Dear Kingsmead Community
We seem to be racing towards the end of the year and I have already attended my first Nativity Concert. The Grade 12 girls are well underway with the writing of their Final Examinations and we are thinking of them at this time. They have been so well-prepared for these examinations and I am sure that they will take them in their stride.
I have been reflecting on the past year with the various grades in Chapel each week and this morning I talked to the Grade 9s about the legacy they have left this year and what they wish to accomplish in the year ahead.
I quoted the following to the Grade 9s from a Forbes Magazine article (January 2017) entitled: “5 Ways a Legacy-Driven Mindset Will Define Your Leadership.”
The following points are given as the 5 strategies to use when building legacy and defining leadership:
- Identity and values – you must know and be connected with who you are and what you represent as an individual and as a leader.
- Guiding Foundational Principles – once you are aware of your identity and set of values, how to they translate into a set of guiding principles. These should be your most enduring ideas and ideals and set the tone for your performance expectations.
- Courage and risk-taking – you need to be courageous enough as a leader to take calculated risks. You only grow when you are outside of your comfort zone.
- Genuine care to advance others – you must continue to learn how to better serve others and to understand what inspires happiness in others.
- Responsibility and Accountability – you need to be mindful of the opportunity and responsibility you have to serve your own advancement by serving others. You must be self-disciplined to hold yourself accountable to deliver to standards every step of the way.
I have also been working closely with the leaders for next year and am inspired by their enthusiasm and the initiative they have already shown in their various positions. The whole Grade 11 group is working together to achieve their leadership goals and I am most impressed by this.
The Grade 11s will be implementing some new initiatives in the new year, which will be communicated to the parents and girls and I ask that we all support the leaders in implementing these ideas.
I wish all of our girls well over the exam time.
Head: Kingsmead College
Our guest speaker was retired concert pianist Deirdre Larkin who completed her first race at 78 years old.
She later broke the half-marathon world record for runners over the age of 85.
This month was the Inter House Impromptu Public Speaking competition, which took place over two afternoons. It was an opportunity for speakers from Grade 8 to Grade 11 to brave their fears and find comfort in the uncomfortable. Impromptu speaking is often considered as one of the most daunting things a person can do, and despite the anxiety that surrounds the task, the brave young speakers astounded their adjudicators with their confidence and ability to speak off the cuff. With only ten minutes to prepare a speech topic inspired by Kingsmead’s six values, the speakers really pulled it out of the hat and gave of their absolute best. A special thank you is extended to our adjudicators Ms Ngidi and Ms Cambitzis.
The charismatic MC’s for the event were Satara Koolen, Oratilwe Tsotsotso and Arya Naidoo.
Baker house won the event overall, with the following individual awards:
Best Master of Ceremonies: Jointly awarded to Oratilwe Tsotsotso and Arya Naidoo
Best Speakers: Malaika Minyuku-Gutto (Baker) and Leeya Essa (Baker)
Most Promising Speakers: Tasmiyah Surtee (Baker) and Gallia Fenster (Timlin)
Congratulations to all who spoke at the event.
Thato Maboka (Grade 11)
Tasmiyah Surtee (Grade 10)
Husnah Maswanganyi (Grade 10)
Kiara Naidoo (Grade 9)
Lesedi Luphondo (Grade 9)
Leeya Essa (Grade 8)
Gallia Fenster (Grade 8)
Alexandra Liston (Grade 8)
Sabeeha Banwa (Grade 8)
Satara Koolen (Grade 8)
Deepta Lalla (Grade 8)
Ammaarah Wadee (Grade 8)
Nina Stockenstrom (Grade 8)
Sarah Nanabhay (Grade 8)
Malaika Minyuku- Gutto (Grade 8)
Anjali Naidoo (Grade 8)
English and Dramatic Arts Intern
The annual Grade 11 One-Act plays were staged on 16 October and our Dramatic Arts students impressed as always with polished, courageous, thought-provoking work. This year the girls produced three plays – one published work (Roadkill by Cora Bissett and Stef Smith) and two original works written by Grade 11 students: Erasure by Amonge Sinxoto, and The Note by Rachel Maruatona. The performances dealt with issues around human trafficking, where we are headed as a country, and the difficulties surounding mental illness. We were joined by South African actor Lindani Nkosi who found the work very impressive. The Grade 12 Visual Art class exhibited their final examination work and enjoyed a lovely cocktail party on 18 October to celebrate their journey in the Art Department at Kingsmead.
Well done to our Junior Marimba Ensembles who performed with flair at the Marimba Evening at St Katharine’s at the end of September. Our Grade 3 Choir sang beautifully at the ‘Sound of Children’ Choir evening at the Linder Auditorium at the start of October. Our Senior School Marimba Ensembles, Choir, Orchestra and Glee performed with great enthusiasm at Speech Evening and our Marimbas at Goodwill Day.
Junior Marimba Ensembles
Junior Marimba Ensembles
‘Sound of Children’ Choir evening
‘Sound of Children’ Choir evening
The Senior School Orchestra performed at the Cornwall Hill Orchestra Festival where they wowed the audience with their energy and enthusiasm.
Well done to all our Junior School musicians who performed so well at the Jan Celliers Musiek Kunswedstryd. Congratulations to Giorgia Wickens, Jemma Goussard, Hannah Daniels and Kristin Brown who were invited to play at the Jan Celliers Musiek Kunswedstryd Prize Giving.
We are looking forward to auditions that are being held for next year’s Senior School Major Production, Sarafina!. The revival of this South African classic will take on a comtemporary feel and we will collaborate with King Edward VII School. We are very excited about putting on a vibrant musical that will combine the Music, Drama and Visual Art departments’ talents.
Director of Arts and Music
Kingsmead College was placed 2nd at Inter-High Athletics 2017. A number of champion athletes ran and jumped for Kingsmead. Robyn Blackwell broke the 800m record and Palesa Malebana broke the senior long jump record. Jamie-Lee Clogg won four races on the day, including the open relay who were undefeated this season. For the first time, the whole school supported the Athletics team at Inter-high. In addition to cheering the runners over the finish line, our supporters were without a doubt the most spirited. Friendly competition was even taken off the track and into the war-cries. This was a season of fun and unity from the first meeting to the last and has placed us on a positive footing for next year.
Grade 9 pupil, Sarah Benning, featured in the latest edition of the SASCOC/TeamSA magazine.
We are excited about the new climbing wall in the Gym that will be available to the Senior School girls from 2018.
The waterpolo teams after a good season have won their league and are now promoted to the A league for 2018.We have 8 Provincial players into the Gauteng teams.
Congratulations to our 1st team girls (Katelyn Wijtenberg, Margarete Amoes and Lauren Paton) who were unbeaten this season in their league.
Director of Sport
Kingsmead College participated in the isiZulu Olympiad in September.
Congratulations to Grade 11 pupils Tshepiso Moloi and Nqobile Shiba who were placed 1st and 2nd respectively, in South Africa.
MAKING THINKING VISIBLE WEEK
The theme for this year’s Making Thinking Visible Week might seem a little contradictory. I asked the Senior School to ban the word “thinking”. This is not because it is not an important word, but rather because the term “think” is far too vague to describe the array of cognitive skills and processes teachers and students engage in every day. Every day we don’t just think, we analyse, problem-solve, evaluate, hypothesize, describe, create and so much more! This reflection on our thinking allowed us to be alerted to times when different cognitive skills were needed and build a broader vocabulary to describe and direct our cognition, with the purpose of improving it.
The week kicked off with Project Day, where each grade had a specific rich task to engage with. On Wednesday, the Grade 8s played Making Thinking Visible Bingo during their lessons. They had to be alert to opportunities where their teachers and peers made their cognition explicit, either through a particular Thinking Map or even being specific about the thinking verb used to describe the task. The Grade 10s joined their teachers for pizza and reflection on the Babanango task on Thursday. They shared valuable and mature insights into the value of the project and gave practical solutions to the problems they grappled with. The Grade 9s recreated an Agora, or market place, on the Garth. In Athens, the Agora was a crucible for philosophy as we know it today. In groups, the Grade 9 philosophers challenged staff and peers by posing thought-provoking and head-scratching questions. Their enthusiasm and commitment to the task were praise-worthy. The Grade 11s engaged with Lucia Harding, the school psychologist, on Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, which focused on being aware of the reactive brain and moving towards using the rational brain and ultimately finding a balance between the two.
Overall, Making Thinking Visible Week was a great success and reminds us that it is not enough just to have a Growth Mindset, but rather it is this alongside dedicated and purposeful hard work and practice which leads to success.
‘PHILOSOPHY FOR CHILDREN’ OUTING TO THE UNIVERSITY OF JOHANNESBURG
On Thursday 5 October, the Grade 9 philosophers set off on an adventure to the University of Johannesburg. They started the day visiting the outstanding UJ Arts Centre as a stimulus for philosophical discussion about the question “What is art?”. Their next stop was to a lecture and discussion designed for our girls, facilitated by Chad Harris, a member of the Philosophy faculty. Mr Harris was blown away by the level of engagement and confidence with which the Grade 9s shared their thoughts. Adiya Pillay did a great job of capturing the highlights of the day:
Thursday morning started with 65 Grade 9 girls fervently dashing around the campus of UJ to avoid the torturous cold. However, once we managed to take shelter from this weather, our minds were pulled in ways that none of us had ever deemed possible. Our senses were first overwhelmed with the beauty and grotesqueness that lay within the ‘Kakotopia’ exhibit. The pieces evoked emotions in us that were indescribable and made us see things that we would have never imagined. We then fired every single synapse in our brain in a philosophical discussion. We were first lectured about the skills that would hold the most value when our generation was in the workforce and how they were changing due to Artificial Intelligence developing at a rapid rate. We were then allowed to contribute our views and opinions, every single one of them valued equally. The points that were raised posed intricate problems that were linked to the core of philosophy. ‘What makes a human, human?’ ‘What makes skill with understanding, different from plain old skill?’ ‘Why would it be so difficult to code emotions into machines?’ All of these questions were “answered” (there are quotation marks as you can never truly answer these questions) masterfully, with scientific arguments and sound logic well in play, most of it expressed eloquently. This was all created in the minds of girls who are not old enough to carry an ID or vote yet.
In a world where computers can do highly complex algebra within milliseconds, creativity and critical thinking, are two indispensable skills. These two things are key drivers of philosophy.
Head of Critical Thinking, Research & Enrichment
Grade 8 First Eye Dissection
On the 28 September, the Grade 8s experienced their first ever eye dissection.
It was very intimidating as we walked into the class seeing little raw eye balls belonging to an animal of some sort. And just by chance, we were also joined on the day with a few Grade 6s. They were probably even more frightened than us.
The sensation of cutting something open that’s slimy and soft was much more unnatural to us than we thought. We had to complete a set of questions in the end evaluating what we had just done as well.
In the end, through all the squeals and laughs, the Grade 8s found this lesson really enjoyable leaving us looking forward to our next dissection next year.
Grade 8 Pupil
Babanago valley was a real treat for all of us. On our way to the camp, we stopped off at Isandlwana mountain where we learnt about the fascinating battle of Isandlwana. I found this so intriguing and I normally don’t like history. We then journeyed on to rock pool bush camp, which is set up in a great spot, right on the Nsombeni River.
On the first day, we went to visit the Babanango village that is found in the northern regions of Zululand. This was truly incredible to see. So many people living such a basic lifestyle. I will never forget how privileged I am after walking through that village.
There was a lot of walking, working and wondering but very little whining as we were treated so well in this amazing camp, we had a bit of free time where we could hike up the mountain, go for a swim or even just go visit the goats and chickens down the road. The time there felt good and helped clear my mind.
I learnt so much and I am so grateful we had this opportunity.
My highlight of this trip was lying out beneath a galaxy of stars that painted the sky.
Just as magical as the special time I spent with all my friends, committed and caring teachers and a tent full of spiders and snakes.
Grade 10 Pupil
South African National Geography Olympiad (SANGO)
The 2017 SANGO pilot, held on the 14 September, was a huge success. Sixty schools from across South Africa participated, with 946 learners successfully completing the online Olympiad.
Twenty one Geography Kingsmead students across Grade 10 – 12 with Alexandra Lee in Grade 11 emerging as our top candidate. Alexandra Lee, Georgia Taylor, Eryn Le Fleur and Ileana Pal were placed in the top 10% and were each awarded a silver certificate.
Olivia Chalwin-Milton, Gabriella Kerby, Zanele Mpofu, Angela Ngwenya and Emma Osterlee were placed in the top 15% and were each awarded a bronze certificate.
We look forward to participating in the next Olympiad to be held on the 15 May next year!
HOD Geography, History and Accounting
The red carpet was rolled out for the Kingsmead Girls at the 2017 Kingfisher Awards. The girls all looked beautiful for the presentation of their adverts to family and friends. The adverts were created for charities supported by Kingsmead College. The project entailed creating adverts from start to finish – concept development, film, art direction, music, editing and acting. Congratulations to the winners: Group 11 for their Kitty and Puppy Haven advert.
Suzanne Cambitzis Janine Lovatt
HOD English Grade 8 Co-ordinator and English Teacher
Goodwill day was a true celebration of Kingsmead College’s value of Service and epitomised out the Service slogan, Give Without Expecting Reward. All proceeds of the day will go towards the various charities we support and many of these charities were represented on the day.
The Walk in Colour, sponsored by Nedbank, was in aid of the Junior School Bursary and the Kingsmead community filled the surrounding suburb with colour and excitement.
The rest of the morning was jam packed with activities organised by the Senior School girls, including a fun filled Games area, henna tattoos, planting of succulents, cupcake decorating, the tea garden and the very popular haunted house. Well done to the girls for running these activities with so much flair, generosity and enthusiasm.
38 units of blood were donated at the SANBS Blood drive on the day.
Children from Fight with Insight, Rays of Hope and Guild Cottage visited on the day and participated in marimba workshops. Thank you to the moms who were responsible for the delicious lunch and Krispy Kreme sponsored to all our visitors.
The community donated gently loved clothing and shoes that will be used for a Street Store later this year.
Thank you to the many sponsors and contributors who made this day possible!
The following charities and organisations benefited from Goodwill Day 2017:
Fight with Insight
Rays of Hope
Harvey Cohen Centre
Courage for Coaches
St Vincents School for the Deaf
Community Hours SA
Head of Service
We hope that you have had a relaxing half term and are feeling refreshed as you begin this final part of the year. Thank you for your support of the PTA and our initiatives. It is with a great sense of pride that I have seen the Kingsmead bus travelling along the streets of Johannesburg and am reminded of your generosity to our School.
World Teachers’ Day was celebrated on 5 October and, on your behalf, the teachers and administrative staff, including the interns, Music Department and creche staff, each received a gift from the PTA showing our support. The staff’s appreciation has been wonderful.
The PTA funds raised are being allocated, in consultation with the School, according to the School’s Wish List. This includes: A 14 seater Nissan NV350 2.5 Wide Taxi, the entrance to the Senior Prep, a Sensory Garden, the Lange Hall curtains and the Senior School Staff room upgrade. Thank you for supporting our projects, including the Junior School greeting cards, that enable these funds to be raised.
Goodwill Day was a wonderful day in the life of the Kingsmead Community. The PTA Major Raffle prize winners were drawn. A total of 466 tickets were sold. Congratulations to our winners:
First Prize – 3-day Rovos Rail trip for two to Cape Town with a night’s accommodation and return flights to Johannesburg: David Rosmarin
Second Prize – A pair of 0.52ct (total weight) diamond earrings: Shervin Pruthab
An amazing 1 494 walkers participated in the Walk in Colour. Nedbank was secured as a sponsor and the proceeds of this Walk will go towards the Junior School Bursary Fund. 145 children participated in the Dance-a-thon and the proceeds will go to JAM. Your participation is appreciated. Thank you!
The KCC termly draw and car parking bay raffle will be drawn on 30 October in the Junior School and over 80 entrants will Ride for Bara on Sunday 19 November in the 947 cycle race. We wish you a safe ride.
The School has sent out a letter regarding the 2018 PTA portfolios. We welcome your involvement and encourage you to contact us should you be interested in giving of your time and talents. Appointments will be made in consultation with the School. The PTA Handover will take place at 07h30 on 10 November and the PTA AGM at 07h15 on 17 November.
We wish our girls well in the upcoming examinations.
2017 PTA Chair