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Dear Kingsmead Old Girls,

My motto for 2016 is to “CELEBRATE LIFE”.

So this is what I have been doing this year by hosting memorable events such as baby showers for girls in my fertility support group, my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary and participating in new challenges such as the Muddy Princesses event (a five kilometre obstacle course through mud) which believe it or not I have signed up for. This event will be held on 29 May 2016 and I hope that some of you will participate too.

Life is a gift and while we have our health, life needs to be lived to the full.

There are two basic things that most people strive for in life, the first to be understood and the second to be appreciated. A true friendship provides both.

Next year will be 30 years since I left the jacaranda lined driveway of Kingsmead and entered the big world. I treasure each of the friendships that I cultivated over the 12 years I had the privilege of spending at Kingsmead.

On 10 September 2016 at 12h30, the annual OKA luncheon will take place in the magnificent grounds of Kingsmead. Planning is already underway especially for those classes that are celebrating their 20th, 40th and 50th reunions. I also hope to see an excellent turnout for the class of 2006 who will be celebrating their 10 year reunion.

The 40th reunion group at our OKA Luncheon 2015Screenshot 2016-04-11 15.58.30

Back row: From Left: Neryne Burgess (Maiden name Prevost), Ann (Steyn) Taylor,
Rev Hansie Wolmarans, Eliane Lidchi, Cathy van Niekerk (Beard),Vanessa Rosseau(Hefer),Julie
Rathbone (Westwood),Suzanne Poorter (Lowson), Karyn Poltera (Pryke), Shonagh Levieux (Garrett)
Middle Row: Rosemary Bulterman(Shave), Penny Southey (Venter), Hazel Coetzee
Front Row: Wendy Adams (Rowe), Lynne Mackie (Hancock), Sue Perbrick (Dunningham).

Please contact your classmates and put together a table for this special event. Facebook is a useful way of re-connecting with your class. It would be lovely to have every class represented at this memorable event.

This year in February the OKA organised a very special Let’s Connect breakfast that was held at Dolce Café, which is owned by Jackie Right-Boyd. During this breakfast many connections were made. By way of example, Philippa from The Pressed Juice Company  attended the breakfast and as a result now provides juices to Dolce Café.

The OKA’s next Let’s Connect breakfast will take place on 3 June 2016 at the Arbour Café in the Birdhaven Shopping Centre at 7.30 am (invite to follow). (The Arbour Café is owned by Robyn, an ex-Kingsmeadian.)

In March 2016, the OKA held its annual Bridge Drive. Over 120 ladies and gentlemen attended this fun-filled event.

Due to the success of this event the OKA will be hosting a second Bridge Drive on 25 June 2016 from 14h00 to 17h00 to accommodate those who are unable to drive at night. This is a Saturday afternoon and I do hope that you will reserve this date in your diaries.

Kingsmead continues to be the most exceptional girl’s school in Johannesburg. It achieved the top matric results in the country. Special congratulations are extended to the matric class of 2015 and their teachers for this outstanding achievement. It is worthy of mention that Kingsmead does not impose the requirement that new entrants to the school write an entrance exam. This makes this extraordinary achievement even more special as Kingsmead accepts girls from a wide spectrum of academic backgrounds.

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Kingsmead funds 17 bursaries at present and the pupils awarded such accolades continue to excel in all aspects of their schooling career and are an asset to the school.

The Kingsmead Foundation has been established to help fund these bursaries. All the proceeds from the OKA events during the course of each year go into a separate OKA Bursary Fund. This fund supports Kingsmead Old Girl’s children or other pupils in the school needing financial assistance. Should you wish to contribute to this wonderful cause, I would love to hear from you to explain the different ways of how you could contribute to this life changing opportunity. Please send me an e-mail to kirstenlegg2@gmail.com.

The need for sponsorship is ongoing. Certain girls require assistance in order to participate in school tours and camps, and any help that you may be able to give would be much appreciated.

As I paged through the school’s most recent magazine, I felt so honoured to have been part of the amazing vision of D.V. Thompson that became a reality and that we were all so blessed to have experienced.

Last year the senior school was exposed to wonderful opportunities such as affording a number of girls the experience to attend overseas tours to Vietnam and Paris, whilst others attended the Global Young Leaders Conference in America. Many Grade 8 to 11 girls are currently partaking in the President’s Award which serves to equip the girls with incredible life skills, which they attain in completing the various levels of the course, through giving up several hours of their time to those less fortunate than themselves.

Last year in the Junior School the children continued to raise funds for JAM (Joint Aid Management). They raised enough money to feed fifty pre-school children for the year. The Randvaal Old Age Home, continues to be visited by the Grade 7 girls, to the delight of all the elderly folk there. A group of Grade 0 learners visited Kingsmead from Soweto and the girls organised a party for them. The girls visited the University of Pretoria where they visited the Mapungubwe Museum and Sci-Enza, where they were exposed to exciting scientific ideas.

On the sports front, Kingsmead continues to offer hockey, swimming, athletics, netball, water-polo and equestrian extra mural activities. Under the new management of Robert Pullen, tremendous results have been achieved over the past term.

The music department provides opportunities for girls to take part in string, flute and clarinet ensembles, marimbas, orchestra, choir and the Glee group. Girls are given the opportunity to showcase their talent at various combined concerts with other schools.

Lisa Kaplan and Sue MacEwan continue to support the OKA and its fund raises and for this I am eternally grateful.

A big thank you to both Lisa and Sue for upholding the ethos of Kingsmead and instilling in the girls true values that they can hold onto and nurture throughout their lives, which will serve to equip them in making well thought out decisions in life.

“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” (Eleanor Roosevelt)

With fond regards
Mrs Kirsten Legg
Chairlady of the OKA

Letter from Sue MacEwan

In 2012 the Kingsmead College Council decided that, due to the exceptionally long waitlist in the Junior School, we should take in a third class of students commencing in Grade Nought 2013.  This involved the need for additional classrooms as the third class would move through the school in years to come.  We were able to fill this third class easily and at the start of 2013 the third Grade Nought class commenced.  One of our Grade Two classes needed to move into the Senior Primary section of the school in order to accommodate this additional class.   A further decision, during 2012 had been made to extend the existing classrooms in the Senior Primary block and add a walkway on the top level for easier access to the classrooms.

I had always wanted to create an archway to link Mornington, which houses our Bluebells and Buttecups, to the Junior School.  This formed part of the building process.

At the start of the winter holiday in 2013 the builders moved in and work commenced on the extension and upgrading.  Plans had to be put in place to accommodate the Senior Primary classes during the time of the extensions.  It was quite a novelty for the girls to be housed in temporary classrooms that were erected on the grass hockey field.  The builders spent a full term on the renovations.  In September, when the girls returned to school after the winter holidays, we able to move them into their new classrooms.  There was a certain reluctance on the part of the girls as they had become very comfortable in their temporary classrooms!  During this building process we were also able to create a lovely ‘quad’ with a fountain and renew the gardens in this area.

As the additional class was moving through the school it became necessary to think of ways to accommodate the ‘bubble’.  In 2014 plans were made to relocate the Library and Computer Centre to the upstairs area of the building and establish four new classrooms on the lower level.  As there was going to be this disruption, it was also agreed that the Joel Hall be extended to accommodate the growing numbers in the Junior School.

Once again the builders moved in at the start of the 2015 April holidays and spent the winter term working on the renovations.  Fortunately this time we only had to accommodate two classes in temporary classrooms on the grass hockey field.  Packing up the library and the computer centre proved to be somewhat challenging.  We were fortunate to have four containers delivered to house our books, furniture and the computers during this time.  We were also unable to use the Joel Hall during this time and had to take our assemblies to the gym each Monday and Friday morning.

The inconvenience, dust and disruption to our school was certainly worth it in the long run.  We now have a beautiful library space, a collaborative area and a practical, well planned computer centre for the girls.  The modern furnishings in the library were made possible by a generous donation from one of our parents and the expertise of two Kingsmead mothers who have an interior design company.  It pleasing that all the renovations and additions to the buildings have retained the architectural style of the original buildings.
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A further feature in the Library is the placement of our statue ‘Reader Girl’ against the large window overlooking the grass field.  Here again, it was due to donations from our parents that allowed this feature.

The Joel Hall has become a hub of activity for school functions due to its size, airiness and accessibility.  Our intention is to make this a flexible space; therefore we are, at the moment installing a movable stage which should be completed by the end of the April school holidays, in time for our Grade Seven production at the end of the second term.  The stage was also made possible by a generous donation from a parent in the Junior School.

I have just completed the interviews with prospective parents and Grade Nought girls for 2017.  We shall have our nineteen Buttercups moving into Grade Nought next year and have offered an additional forty one places.  Our three classes shall therefore have twenty students in each class.

Although we have expanded the intake in the Junior School and the buildings have been extended and altered, I am always content when I speak to prospective parents and they mention that on entering the Junior School they feel a sense of tranquility and gentleness.  A further remark is that our girls are happy!  This they are – I am a firm believer that a happy girl is one that is learning.

We are constantly aware of Miss Thompson’s writing:

In 1944 she wrote:

“Of all the things that I hear most often said about Kingsmead – that which is most frequent is the remarks that it is such a happy place.  There is a spirit of comradeship among staff and girls, which impresses itself upon people as soon as they come here.  That is a priceless treasure and it does not come, nor does it stay, without effort – that effort to give and take, that effort to see that newcomers are welcomed and made to feel at home, that realization that everyone of us is in the same boat and that everyone of us, from the highest to the lowest is responsible for keeping the ship sailing smoothly and strongly, through foul weather and fine.”

Sue Mac Ewan

Headmistress:  Kingsmead Junior School

The 2016 Leaders

BV Head Girls 1

Tahiyya Bux (Deputy Head Girl), Amy Stessl (Head Girl) and Monica Carvalheiro (Deputy Head Girl)

BW Heads of House

Jessica Blunden (Kruger House), Divine Mwale (Baker House), and Olivia Roberts (Timlin House)

BP Heads & Deputies of Sport,Service,Culture

Anisa Essop (Sport), Victoria Arthur (Service) and Georgia Burnett (Arts)

Congratulations to the Scholarship Winners for 2017!

Academic Scholarship 2017
Closed: Ammaarah Wadee
Open: Raeesah Jadwat
Discretionary: Sabeeha Banwa

Sport Scholarship 2017
Closed: Olivia Davidson
Open: Bailey Heydra
Discretionary: Mia Nunez, Kate Galloway, Kennedy Davis

Music Scholarship 2017
Closed: Catherine du Toit
Open: Erin Daniels

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Kingsmead Book Fair 2016 – 21 May

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Kingsmead old girl – Julia Vincent – is going to represent South Africa at the Rio Olympics. She is the first diver to do so since Jenna Dreyer in 2008. Congratulations to Julia and to her Kingsmead coach – Dom Philippopoulos. Julia was the Vice Head of Sport in her Grade 12 year and has always been a role model to many of the girls. Well done, Julia, we are so proud of you!

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John MalatjieScreenshot 2016-04-06 14.24.01

It is with great sadness that I write to inform you of the untimely passing of one of our Service Staff members – John Malatjie. John started working at Kingsmead on 4 February 1983 and has thus served the school loyally for 33 years. He was our main maintenance man on the team and there was nothing that John could not fix.

John was admitted to hospital on Saturday morning, suffering from a cold and he passed away on Saturday night.

His family are in our thoughts and prayers at this time.