Old Kingsmeadian Newsletter November 2016

A note from Kirsten Legg

Head of the OKA

What a year, 2016, has been! I couldn’t have packed another thing into (what’s felt like) the fastest year of my life.

One of the highlights of my year, has definitely been raising our annual goal of R60,000 for the Old Girls’ Bursary Fund.

I am compelled to thank my incredible Old Kingsmeadian Association (OKA) committee for their continuous support. In Term One, we hosted our annual OKA Bridge Drive. Old Girl, Caroline Berry (Caroline in the Kitchen) provided the most scrumptious dinner.

We hosted a Let’s Connect breakfast at the Dolce Café in Craighall Park. Dolce Café is owned by a Kingsmead Old Girl, Jackie Righi-Boyd. My aim is to support Kingsmead alumnae businesses where at all possible.

In Term Two, we hosted a second Bridge Drive in the form of a High Tea, in the hope of attracting more people who prefer not to travel at night.

Our second Let’s Connect breakfast was held at the magnificent Glenda’s restaurant – a floral haven. Glenda is also a Kingsmead Old Girl.

In the Third Term, we hosted our Let’s Connect Breakfast at Ferguson’s in Illovo.

The Let’s Connect meetings help me to build relationships with Kingsmead College alumnae of all year groups.

Our annual OKA reunion lunch was another resounding success. We hosted the lunch under the trees in the Junior School. There were year groups celebrating their 10th, 20th, 40th, 50th and 60th reunions since Matriculation.


In my speech, I shared my love of flowers and their meanings. I have a florist where I attach the meanings of the flowers to the flowers, so that a message is conveyed when I deliver a bouquet to the recipient.  I chose flowers for every table that depicted the season of the ladies’ lives.

The 1950’s ladies received flowers of courage and endurance as they grow older gracefully. The 1960’s girls received flowers meaning a contented existence and flowers meaning ‘brings encouragement’. The 1970’s ladies were flowers of cheerfulness and ‘it’s heavenly to be with you’. The 1980’s ladies received flowers meaning friendship and education because friendships are critical to this age group and they are educating their children at this stage of life. 1990’s ladies were given flowers of confidence and happiness and ‘I’m dazzled by your charm. Lastly the 2000’s youngsters were given ‘thanks for the lovely time ‘ and faith and hope, two words one needs to hold onto throughout one’s life.

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Kingsmead has continued to be the school of choice excelling in Arts, Academics, Sport and Service. In the Arts and Music departments girls are able to participate in so ways, discovering their God-given talents and using them wisely. We are exceptionally proud of Julia Vincent, who dived for South Africa in the Rio Olympics, and Tshinakho Mdau, who plays for South Africa’s Protea Netball Team. Tshinakho and Julia graduated from Kingsmead College in 2012. They were Head and Deputy Head of Sport in their Matriculation year.

Speech evening is always one of my most favourite events on the school calendar. Amy Stessl, our 2016 Head Girl, delivered a speech like no other. What a magnificently beautiful soul she is. Brent Lindique was the guest speaker and inspired the girls how by changing one thing, you can change everything. Brent taught the girls to follow their passions and to never settle for average.

So I would like to encourage you all to step out in 2017 and have the furthest thing from an average year. May you be astounded by your own achievements at the end of 2017.

Every day is a gift. Live, love and be loved.

Wishing you all a blessed Christmas and an adventurous New Year – a year where dreams come true!

Kirsten Legg

OKA Chairlady

Annual Speech Evening 2016:

Lisa Kaplan’s Address

Good evening to the Chairman of Council, Mr Phillip Myburgh and Mrs Myburgh, our guest of honour Mr Brent Lindeque, members of the Kingsmead Council, distinguished guests, parents, staff, pupils and, most importantly – our Matric class of 2016.

Thank you for joining us to reflect on the year and what a year it has been! Nearly a century ago William Butler Yeats wrote his poem,”The Second Coming” – “Turning and turning in the widening gyre, The Falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, the blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere the ceremony of innocence is drowned; The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity.”

Who would have thought that Yeats’s poem would have held such significance for 2016?

The world headlines have been dominated by the Syrian refugee crisis; confusion around Brexit; natural disasters and, of course the man that Bruce Springsteen has called a “moron” – Donald Trump. Closer to home the municipal elections and the university crises have overshadowed any other news. The UN International day of peace slipped past on the 21 September, hardly noticed. In the last few weeks, Brangelina – or should I now say definitely Brad and Angelina – has been the focus with a divorce settlement said to exceed R5.5 billion.

The only thing we can possibly do in this unpredictable world is to teach our children predictable skills.

Fortunately every four years, we have a powerful reminder of what makes this world great and it shows us true examples of what it means to push the limits, show pride for one’s nation and humanity in every sense of the word – the Olympics and Paralympics!

Some of the greatest lessons were again learnt this year in Rio. I am sure that there were few dry eyes as the Olympics’ Refugee Team walked into the Opening Ceremony in the Parade of Nations. Surely, their definition of success at the Olympic Games must be different to others?
Angela Duckworth and her concept of “grit” as being a combination of passion and perseverance for long term goals was seen in the Paralympics over and over again. This is not just resilience, but also toughness and it requires us to run life as a marathon and not as a sprint. She says that we need to get gritty about getting our kids grittier and that grit might be the best predictor of how you’ll end up living your life. This also resonates so well with the outlook of the growth mindset that we have strongly adopted at Kingsmead. As Sia sings in “The Greatest” –͞ “Uh-oh, running out of breath, but I got stamina, And uh-oh I see another mountain to climb, But I, I got stamina.”

It was reassuring to see that things we are grappling with at Kingsmead are universal issues. When I attended the “Global Forum on Girls’ Education” in New York earlier this year, themes running though the conference were the pressure on our girls to succeed; girls developing their own voices; girls leadership; diversity in our schools; connectedness and skills needed for the future.

Arianna Huffington spoke about the incredible influence that teachers have on our girls’ lives and also about how we are all drowning in data and yet we seem starved for wisdom.

Lisa Damour spoke on her book – “Untangled”, giving some practical advice as to how to understand adolescent girls using her model and explaining how we need a new framework for talking to our girls.

Rachel Simmons spoke about the concept of “Effortless Perfectionism” – where our girls are feeling the pressure to hit the highest levels in every domain. She also said we need to lean in, but also need to lean inside.

At Kingsmead, we place emphasis on research skills. This reminds me of when a student, who had clearly not been through Miss Bocher’s rigorous research skills course, approached his teacher asking: “I don’t understand why my mark was so low. How did I do on my research essay?”

To which the teacher, clearly not a Kingsmead teacher replied: “Actually, you didn’t turn in a research paper. You turned in a random assemblage of sentences. In fact, the sentences you apparently kidnapped in the dead of night and forced into this violent and arbitrary plan of yours clearly seemed to be placed on the pages against their will. Reading your paper was like watching unfamiliar, uncomfortable people interacting at a cocktail party that no one wanted to attend in the first place. You didn’t submit a research paper. You submitted a hostage situation.”

Well, that clearly did not happen at Kingsmead.

And so “Courage always”  is needed in every sphere of our girls’ lives. David Whyte’s definition of Courage resonates strongly with me and with the way in which D V Thompson envisaged it in her writings:

“Courage is a word that tempts us to think outwardly, to run bravely against opposing fire, and perhaps, above all, to be seen to do it in public, to show courage; to be celebrated in story, rewarded with medals, but a look at its linguistic origins leads us in a more interior direction and toward its original template, the old Norman French, Coeur, or heart. Courage is the measure of our heartfelt participation with life, with another, with a community, a work, a future. To be courageous, is not necessarily to go anywhere or do anything except to make conscious those things we already feel deeply and then to live through the unending vulnerabilities of those consequences.”

More and more we are learning about how important failing is for our girls and let me tell you, girls don’t like to fail. Rachel Simmons writes that:”Failing well is a skill. Letting girls do it gives them critical practise coping with a negative experience. It also gives them the opportunity to develop a kind of confidence and resilience that can only be forged in times of challenge.”

We need time for discussion and debate and space to be mindful. More than ever, we need to create a culture where it is alright to make mistakes.

Our challenge is to help girls to see failure in a more positive light. Girls are more affected by failure than boys, because girls, particularly intelligent girls, are prone to believe that it’s talent, not practise, that leads to success – in other words that failure is a result of lack of ability and that this reflects directly on them.

Girls are also more sensitive to how teachers praise them. Simmons encourages us to praise the effort and not praise the traits and abilities – like being “smart” or “nice”. Girls need space to experience failure and not be rescued by adults.
The Girls’ Leadership website recommends the following five points in order to create strong female leaders with necessary skills:

1.Coach girls to speak confidently: Girls can undermine themselves when they speak. Phrases like “kind of” and”sort of” weaken their statements and also saying “I’m not sure if this is right… or sounding like everything is a question, hinder a girl’s ability to share her ideas confidently.

2.Teach girls to navigate conflict: girls are often taught to suppress their feelings in order to get along with others. We need to encourage girls to speak honestly and avoid social shortcuts like texting and social media.

3.Encourage girls to own their success: When girls are complimented on their achievements, they also tend to deflect praise or minimise their accomplishments. Saying things like I was lucky or others helped me, rather than giving themselves the direct credit.

4.Inspire girls to go for it: Some girls don’t speak in class unless they are 100% sure that they have the right answer. Encourage them to step out of their comfort zone and explain that being brave is rarely about dramatic moments; it’s a skill acquired little by little.

5.Finally – celebrate female leadership.

Judy Willis in her article – “The Neuroscience behind stress and learning” tells us that neuroimaging shows disturbances in the brain’s learning circuits and neurotransmitters when they are in stressful learning environments. It is thus a matter of science that when students are stressed out, the information cannot get in. She goes on to say that superior learning takes place when classroom experiences are relevant to students’ lives, interests and experiences.

Alfie Kohn says that the highest level of aha moments of insight and creative innovation are likely to occur in an atmosphere of exuberant discovery where students of all ages retain that kindergarten enthusiasm of embracing each day with the joy of learning.

Pupil well-being is integral and at Kingsmead we are renowned for it. We recognise how an optimistic, non-stressed environment is the optimal learning one.
Our focus remains on the individual girl. One of our objectives is that every girl will be known and cared for, and we achieve this through exceptional staff, willing to go the extra mile, through small classes and through staff committed to the learning, emotional, physical and spiritual needs of the girls. Our aim is to ensure that every girl feels that she belongs, that she matters, that her needs are being addressed and her talents recognised. As important as the academic and extra-curricular programmes, is the extensive pastoral care programme and network of staff dedicated to ensuring that each girl can deal with the ups and downs, that she develops self-confidence, a sense of purpose and an awareness of her place in her community, often experienced through our extensive Service programme.

John Wood, Founder of Room to Read writes: “Education has a ripple effect. One drop can initiate a cascade of possibility, each concentric circle gaining in size and travelling further.” Our School’s exceptional teachers create these ripple effects every day.

Thank you to the Council under the leadership of Phillip Myburgh for its unwavering support. They give us the backing to move forward and enable us to create those ripples. Our Council is made up of volunteers who provide their time and substantial expertise for the betterment of our School.

It would be remiss of me if I did not mention Sue MacEwan, as this is her last official Speech Evening and the last time I will force her to sit on the stage with me. Sue – we have celebrated yet another successful year together. We complement one another in so many ways. Thank you for the 20 years you have given to Kingsmead. It would be interesting to do the maths as to how many pupils have passed through your hands at Kingsmead.

I thank the members of the School Executive team for a year of extraordinary effort. The Whole School Executive made up of Sue MacEwan, Ingrid Beekhuizen, Irene Ilsley, Sue MacKeown, Derek Hird, and then the Senior School Executive who also sit on the Whole School Executive – Piers Cruickshanks, Lora Foot, Hayley Pienaar, Tracey Minnie, Robbie Pullen, Elsabe Fourie and of course, my Deputy Saartjie Venter – who is just the most wonderful person to work with. Thank you to all of you for the debates, discussion and friendship. We have moved mountains this year and I look forward to continuing this journey next year.
To the administrative and service staff. Thank you for running so much behind the scenes and ensuring that things flow smoothly. I appreciate your input and your efficiency. Particular thanks to Evani Naidoo who is the most fabulous PA and to Cyril Mitchley and Geraldine Church who have led their support teams so ably this year.

To the academic staff – you continue to provide big school opportunities and yet small school care. It is this world class staff that provides the magic in the school. You are passionate, supportive and dedicated to learning and teaching. You work to inspire, encourage and support our students.

To the girls: you have never been busier. Life at Kingsmead is never dull and insular. Thank you for your enthusiasm and your dedication to the school. To the Class of 2016, you have remained consistent throughout the year. You have implemented all that you have said you would and you have been well-respected as a grade by the other girls in the school. To Amy, Monica and Tahiyya – you have led with aplomb – and I have been so impressed by your commitment and your time management. You have made things easy for Miss Venter and myself this year and you will be remembered as a superb group of leaders.

Matrics – I wish you all well in the future and for your matric exams. My dedication to you is also from the Olympics as I believe that Katie Perry’s –͞Rise͟– sums up your attitude, your enthusiasm and how you will make a difference in the future:

“I won’t just survive

Oh, you will see me thrive

Can’t write my story

I’m beyond the archetype

I won’t just conform

Don’t doubt it, don’t doubt it

Victory is in my veins

I know it, I know it

And I will not negotiate

I’ll fight it, I’ll fight it

I will transform”

Sue MacEwan’s Report

Looking back on 2016, the Junior School has enjoyed a wonderful year with many achievements by the girls and a stable staff throughout the year.  We have not had to endure any further building renovations this year which has been great!

Unfortunately we shall be losing some staff members at the end of the year.  Mrs Anne Grey who has been at Kingsmead for 15 years will be moving with her husband, Nigel to Somerset West in the coming year.  Caron Lawrence, our Grade O teacher has decided to take time off from teaching to remain at home with little Emily and Thomas.  Bev Pruett, who is also a long serving member of our school, will be retiring at the end of the year.  We have, however asked Bev to help us out in the first term of 2017 in a part- time position.  Paula Schefermann gave birth to Harrison at the end of June and will not be returning in the New Year as she too wants to spend some time with her little boy.  Sharon Jones, who has, on so many occasions helped us in locum or relief positions, will be leaving us to take up residence in Cape Town at the end of the first term of 2017.

As I am sure you are aware, I shall be retiring at the end of the first term of 2017, my last day being 12th April.  Kim Lowman, who is presently Deputy Head at St Stithians Girls Preparatory school, will be taking over as Head of the Junior School.  We have also appointed Lauren Myburgh from Dainfern to teach English, Karen Goddard who is presently at Pridwin to teach Grade Two and Marisa de Terlizzi also from St Stithians to take over from Mrs Sue MacKeown as Deputy of the Senior Primary Phase as from the second term of 2017.  Khanya Sithole has been appointed to fill Anne Grey’s position in reception.

This being the last communication of the year, I wish you a Blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year.  I do hope 2017 is filled with success, happiness and good health for you all!

Sue Mac Ewan

Headmistress:  Junior School

The Headgirl’s Speech 2016


I am a Kingsmead girl…

The tempo of the school shoes shuffling, the trills of laughter and the echoes of previous girls will remain in my heart. The Kingsmead symphony will play on in my head and through my fingers always.

Sixes sixes roars through the school. Our green jumping up and down. Voices uniting stories, echoing through Kingsmead.

Thus begins our first movement of the green symphony, fast and lively. When I first became Head Girl, a rather determined mother, from a younger grade, asked to look at my blazer to see what badges her daughter required to make Head Girl.

This made me realize that I never considered my school life and activities to be about the badges, we all have lost a fair few, and that is not the reason we become part of the Kingsmead community. Badges advertise our achievements and represent the extra murals we may attend, but they do not reveal who we really are. If we are a great team player, show commitment, are kind to our peers or whether we uphold Courage Always. As Banksy said, “I don’t know why people are so keen to put the details of their private life in public; they forget that invisibility is a superpower.”

Therefore, when I look back at this blazer, I won’t look at the badges, or look at my accomplishments. I will rather reminisce of how I developed from the five-and-a-half-year-old me, prancing into Grade 0, to the Matric me standing here tonight, coming to the end of my green symphony.

In contrast to the symphony sonata, my parents have constituted the second lyrical movement. Not intertwined in the fast pace of school, they were able to lead me through long beautiful phrases, to prepare me for anything that came my way.

My mom and my dad are my string section. Holding me up to play my own melody yet supporting me from day one, when I put on my oversized green blazer, which now I wear with pride. You have made me stronger and challenged me more than anyone else, allowing me to flourish in my own way and for that I am eternally grateful. You taught me to grasp opportunities and inspired me to push ever forward to become the best I can be. My gratitude will never be able to reach the multitude of your love, kindness, inspiration and the impact you have had on my life.

Many of you never met my brother Mathew, yet he has been the audience of my music. As he is severely autistic, he has been unable to participate in a school environment like ours, or flourish in activities that we take for granted daily. But Mathew has given me the room to grasp all the opportunities presented to me for the both of us and I am aware of how blessed I am to have him in my life.

Dancing together, the Matrics of 2016 led the third minuet movement. Our fabulous grade uniquely deserves a movement different from the rest. We are well placed in a world that needs courageous woman to stand tall and speak out against injustices, fight for honesty and integrity. Cohesive in faith, empathy and trust of each other we are still twirling. From the first time we linked arms and jumped in formation leading sixes sixes, I knew that our beat just needed to be unleashed.

Who knew that our first thump would be to Gangnam style in Grade 8 math’s which lead to Mr Williams hiding from Ms East. Or the screams of Janika implanting herself into a cliff in Grade 9 camp. Being serenaded by police sirens, our athletes felt like Olympians walking to Wanderers in Grade 10.

Grade 11 was the year of Divine discipline, making Kruger run laps for every forgotten line during the Inter-House Arts week.

Together in Grade 12, we became leaders in green, and whom do we respect, we respect you – the Matrix, thank you Bakwe. The matric dance was an evening that will be revered by all, as one of the highlights of our school career where we resonated with laughter and joy.

And the final note, courtesy of Ashleigh and Courtney who arrived at school all dressed up for heritage day, a week early, truly encompassing an early silly season escapade. Conductors of our green symphony, the matrics led their ensembles to the beat of new exciting melodies. Instilling termly the values of Kingsmead: perseverance, courage, happiness, purpose, service, and responsibility.

Our deputy heads, Monica and Tahiyya, have been the united force behind this year. Both truly incredible individuals that kept symphony drums sounding, I am so grateful that it was you that helped to share the load. Together we were a trio, all our own instruments but uniting together to lead our final dance. Monica, you are one of the strongest and most organised people I know, along with your sublimely wicked sense of humor, which you sometimes keep a secret. Carefully weighting up every decision, seeing all sides and believing in the individual your input always left me wonderstruck.

Tahiyya, you are indescribably one of the most intelligent and determined people I know. Not only are you fair and consistent, you also managed to keep everything light with your capacity to laugh and embrace endless possibilities. And I know secretly you enjoyed counting and recording all house marks and detentions – only joking! To the both of you, thank you for the many laughs, serious moments, and everything in-between.

The fast, heroic, triumphant final movement can only be made up from the people who surrounded us, pushed us forward, and saw us through until the end. The school community.

Ms Kaplan, your eloquence, wit and warmth has always bowled me over, but this year I witnessed your dedication to Kingsmead and capacity for thoughtfulness. The trust and respect you showed the three of us and your open-minded intelligence in solving any problems or ideas we brought to you has been inspirational. Thank you for your wisdom, your door always being open and allowing us the freedom to fly. Identifying the melodies and allowing them to sparkle, I have loved every minute of your mentorship and council. Ms Venter, thank you for the assurance that we always knew we could come to you no matter how insignificant a problem may have seemed. Always carefully considerate, kind and patient, you are strong and loyal. In each meeting you created space for humour, encouraging laughter, giving us skills that always ensured we went in the right direction, but trusting us to find our own path. You are the true essence of Kingsmead, thank you. To Ms MacEwan who moulded us into the young women we are today, thank you. Our memories of the Junior School are filled with love and warmth, the ethos of Kingsmead so instilled in us that it has become our heartbeat. Along with Kingsmead girls, I will sorely miss you.

The teachers are our percussion section, steadily beating out a tune we only now recognise. This year our teachers have transformed to become our confidants, mentors and even friends, allowing us to take up the principle seats in the orchestra. Forging a common goal, we are treated with respect and humility as together we are united in the beat our future requires. The percussion section is loud, adventurous and fond of the odd drum role. For any incorrect answers, Thisha always has her water bottle handy to empty it on the offending student. Also an expert in knitting, she has been known to chase a very frightened Nonstika around the classroom, just to correct a few skipped stiches. The best President Award hikes are organised by Mrs Venter, just as we leave Kingsmead! Mrs Fourie’s Opera videos all seem to contain scenes with explicit nudity. As Mr Cruikshanks’s favourite class, we are all happy to be his entourage at the Oscars. The call of Cynthia sounds hourly over the Science block. Madam Harding’s endless supply of sample perfumes, had us all hooked on French. And the ever-committed Ms Banwa still came to school in the middle of winter, on serious medication, with a dangerously high fever and then wanted to strip naked. With the final crescendo being Mr Govender, who for years has hidden from us the fact that he knows how to make illegal lasers and bombs.

Ms East has been our cymbals player. Always in tune with our class, carefully watching over us, picking up every nuance even though we carefully tried to hide our innermost thoughts from her. However, Ms East has mastered Sun Tzu’s Art of War. With careful observation and patience, she regularly catches us unaware, un-announced, madly clashing her cymbals to put us back on track. An incredible class mother, we have been blessed as a Grade to have been placed in such capable hands.

The Service Staff are the pauses between the notes, without them we would not be here and the symphony would not make sense. They manage our school environment with consideration and dedication to keep Kingsmead clean, beautiful and hold us together in ways we cannot ever conceive.

Kingsmead College. You are our double basses, our trombones, our harmonies providing the bassline for each individual melody to shine. Holding us up with enthusiasm and inspiration, you join us into the final climax.

A community, a family, a united front to be reckoned with. Without all of your support, this year could not have happened. Together, with you, pride is once again restored into our green school; your presence has extended in all aspects, from service, to cheering the sports teams. Your encouragement has inspired many of the girls to train harder, work harder, and shoot for the stars.

Kingsmead has a heart beat that is bigger than our immediate community. Celebrating the individual, united by green we shine as we stand courageously together. Asa green symphony the Matrics of 2016 move into the future. We’re now able to choose and refine our own vibration of sound. We may choose to be the rock stars of our lives, or lead singers, conductors, participate in an orchestra, or even just become part of the
5 audience.

Kingsmead has given us the tools to go out and define our own trajectory.

Class of 2016, it’s now your time to notate your own symphonies.

Reflecting on and sharing some highlights of our Thinking Journey in the

Junior School during 2016

We have enjoyed an interesting, exciting and sometimes bumpy journey during the past year (now in its sixth year) of growing our Thinking School. The teachers decided that we would strive for the second level of accreditation with the University of Exeter (UK). The staff felt that we have come so far in our professional development as Thinking teachers that the rigorous criteria set out for this level were attainable, albeit challenging. We aim to build a digital portfolio that presents the evidence (documents, videos, photos, children’s work, etc.) to showcase our growth in a manner that is more accessible to the evaluators and less cumbersome to navigate than lever arch files. This work is on-going.

Early in the first term some of the Drive Team members held a fun Thinking morning for new Grades 4 to 7 girls of 2015 and 2016 and their parents. The girls were taught about the Thinking tools and dispositions we use and develop in class, while the parents were introduced to concepts of a Growth Mindset, how to develop the 16 Habits of Mind, and describing how we use the thinking tools for effective learning. Four Grade 7 girls shared their personal growth as thinkers with the parents and assisted the teachers with the girls’ activities.

We found it very valuable to consult the girls about how they view their learning and thinking and invited them to join a kids’ Thinking Drive Team. Through extensive collaboration, the girls created a name and designed a logo for their group: NEST – Now Eagerly Start Thinking (seen here). It shows Inyoni (our Thinking mascot) as a chick, ready to start learning to fly. With the group facilitated by four of the Teachers’ Drive Team, girls from Grade 1 – 7 meet fortnightly, during tea-break, to discuss various thinking ideas. They also organised and presented an assembly informing the school of their function. The group is keen to meet with students from other Thinking schools to discover how they engage with developing their thinking skills.

As a Habits of Mind national trainer, Ingrid Beekhuizen was asked to present and facilitate a workshop on developing the 16 Habits of Mind in the classroom for TSSA (Thinking Schools South Africa) at Roedean. A team of six teachers from Kingsmead namely, Tania O’Maker, Lisa O’Donovan, Annemarie Linsell, Tarryn MacLaren, Gabby Thomson and Irene Ilsley (representing all phases of the Junior School) joined her in presenting their experiences and ideas. Four of the NEST girls in Grades 6 and 7 also presented their perspectives of how they have developed their Habits of Mind since Grade 2. The response from the delegates was overwhelmingly positive.


The Junior Schools girls had numerous opportunities to share their developing Thinking skills with parents and grandparents during the year. The Grade 1 to 3 girls showed their special people around the classrooms after their Olympics day, saying, “Look at how my thinking has grown!” The Senior Primary girls shared their growth during an evening called ‘Responding with Wonderment and Awe’. The girls acted as ambassadors of their thinking; sharing their personal thinking journeys with their guests. We combined the event with a focus on Space and invited Professor Block as a guest speaker for the latter part of the evening. The Amateur Astronomy club joined us and set up telescopes on the field allowing us to view our magnificent sky. The evening was a resounding success and appreciated by all who attended.


Kingsmead hosted numerous schools throughout the year interested in observing what a Thinking School looks-, sounds-, feels- and thinks-like. We willingly share our Thinking journey with heads and teachers, and then take them on a tour of classrooms to see evidence of our thinking approach in action. Numerous workshops for Senior and Junior school teachers on Higher-Order Thinking, Growth Mindset, Thinking Maps and the 16 Habits of Mind were held around the country over the course of the year.

We are developing a new initiative for 2017 that will become the vehicle for applying our thinking skills effectively called ‘Inquiry-Based Learning’ or ‘IBL’. This exciting venture is learner-driven and nurtures the girls’ curiosity about the world around them. While Tania O’ Maker and Lulu Burger are the drivers behind its implementation, many of our teachers will be involved in its development too. We look forward to sharing future projects with you.

Ingrid Beekhuizen

Deputy Head and Head of Academics, Junior School


Junior School


This year has been a busy, fun filled year in the Arts & Music Department. Our Grade 7 Public Speaking team participated confidently in the Speech and Drama College of South African Public Speaking Festival in the first term. Our Marimba Ensembles performed enthusiastically at the ͚Rock the Run͛ through Sandton, cheering on the runners along the way. Phillip MacLachlan once said: ͚”Vrees niet waar weerklinkt het lied, slechte mensen zingen niet͛,” which translates as: ͚”Do not fear where you hear a song, bad people do not sing!͛” Our choirs have worked to sing as if they are one musical instrument and produced wonderful performances this year. Our Grade 4-7 Choir sang beautifully at the ͚Singing Sistas͛ Choir Evening and our Orchestra and Ensembles in the Interschools͛ Orchestra and Ensemble Festival hosted by Kingsmead. Debating was offered as a new activity and the girls participated in this exciting discipline with great gusto.


In the second term, the Grade 2 & 3 choir performed with great charm at the “Let the Children sing” festival at St John͛’s and later in the term shared the stage with the Grade 4-7 Choir and the St David͛’s choirs, also joining forces with the boys for a much enjoyed mass item to end the programme. The Orchestra performed wonderfully at the annual Jan Celliers’ Music evening and our marimba ensembles played brilliantly at the Kingsmead Book Fair and the International Marimba and Steelpan Festival and Competition. The Grade 7 play was a definitive highlight. This year, it was a clever adaptation of some all-time favourite Fairy Tales, with appearances by everyone from Rapunzel, Prince Charming, a quirky mirror, all the famous princesses and a most delightful royal family! The singing was fantastic, the acting absolutely wonderful with some beautiful dancing in between. It was a wonderful showcase of our girls’ many talents and much enjoyed by the audience.

In the third term, the Orchestra and Glee group combined their efforts for a delightful performance at the “Partners for Possibility” evening. Our younger musicians also had their moment on stage with their Grandparents͛’ concert and Grades 000-0 Nativity play.
The theme of this year͛’s Grandparent͛s’ concert was ͚Food glorious food͛ and the Grade 1-3 girls entertained their grandparents with songs and poems of mouth-watering dishes, table manners and even a purple people-eater! The annual Art Exhibition was enjoyed by all, displaying the girls͛’ creative talents as well as the teachers͛’ inspiration and innovation to expose our girls to a range of stimuli and mediums.

The Grade 2 and 3 girls were very lucky this year with our new ukulele project where every girl learnt to play this fun instrument. The Grade 2 girls also had the opportunity to learn to play the violin and had a most successful performance in October. The Grade 6 girls were given the chance of trying out a brass instrument and the sounds of trumpets and trombones were heard all over the Music department every Friday!

Grade 2s Playing the Violin

We are lucky at Kingsmead to have committed, dedicated and inspirational staff, creative and enthusiastic girls and most supportive and encouraging parents to cheer us on.


 Senior School

The Arts & Music Departments enjoyed a particularly successful and exciting year. The year kicked off with the Four schools Interschools’ Orchestra Festival involving Kingsmead, Trinity House, St Stithians and OWLAG, this year hosted by Trinity House. The Marimba ensembles, Clarinet ensemble and Jazz band performed at Rock the Run where they enthusiastically cheered on the runners from the side of the road. The Choir and Glee performed successfully at the annual ‘Singing Sistas’ Choir event where they set the stage alight with energetic performances. Some of our singers participated in the Contemporary Music competition ‘Viebz’ and Cayley Fitzgerald was invited to perform at the Gala evening. Our Public Speaking teams partook successfully in the annual ‘Speech and Drama College of South Africa Public Speaking Festival’ where they represented Kingsmead with flair.

The highlight of the First Term was most certainly the major production, which was a South African take on the well-known ‘West Side Story’ called ‘Suburban Shift’. The boys from King Edward the VII School and our girls, worked with great commitment to produce convincing dramatic performances of a brilliantly adapted script, beautiful singing accompanied by the full orchestra, vibrant dancing and action packed physical theatre moments. It was a brilliant performance, which showcased the many talents of the girls and boys and we owe enormous gratitude to Janine Lovatt for her outstanding direction.


This has been our third year entering the Festival of Excellence in Dramatic Arts (FEDA), which is an annual inter-schools’ play festival. This festival is held at the Jo’burg Theatre and is a wonderful opportunity for our girls to be exposed to the thrill of performing on a professional stage. Kingsmead entered into both sections of the Festival: Original Works. An all Grade 12 cast performed their original piece entitled ‘The SPCA’, which deals with the injustices of human rights abuse in society. The Grade 11 & 12 team performed a play entitled ‘The Fugue’. Our girls received very positive feedback from the adjudicators and were nominated for various awards.

Kingsmead hosted the 12th annual Orchestra and Ensemble Festival at the Linder auditorium where our girls performed to great applause. The Marimba ensembles also played at the Kingsmead Book Fair and the Glee group represented Kingsmead at the Saheti Music Mezedes Evening. Kingsmead also hosted two most enjoyable evenings with St David’s and St John’s, where our Choir, Glee, Orchestra, Instrumental and Marimba Ensembles all had a moment on stage alongside the boys. The Glee performed to a very appreciative audience at the St Stithian’s Choir festival and the Marimba Ensembles participated in the International Marimba and Steelpan Festival and Competition where our 1st Team walked away with a third prize in the Open category. The term ended on a high with an absolutely fabulous Inter-house Arts competition from which Baker house walked away as the winners. Our Grade 10 Drama girls entered two Film competitions: the Ubuntu Youth Film Festival with their film ‘Whose opinion matters most’ in which they won the Wardrobe category, as well as the ‘Stop Racism’ video campaign, which they won.

Stop Racism Campaign Video

The Art Department continues to intrigue with their interesting and thought provoking sight specific Art. The Art departments’ end of year exhibition was, as always, a wonderful display of the girls’ talent, hard work and deep thinking as well as our Art teachers’ inspiration and encouragement.

img_0241 img_0286

Our Junior Debating team participated in the SACCEE league where they progressed to provincial level and ended 4th out of 32 participating schools. Two of our Grade 9s, Ranyah Patel and Raisa Essa were selected for the Gauteng Team and took part in the National Debating Championship in December. The Grade 11 Drama girls staged two One-Act plays, ‘The Skriker’ by Caryl Churchill and ‘Commencing’ by Jan Shepard. Their hard work and persistent efforts were reflected in their excellent performances.

Elsabé Fourie

Director of Arts and Music

Sporting Achievements

Kingsmead enjoyed another successful year in Sport, across all disciplines that the school offers: swimming, water polo, diving, tennis, netball, hockey, squash and equestrian teams.

“The success of achievements and top results are based on the combination of working together as a team and also the effort, commitment and endurance of each individual,” said Director of Sport, Robert Pullen.

Once again our main focus was:

  1. To give each learner the opportunity to participate and to develop her talents to the best of her ability.
  2. To strive for excellence and achievement, whilst encouraging the spirit of participation, camaraderie and friendship.

Achievements for 2016:


The 2016 Netball season was characterised by hard work, commitment determination, perseverance and dedication. Not only has every team improved their skills, but they have also shown incredible determination on the courts. Each team met their opponents with passion and good sportsmanship, regardless of the final result. We fielded 4 teams in each age group. Thank you to a group of excellent coaches and every girl who participated in Netball this year. Thank you also to the parents who supported the girls on the sideline.


This year, Kingsmead had another successful hockey season. Wed were able to field up to 4 teams in certain age groups. The girls played well structured hockey and once again, we continued to develop our hockey by playing some of our grade 3 girls in our lower grade 4 teams, to prepare them for the 2017 season. Well done to all the coaches and players. We are looking forward to next year’s hockey season!


We are privileged to have a diving coach of outstanding standard at Kingsmead. Ms Dominique Philippopoulus is doing remarkable work with our junior divers and each one of these young divers has shown awesome courage and determination every time when they compete in a diving competition. We are looking forward to see some of our junior divers diving for South Africa at the Olympics one day!


In the Junior School our aim is to accommodate as many girls as possible to start playing tennis. From as little as grade 0,the girls start with basic ball skills, hand-eye co-ordination, bouncing the tennis ball on the racquet, hitting the ball over the net, etc. The interest in tennis has grown in such a way that we have 4 teams playing in the junior tennis league. The tennis ladder is in place and the girls also challenge each other weekly. The A, B and C Teams have won all their matches this season and the D Team is also playing more competitive tennis. We are looking forward to the continued growth in this sport and encourage the girls to grab the opportunity of taking private lessons offered by our excellent coaches at Kingsmead, to improve the standard of tennis even more.


Hard work, dedication, commitment, excitement and a POSITIVE attitude! We started the season off with a very dedicated athletics squad. The athletes pushed themselves at every training session and gave their best at each meeting. They bettered their times each week and did exceedingly well at the weekly meetings.

Water Polo

Our Water Polo in the Junior School is busy to grow from strength to strength under the guidance of our excellent coaches. The girls are so inspired, motivated and dedicated in this sport and this revealed clearly in their performance and participation this year. It was a fun filled and very successful season.

Senior School Provincial Representation

bt-provincialFront Row (L-R):
Naledi Modiselle, Jamielee Clogg, Olivia Van Vollenhoven, Mohini Rayment, Sarah Minnie, Taydin Louw, Giverny Lugard, Robyn Blackwell.
Back Row:
Luka Copperthwaite, Husnaa Bux, Nicola Gace, Jessica Shepherd, Alexandra Lombaard, Aleksandra Marek, Kelsey Cloete, Sarah Benning, Jessica Winn, Ntsoaki Masinga, Margarete Amoes.


Kingsmead girls Sarah Benning and Olivia van Vollenhoven represented South Africa at the World Junior Championships in Russia this month. Congratulations to coach Dominique Philippopoulos.

Kingsmead 2016/2017 Leaders


2017 Leaders (Left to Right)

Baphiwe Roji (Head Girl), Peta Myburgh (Deputy Head Girl) and Anja Shah (Deputy Head Girl)

2016 Leaders (Left to Right)

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

Matric Leavers’ lunch

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Barbara Plewman (Smits) – She was the youngest foundation pupil.
Kate Waddams
Isobel Fyfe


Gilly Rice (Hope) – Gilly is going to visit her sister, Rosemary Hitchings, for her 80th birthday in Kent, England.

Peggy Kernick (Cutten)

Susan Alexander (Ridley)

Mary Livonius (Stafford)

Belinda de Beer

Lavinia Clausen


Lynette Visser (Symons)

Sally Deborah Cox (Nethersole)

Madeline Jasper (Horne) – Her husband, Karel, has recently retired and they are so enjoying being together.

Jean Rutter (Lamb) – She is living a busy life playing bridge and golf. Jean has 6 grandchildren, but no “greats” yet!

Pamela Lithgow-Jolly – She has retired and is enjoying keeping busy.

Penny Edge (Grout) – She and her husband are enjoying a busy life in retirement.

Sheila Endenburg (Biggs) – She and her husband enjoy visiting four sons in England, Cape Town and Johannesburg and their families.

Louise van Breda (Maasdorp) – She and her husband are well and keeping busy.


Cheryl Watson (Ballenden)

Sandra Caister (Harkness)

Margaret Rutsch (Boyes)

Pam Millard (Du Bourg) – Is living in Sedgefield.

Shirley Smithies (Dickson) – is volunteering at the Herbarium in Pretoria.


Gill Leggat (Franklin) – I am delighted to let you know that my young adult fantasy novel, ‘The Golden Highway’, was released in London on 29 July 2016 by Austin Macauley publishers in the UK.


Sue Ratcliffe –  is retired and loves spending time with her grandchildren, three of whom attend Kingsmead College.

1976 – 40-Year Reunion

Sue Scott (Brereton)

Anita Atkinson (Ferrandi) – is a happy granny of a granddaughter (almost three years) and a grandson of five months.

Leigh Marchal (Hackney) – has lived in California for 32 years. Leigh has a son and a daughter, and a three-year old grandson.

Sue Swallow (Macleod) – is happy and healthy. She has two children, Nic (30), a creative director, and Justin (23), a teacher.

Sandy Hansen (Bieber) – is a happy granny and a part-time lecturer.

Linda Liebenberg (Naylor) – is a massage and trauma therapist in KZN.

Mary Connock (Bristow) – lives in Johannesburg. She has two children: Jen is studying OT at UCT, she was deputy head girl at Kingsmead in 2011 and Nick is studying architecture at UCT.

Zizi Wattrus (Jennings) – lives in Santa Monica, California. She has two sons, who now live in the U.S. One has designed the Hammerhead Navigation bicycle GPS and the other son is an actor in San Francisco.

Margie Keeton (Henderson) – is living in Grahamstown and is active in community development.

Jo Evans (Kelly) – has two daughters at DSG in Grahamstown and is living in Cape Town.

Judy Wright (Bristow) – is happy and healthy and is working as a radiographer at Kingsburg radiology part time.

Mary Sifrin (Hope) – sources items for interiors.

Caroline Matthews (Gosnell) – lives between the UK and Pretoria; she has twins who are 25-years old.

Sandra Saunders (Richardson) – has two children: a son who lives in Estonia and a daughter who teaches in South Africa. She is married and practising law.


Mary Mackenzie (Johnston)

Sally Mackenzie

Heather Dalziel

Penny Levi (Barnes)

Giselle Meyerowitz (Eggmann)

Bev Henderson (Baker)

Kathy Kethro (Futerman)

Pam White (Brand)


Di Hackney (Harris)

Kim Hackney (De Beer)


Candace Dowes (Calvert Evers)

Renate Sporides

Char Cress (Robertson)

Bronwyn Roberts (Etherington) – teaches English in the Senior School at Kingsmead and has four talented children.

Nathalie Alexander (Griffiths) – has a daughter, Angelique, who has recently Matriculated from Kingsmead.

Nicole Bruce (Scharrer) – has triplets in their first year at Pretoria University.

Kerry Rogers-Brown (Hawton) – lives in Dallas, Texas


Monika Howarth (Viorchmin) – owns The Laundry Corporation in Parkmore, 140 Eleventh Street Parkmore

Vicki Straw – owns The Empty Chair, which specialises in IT recruitment.

Kirsten Legg (Jasper) – owns The Language of flowers Florist, runs a fertility support group and is opening Dandelions Playschool in 2017. Kirsten’s children are Emma (16), Bradley (6) and Jessica (3).

Christine Roxburgh (Harris)


Nicole Payne (Jaques)

Bonnie Batnes (Wright)

Samantha Smirin

Alice Rennie

Clare MacKenzie (Walsh) – creates the most beautiful picnic blankets with woman who have suffered abuse clare.stitch@gmail.com.

Hayley Pienaar (Schonborn) – is the Marketing Manager at Kingsmead College and Director of the school’s signature event, the Kingsmead Book Fair. Please save the date for the Kingsmead Book Fair on Saturday 13 May, 2017. www.kingsmead.co.za/bookfair 

Gail deZeeuw (Ratcliffe) – is a kinesiologist.


Lucy Kaplan

Sonia Pollnow

Michele Bregman (Frangos)

Nicky McGaw

Adrienne Scott

Kate Waller (Norris)

Jenny Wainwright (Zirker)

Sarah-Anne Maxwell

Kerry Gantley

Lara Buttifant-Sewel

Nombini Mehlomakulu

Caroline Berry (Waddams) – owns Caroline in the kitchen. Caro creates the most scrumptious meals at all our Kingsmead Old girls’ functions.

Janet Malcolm (Barrow) – owns Peppertree handbags, beautiful bags for every occasion.


Kate Spronk (Saxton)

Cath Thompson (Young)

Candice Cope (Clark)

Runa Turanjanin (Schafers)

Karen Green (Howard-Ginsberg)

Lisa Quoresma (Haarhoff)

Alessandra Benidge (Cox)

Annie Hitchings (Fyfe)

Debbie DeCasvalho (Mosley)

Geraldine Church (Self)

Kerry Parker (Dickinson)

Nicky Holmes

Arabella Leggat- is engaged to Ian Fleming.


Debbie O’Leary (Boyns)

Vanessa Simcock (Abraham) – owns Exquisite Catering and is an exceptional foodie.

Tandi Haslam

1996 – 20-Year Reunion

Taryn Laing (Cheadle) – is mother to two handsome boys.

Justine Densem (Edmundson)

Vanessa van Dyk (Potgieter)

Fiona Dell (Maxwell)

Claire Kedzierski (Harding)

Heather Goussard (Ratcliffe)

Claudia Jennings (Wilson)

Philippa Grundlingh-Miles (Self) – is mother of three beautiful children, including a daughter in Grade 0 at Kingsmead. Philippa owns Pressed Juices.

Gill Cederwell (Buchanan) – is the mother of two girls, and is soon to be a Kingsmead mother when her daughter, Gemma, starts Grade 0 at Kingsmead. Gill is a third-generation Kingsmead family and works at Visa Inc.

Claudia Jennings (Wilson) – has been working for Standard Bank for 15 years. She is the mother of two girls, one daughter is in Bluebells, at Kingsmead and her other daughter is due to start at Kingsmead in 2017.


Pamela Johnston

Carla Else

Gail Cameron

Megan van Der Linde (Menasce)

Karen Elstob (Dunn)

Carly Meinertz (Sinton)

Elizabeth Dickinson (Barnes)

Lauren van Zyl (Hills)

Aimee Fowler (McCallum) – is opening an online store. www.oheka.co.za

2006 – 10-Year Reunion

Julia Landey

Ursula Lesar

Sarah Findlay

Frederika Pardoe – is living in London and is a qualified CA.

Laura Goodman – is working at a specialist in a market research company. Laura has an MA in environmental Sciences from Wits.

Diahann Neves (Arose) – got married in January of 2016 to her High School sweetheart!

Fatima Laher – is getting married in October.

Mia Nichol (Greenblo) – got married in December 2015. She is a qualified lawyer.

Gaby deUjfalussy – started her own company in 2015, The Flower Child.


Jessica Dignon – placed 28th at Triathlon World Championships Mexico, Cozumel. 1st at SA Champs Triathlon and the Central Gauteng Triathlon Championship. She also placed 2nd at 70.3 Half Ironman in East London.


Margaret Edwards

Linda Toms

Gillian Wilkinson – is still teaching and serving Kingsmead College gillianwilkinson@gmail.com.

Linda Toms – retired from the Alexandra Education Committee in June 2016.

Jackie Welch – started the IT Department at Kingsmead College under Margaret Edwards. She won the BETT award after writing an article on the fact that Kingsmead had the first IT Department in the country, she is semi-retired and works at St John’s and the AEC.


Hilary Hoar (Currie)

Class of 1959, died on Thursday, 2 June.

“Billy”, as she was affectionately known, had retired to Port Alfred with her husband Rob, who was with her when she died.  Billy had three children: Francis, Barclay and Andrew.

Lesanne Richardson

Class of 1972. My sister Lesanne Richardson (full name Lesley Anne – but only when she was in trouble) died suddenly on 4 October 2015, leaving 2 sons (Kevin and Robert) and 5 grandchildren. She had celebrated her 60th birthday a week before her death. Three friends from her Kingsmead year group attended her funeral. Jackie Beaumont (nee Limebeer) travelled from the UK to attend Lesanne’s funeral. Also present were Liz Findlay and Jenny Tuck.

Joy Payne

Joy loved Kingsmead College and made many friends, who she kept in touch with over the years. She is going to be sorely missed by her daughter, Jane, and her two sons, John and Michael.

History quiz

Please email Gillian Wilkinson at gwilkinson @kingsmead.co.za if you were at Kingsmead when Miss Thompson or Miss Paver were Headmistress. Can you recall how the San was arranged and especially what the different rooms were used for?

This information will be greatly appreciated

From the archives

Screenshot 2015-11-18 13.48.42

Save the Dates

Monday 13 March 2017 – Bridge Drive

Friday 7 April 2017 – “Let’s Connect” breakfast 

Saturday 13 May 2017 – Kingsmead Book Fair

2017-05-29T13:24:01+00:00November 30th, 2016|OKA|