Dear Parents and Girls

I do hope that all the exams have gone well and that you are now looking forward to a well-earned holiday break.

I trust that you have received a copy of the letter about the closing of the tuckshop and kitchen for renovations during the first part of the year. I know that we will experience some inconvenience and disruption around this time, but I believe it will be well worth it once it is completed.

As I reflect on the year, it has been such a successful one in so many respects. I must thank the Council for its guidance and support. In particular, I would like to thank Phillip Myburgh (Council Chair) and Alison Carvalheiro (Financial Director) who have served their terms and will be leaving us at the end of the year. They have both given of their time and commitment to the school and have left Kingsmead College in an excellent position – financially and strategically – to move into the future. I welcome Bev Bouwer as the new Council Chair and wish her well for her term ahead.

I do not wish to repeat what I said on Speech Evening or re-list the highlights mentioned in every newsletter, but I do believe that the 4 pillars of the school – academics, sport, arts and service – are all thriving and working together for the good of our girls. This reinforces the holistic nature of our school and for which it is renowned.

Thank you to the girls and to the parents for your ongoing support of the school. You all play a part in the success of the school. I also thank all the staff – academic, administrative and service – for their contribution to the school. Each staff member goes well beyond what is expected to ensure that Kingsmead continues to flourish.

Thank you to the OKA, the PTA and the Kingsmead Trust – these committees of parents work tirelessly, and mostly behind the scenes, to underpin what the school is doing.

I wish all our families a blessed festive season and a restful holiday break.

Fond regards

Lisa Kaplan
Head: Kingsmead College

Sports News

DIVING

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Kingsmead College pupils, Sarah Benning (left) and Olivia van Vollenhoven, represented South Africa at the World Junior Diving Championships in Russia.

Kingsmead Coach, Dominique Philippopoulos, accompanied the girls to Kazan.

Robert Pullen
Director of Sport

Arts News

DANCE 

Well done to Unathi Ncube who performed in ‘Made in SA’ which was aired on SABC 3 in November. She has been mentored by Joburg Ballet‘s senior soloist Nicole Ferreira-Dill and has a bright future as a ballet dancer.

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ART

The Grade 10 Art pupils each produced a landscape painting in which they could copy an existing image. Some used their own photographs, or they could combine a number of images. This is the first time that many of them have painted a landscape, or used oil paint. They also were given a limited number of colours and discouraged from using black unless it was used mixed with yellow to create green. Within these restrictions, they produced wonderful pieces of work and they are commended for their enthusiasm and perseverance. The works are on view in the Music Reception area until the end of November. A small selection of these works included:

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MUSIC

Well done to our Junior School, novice musicians, who played beautifully at the last two concerts of the year.

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Carol Service

The annual Carol service will take place on Thursday 1 December from 18h00 -19h00 at the Rosebank Union Church. All our choirs, orchestras and ensembles are involved. This is a compulsory school event and all our girls are expected to attend. The girls are to be dressed in their summer uniform for the occasion. Refreshments will be served after the service, so that we can celebrate our successful year as a school community. Donations will be collected for our charities at the event.

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Elsabé Fourie
Director of Arts & Music

Academic News

SACEE CREATIVE WRITING COMPETITION 2016

The annual creative writing competition, under the auspices of the South African Council of English Educators, held its prize giving ceremony at King David Victory Park on Thursday the 3rd of November. The evening included outstanding piano recitals and moving solo singing performances from two very talented King David pupils. The judge, writer Jane Fox, then delivered detailed feedback to the participants after which the awards in each category took place.

Congratulations are extended to all the Kingsmead girls who entered this competition. Special mention must be made of Rachel McKay (Grade 9) who received: ‘Commendation in the Junior Prose category’ and Rochelle Coetser (Grade 8) who was placed second in the ‘Junior Poetry’ category. We hope to submit both pieces to the English Alive selection panel for possible publication in 2017.

Aspiring Kingsmead poets and writers are encouraged to enter the competitions that will take place in 2017.

Suzanne Cambitzis
Head of English

MATHEMATICS

One of the focuses that the Mathematics department has highlighted, as essential for 2017, is the need for smaller classes. Many studies point to the correlation between improved performance and reduced class size. Ratios of between 13:1 and 20:1 dependent on the abilities of the students have been identified as optimal.  Reduced class sizes enable each student to be given the necessary personal attention to facilitate better understanding in Mathematics.  Smaller classes engender and allow for alternative teaching methods to be introduced. What has proved to be successful this year, especially in Grade 8, is the use of various peer-teaching structures. These can only be implemented in the smaller classes. There has been a marked improvement in the achievements of the Grade 8 and Grade 9 girls.

Whilst this is important in all grades, it is even more crucial in the Senior Grades. The Grade 12s, for the first time, will be divided into 4 smaller classes.  The importance of passing Core Mathematics, with a useful pass, is growing in significance as the competition for places in Tertiary institutions intensifies.

Thus in 2017 the Grade 12s will be subdivided into 4 smaller classes rather than 3 larger classes. The aim is to be able to maximise each girl’s potential, and to allow her to be more active within each class, without feeling out of her depth.

It is hoped that this will result in an improved  overall result in the Final Examinations.

So as we way say goodbye to 2016 and await the results of our present Grade 12s, we also look forward to the New Year and the challenges and triumphs that it may bring.

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Sharonne Isack
Senior School Maths Teacher

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Wishing you, and your loved ones, a blessed holiday!