeda Creek was far more ‘different’ than anyone would have expected. For starters, no phones were allowed and there was a possibility of snakes, scorpions and spiders. I, for one, was left in awe and the activities struck more fear but I am a Kingsmead girl and so “Courage Always”. Facing your fear of heights on the Tight Rope and High Jump, to the river streams while river dashing and not to mention the renowned mudstacle course and of course, the skilful paintball and escape activities. For many of us, a cool dip in the pool was the best time but it didn’t end there. From Minute to Win it, to our very competitive Scavenger Hunt to our Bootcamp style early morning exercise and let’s not forget the legendary Potjiekos challenge and the best production ever performed, our Skits.
Many of our highlights included sleeping in tents (with the possibility of frogs coming in), and trying to talk until the late hours of the night.
Even though the toilets had no doors and you had to sing ‘Shosholoza’ to show that it was occupied, to showering with cold water and all the incredibly amusing things that seemed to happen at camp (Ms Mo’s unfortunate incident with a mouse) camp couldn’t have been what it was without our amazing teachers, who left their families just to make sure we were safe. We would like to say a huge thank you to Mrs van Lith, Ms Mo, Mama P and Sister Venter and the facilitators at Hadeda Creek.
Fortunately, all the adrenaline was not in vain because the winning teams did get a prize, congratulations to all those teams. Of course, all good things must come to an end and the end of camp was quite sad but the thought of a warm shower really made us much more ‘relieved’ and the bus ride back is always fun.
As the Grade 8s we can proudly say that we survived the Vaal River and our parents can finally have a good nights rest knowing we were home safe.
Grade 8 Student
Arts & Music
Paula Anderson recently auditioned for the Russian Masters Ballet Summer Incentive and plans to attend this wonderful event in Spain and Bulgaria in August. Well done, Paula, we wish you well in your dancing endeavours.
Music all around us!
We have had THE MOST exciting start to the year in the Arts & Music Department! All music activities are now in full swing and school is abuzz with art, music, drama and dance.
The Glee performed beautifully alongside one of our alumna, Lesego Mnguni, at the opening assembly of the school’s 90th birthday year and repeated this performance at the Senior School parents’ evening. Lesego recently completed her degree in Music Theatre Performance and it was such a delight to have her perform for the school and parents at these significant moments in our birthday year.
The Music department recently purchased laptop computers and professional music production software to enable all our students to learn how to produce music. What an absolute privilege to have access to this technology and well known producer Thuthuka Mbanjwa, better known as ‘808’, to teach music production at Kingsmead. All the Grade 6 and 9 students will do music production as part of music in the curriculum this year. We have also equipped the studio to enable students to learn how to operate a professional recording studio. Any students interested can apply for music production on the music tuition application form on the App.
Last week all our students from Grade 1-12 were lucky enough to enjoy a professional orchestra performance during assembly. The purpose was both to introduce them to the instruments of the orchestra and remind everyone that all of these instruments are offered at Kingsmead. We are so lucky to have access to the top musicians in our country to teach a wide range of instruments at our school. If you have any questions about Music at Kingsmead, consult the App or make contact with me.
🎶Meet your Music Teachers Week 6-10 February🎶
During the week 6-10 February, we welcome all parents to pop into your daughter’s music lesson or a rehearsal and see what we get up to. We would love to get to know all our Kingsmead families! 🎶
If you have any more questions about Arts & Music at Kingsmead, get in touch, we would love to chat!
Much fun was had and spirit shown during our inter-house aquatics during the first week of school. Congratulations to all the houses for participating. The results are as follws:
Water Polo results
Top Diver for 2023 – Katherine Jones
Spirit Trophy Baker
Junior Victrix Kirstin Brady
Senior Victrix Kaylee Wiggill
St Marys Summer Splash
Kingsmead took part in the Annual St Mary’s Summer Splash where swimming and diving was a combined Junior and Senior Schools event. The water polo was for u16 only. After a tough week of camps, our students really stepped up and competed in all events.
Kingsmead finished 7th overall out of 10 schools in diving, swimming and water polo.
We just want to wish all our SPORTING teams in preparation for their major festivals and tournaments ahead the BEST OF LUCK..
Swimming – Inter-High Premier and A gala on 21 February
Water polo – Shaun Fuchs (u15) and Old Petrians (1st team)on 23 – 26 February
Reef Cup (1st team) on 2 – 5 March
Diving – Inter High Diving on 3 March
Tennis – Inter High Tennis on 4 March
Hockey – Best of the West (u14) on 3 and 4 March
Best of the West ( 1st team ) on 10 and 11 March
Netball – Kingsmead u17 Netball festival on 17 and 18 March.
St Mary’s u15 Netball festival on 17 and 18 Netball
St Andrew’s u16 Netball, Hockey and Squash festival on 17 – 19 March
There are special Kingsmead days where our sporting prowess is heralded by the support and cheer from our House Spirit. Inter-House Aquatics is one of those days. Add in the opportunity to hug Ms Palmer and some teachers in our wet costumes, and the 2023 Grade 12s were having the utmost fun. This year’s aquatics event delivered on all traditions: War cries; the Mexican wave; Sixes led by the Grade 12s and most importantly… House Pride! The Houses debuted their take on the theme of ‘Family’ for the year with Timlin’s energetic spin on Rio, Kruger dashing into action as The Incredibles, and Baker embodying the world’s fan-favourite family: The Simpsons. There were some special highlights on the day: Kaylee Wiggil won the Senior Swimmer Award; and Kirsten Brady, who won the Junior Swimmer Award, remarkably set a new the record time for one of her many races. But perhaps the most lasting memory will be of the teachers putting up a valiant battle during the teacher versus student relay. Although the students were able to marginally succeed at beating the staff, it was the inspiring Staff dance to Shakira’s Waka Waka that really won the spirit of the day. While the day felt like a triumphant victory for everyone involved, it was Timlin who won the Gala. Baker, with unwavering spirit and enthusiasm, clinched the Spirit Cup, winning in both the Water-polo, and the Diving. Kruger set the pool side alight with fantastic vibes, incredible outfits, and some well positioned water pistols. As always, it was the Kingsmead students, the teachers, and staﬀ, who made the day a joyous occasion and an impressive start to the 2023 year.
Ariella Fenster, Aisha Motala and Keitumetse Makhanya
Grade 12 Students
Transformation, Diversity and Inclusion
As we continue to delve into this amazing year of absolute joy and celebration, it is imperative to recognise how incredibly privileged we are to be part of a community that is founded on values which say to us, “Remember there is a challenge to you to think, to work, to fight for all that is beautiful and good and true wherever you see these things overshadowed in a world which is at present shaken, depressed and lost.”
Our birthday celebration theme for this year, COURAGE ALWAYS, is an incredibly fitting one as it encourages us to use the big and small pockets of opportunities given to us daily to exercise courage. One such opportunity is in having courageous conversations around inclusion and belonging, and how opening ourselves up to these very necessary conversations contributes significantly to creating a space where every individual feels like they can show up fully and contribute purposefully to Kingsmead.
“Courageous conversations are like exercise – the first attempts will feel painful. The weight will feel heavy, your body may resist at first, and your muscles will be sore. But in the process, you are stretching, growing, and expanding your capacity to do hard work and, in time, the results will speak for themselves”.- Charmaine Alyce
The conversations we get to have daily impact us and those around us in a number of ways. These experiences take place in classrooms, in homes, in the parking lot, at break time. Everywhere. The conversations we have in different spaces form part of societal ‘ingredients’ intertwined in the production of an effective educational system, as education needs to equip individuals with the various tools necessary to navigate and impact this world well. The use of these conversations recognises that the easiest way for a person to connect with someone else from another walk of life is for them to hear about their experiences, hardships, and successes. Conversations humanise us. When we can empathise with someone’s situation, we’re able to connect on a much deeper level and teaches us how to value people.
Talking openly and positively about differences can help children, parents, and staff better understand themselves and those around them. Embracing diversity and inclusion empowers people to engage their world with curiosity, confidence and importantly, with kindness. Diversity and inclusion and courageous conversations help us learn to empathise with people who are different from us. Inclusion and belonging make us better by allowing each of us to understand various subjects from multiple points of view and experiences.
May we continue immerse ourselves in opportunities that encourage courageous conversations.
Director: Transformation, Diversity and Inclusion
January has been a month of much busyness and excitement on Campus. We are delighted to welcome the Grade 8s and new students to Kingsmead College.
Service is an integral part of the extra-curricular programme at Kingsmead College and at the core of our ethos. Our main focus is to encourage students to be actively involved in community engagement. We are delighted to have launched new initiatives this year, these include: Service @ School; Service @ Home; Service Excursions, Service Saturdays, and a Service Whatsapp Group. We are continuing with our Buddy Reading Programme in partnership with Rays of Hope and the Junior School; and our partnership with our Service Partners. We are hard at work creating a new widget on the Kingsmead App. The new widget is a Service Directory and will feature all opportunities on offer at Kingsmead, and opportunities on offer by non profit organisations.
This month we kicked off with our Grade 8 – Introduction to Service and our first Service Saturday of the term.
As part of their Orientation – Introduction to Service, the Grade 8s visited Fight with Insight and Lefika La Phodiso at The Children’s Memorial Institute. Thanks to the generosity of the Kingsmead Community, a large donation of books, stationery and games was delivered prior to our visit. The Grade 8s worked to sort and pack donations, completely repacking the Children’s Library at Lefika, and ensuring that at Fight with Insight all text books are ready for distribution. At Fight with Insight the Grade 8s participated in a boxing class learning basic boxing moves with Coach Jennifer. Managing Director of Lefika – Rozanne Myburgh, facilitated an introduction to Drama Therapy workshop which included story telling and a feeling’s check in. Thank you to everyone at Fight with Insight and Lefika for creating a memorable morning.
For our first Service Saturday of the Term we spent the morning volunteering at The Epic Foundation (Empowering People in Crisis). After a warm welcome and introduction to The Epic Foundation by Founder and CEO Alta McMaster, our teams moved to the various work rooms. The teams swopped during the course of the morning learning more about the work that The Epic Foundation does. Epic provides survivors of GBV, survivors of human trafficking, women and children arriving at shelters, and children preparing for court days with a Comfort Pack. The Comfort Packs include essential toiletry items to assist during the initial reporting process at hospitals, crisis centres and police stations. We packed toiletry items for the Comfort Packs, and packed Comfort Packs. We packed 300 toiletry packs and 200 Comfort Packs. The Epic Foundation run The Fairy Godmother Project providing matric students with matric dance dresses, suits, shoes and accessories. Our students had so much fun sorting, packing and merchandising the items, one group tried on their dream outfits!
“What a lovely group of young students. It was a pleasure working with them. They showed so much dedication and support towards our cause – I think we have a few ambassadors in the making. Lots of hard work today from packing Comfort Packs to sorting dresses and suits. Volunteers are essential with the work we do and what these students did today has helped us a great deal. We really appreciate the support, and would gladly welcome them back at the Epic Foundation at any time.” Alta McMaster
February is all about the love of Volunteering and we have a busy month.
On Thursday 2 February we had Service at School. We made bunnies for children in hospital and snuffle balls for Guide Dogs.
Saturday 4 February was our first Buddy Reading afternoon with the children from Rays of Hope and the Junior School.
Our first Blood Drive of the year was on 7 February. Thank you to those who donated blood and gave the gift of life.
On 15 February we are hosting a Service Excursion to Dlala Nje, we will be assisting with the homework program and facilitating games and activities.
Please don’t forget Footloose Friday on 17 February, please donate your gently worn shoes – for all ages and sizes, for boys and girls, men and women.
For information on our initiatives, or if you are involved in an Organisation that offers fabulous volunteering opportunities – please be in touch! We would love to hear from you.
Head of Service