Dear Kingsmead Community,
This week’s newsletter was inspired by our assembly on Monday, 18 September, titled: What if everybody did that? Book by Ellen Javernick.
The story jumps right to the point, showing a child acting out in public and being asked what the consequences would be if everyone acted like they did. What if everyone littered out of their car window like the child does in the story? The consequences could be harming wildlife, destroying the environment, and creating an ugly sight to see. While this book was published in 2010, as a community we can recognise parallels in the story to current events like misbehaving in public or coming together to end poor choices.
My purpose for sharing this message is to remind us all to think about how our actions as individuals can both better the world or make it worse off, and how that action can be made more significant when we imagine all of us committing it. “What if everybody did that?” This is a question I urge you to ask your daughters when ‘poor choices’ are made, to allow her to reflect on what would happen if everyone was making the same decision that she was choosing to make. These reflections will allow her to make better choices moving forward.
I wish her the courage to assume responsibility.
Junior School Head
Resources for Parents – Connecting with Your Daughter
Something I have started to add to our newsletters is resources for parents. As educators and heads, we receive a wealth of information that is relevant to you as parents. This week, I’d like to share an author and resource for the development of girls and the social dynamics of raising girls.
When Rosalind Wiseman first published ‘Queen Bees & Wannabees’, she fundamentally changed the way adults look at girls’ friendships and conflicts – from how they choose their best friends, how they express their anger, their boundaries with boys, and their relationships with parents. Wiseman showed how girls of every background are profoundly influenced by their interactions with one another. Now, Wiseman has revised and updated her groundbreaking book for a new generation of girls living in the age of social media, IM and text messages… Packed with insights about technology’s impact on the ‘Girl World’ and enlivened with the experiences of girls, boys, and parents, the book that inspired the hit movie Mean Girls offers concrete strategies to help you empower your daughter to be socially competent and treat herself with dignity.
Parking – Cecil Gate Access
Please can I remind you as a parent, au pair, and guardian to be mindful and respectful of the Melrose Court residents at our Cecil gate entrance. We have had several concerns raised related to residents garages and entrances being blocked. Please can I ask that you caution against this and avoid congesting their entrance and exit points. Your understanding in this regard is appreciated.
It is with regret that I announce three resignations. These teachers will continue to serve their notice for the remainder of the term.
Celiwe Magubane (SP LEAD teacher and isiZulu teacher) has made the decision to take up an opportunity within a remedial school environment. We have benefitted from her care and expertise during her time with us. We wish Ms Magubane support as she follows this new path in her educational career.
Taryn Petzer (JP Digitech specialist and Media Center) has made the decision to take some time off to focus on her personal development within different aspects of education. We are grateful for her generosity and enthusiasm during her time at Kingsmead. We wish her strength and courage in this next chapter of her life.
Lisa O’Donovan (Grade 0 Teacher) has made the decision to relocate out of Johannesburg and where possible her one goal is to give back her passion and expertise in education to other communities. We wish Mrs O’Donovan well in her family’s next chapter.
We are in the process of recruiting suitable candidates for these positions.
The Knot of Success: Emphasising the Process
As we navigate the ever-evolving landscape of education, it’s essential to take a step back and reflect on what truly matters when it comes to our children’s growth and development. We often find ourselves fixating on the end result, the tightly wound knot at the end of the rope, so to speak. This is especially evident in the last term of school, with a great deal of attention being placed on examinations and year-end report results. However, today I’d like to shed some light on the importance of placing equal emphasis on the process, the intricate journey of tying the knot.
Imagine a classroom full of students, each with their own shoelaces, tasked with tying the perfect knot. In this analogy, the knot represents the end goal—success, achievement, or excellence in any endeavour. As parents, we often get caught up in the desire for our children to achieve that perfect knot, forgetting that there are numerous ways to tie one.
Just as everyone ties a knot differently, each child brings their unique set of abilities, interests, and experiences to the table. Some may take longer to learn, some might prefer a particular method, and others may stumble upon their own unique approach. Yet, at the end of the day, they all have a knot. They all achieve their goals, albeit in their own way and on their own timeline.
But one might wonder why the process is so important.
- When we allow our children to navigate the process of learning independently, they develop resilience and problem-solving skills. They learn that it’s okay to make mistakes and that failure is a stepping stone towards improvement.
- Encouraging children to experiment with different approaches to ‘tying the knot’ fosters creativity and innovation. It allows them to think outside the box and discover unique solutions to problems.
- By acknowledging their efforts and celebrating small successes along the way, we help our children build self-confidence.
- Placing emphasis on the process encourages intrinsic motivation. When children find joy in the journey, they become more self-driven and eager to learn.
- Research shows that individuals who focus on the process rather than just the outcome tend to achieve long-term success and fulfilment. They are better equipped to handle setbacks and adapt to changing circumstances.
As the facilitators of their learning, parents and educators play a pivotal role in shaping children’s perspectives on success. Let us remember that the beauty of the knot lies not only in its final form but in the twists and turns that lead to its creation. By embracing the process, we equip our children with the tools they need to succeed not just academically, but in life as well.
So, as we continue our journey, let’s celebrate the unique knots our children tie. Let’s encourage them to experiment, make mistakes, and find their own path to success. After all, it’s not about having the perfect knot; it’s about the skills and lessons they acquire along the way—the knots in their shoelaces and the knots in their lives.
Learning and Innovating together,
Deputy Head: Head of Academics and Innovation
Inquiry: Nurturing an Inquisitive Mindset
Inquiry Week (2 – 6 October) is almost upon us! Teachers and students alike are talking about it with much anticipation. It is a favoured time of the term for all. But why is it of such importance and value?
Inquiry is the spark that ignites the flame of curiosity within us all, guiding our quest for knowledge and understanding. It’s the driving force that propels us to ask “why” and “how” and pushes the boundaries of what we know. Throughout Inquiry Week, we make use of provocations and essential questions as the compass that leads our students on a journey of discovery, empowering them to seek answers and explore the unknown. It encourages students to embrace challenges as opportunities, to celebrate the process as much as the outcome, and to build the resilience and creativity necessary to navigate an ever-evolving world.
So, as we prepare to embark on this educational adventure together, let’s remember that Inquiry is not just a tool; it’s a mindset. Together, let’s encourage and celebrate the inquisitive spirit within our students, for it is through Inquiry that we unlock the doors to a brighter, more empowered future.
Learning and Innovating together,
Deputy Head: Head of Academics and Innovation
Arts & Music
Part of learning a musical instrument is performing and sharing the music we have learned with friends and family. This term we aim to give all the students who learn an instrument or take voice lessons to perform in a concert.
However, if a teacher decides that it is in a student’s best interest not to perform as they are not quite ready yet, please trust our judgment. Having a negative experience at a public concert can be traumatic for a young musician and we must make sure that each performer feels thoroughly prepared and confident before they step on stage.
Help your daughter prepare by practising regularly:
- Identify the stumbling blocks in each piece, isolate these sections and repeat them slowly until they are fluent.
- Don’t always play a piece from start to finish. Play a line at a time, paying careful attention to each detail.
- Play through everything (pieces and scales) slowly, making sure to use the correct technique and any other indications in the music (finger settings, bowing, dynamics, articulation, etc.)
- Practising 5-6 days every week is the goal. Practice sessions need not be long, sometimes a few short sessions may be more fruitful. Practice time should increase in line with the difficulty level of the work.
- A partnership between the teacher and parent/guardian/caretaker supports steady progress – check in regularly with your daughter and her teacher as to the work to be revised.
- Consistency in practice habits is key!
“Practice isn’t the thing you do once you’re good. It’s the thing you do that makes you good.”
– Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers
Please diarise our concert dates for the term:
|Tuesday 14 November||18:00-19:00||Grade 4 Music Concert||Joel Hall||School uniform|
|Thursday 16 November||18:00-19:00||Grade 7 Music Concert||Joel Hall||School uniform|
|Saturday 18 November||08:30-09:30||Grade 0 & 1 Music Concert||Joel Hall||School uniform|
|Saturday 18 November||10:00-11:15||Grade 2 Music Concert||Joel Hall||School uniform|
|Saturday 18 November||11:30-13:00||Grade 3 Music Concert||Joel Hall||School uniform|
|Tuesday 21 November||18:00-19:00||Grade 6 Music Concert||Joel Hall||School uniform|
|Thursday 23 November||18:00-19:00||Grade 5 Music Concert||Joel Hall||School uniform|
|Tuesday 28 November||18:00-19:00||Junior School Voice Concert||Mkwanazi Theatre||Dress up!|
Kingsmead Music Department
The start of our Term 3 sports has been fantastic, and it’s all thanks to the hard work of our students. The results speak for themselves, and we couldn’t be prouder of what they’ve achieved so far. As athletes, it’s essential to understand the significance of commitment in sports. Showing up for training sessions and fixtures, even when we don’t feel like it, is a crucial part of our development as athletes. Consistency in training helps build endurance, strength, and agility, which ultimately improves our performance on the field. Moreover, being part of a sports team means that we have a responsibility to our teammates. Staying until the end of a fixture, even if we’re not playing, is a way of showing support and solidarity with our fellow athletes. It can make all the difference in boosting morale and inspiring the team to perform at their best.
We kindly request the support of parents in fostering commitment among our students. Please encourage them to stay until the end of fixtures, as it greatly contributes to their growth and supports their fellow teammates. So, let’s commit to our training and fixtures and show up for our team, no matter what!
Our athletics team has kicked off the season with a fantastic start at St Stithian’s. Our athletes put in a tremendous effort and ran their hearts out, resulting in an impressive second-place finish overall. We’re incredibly proud of all the competitors who took part and gave it their all. Keep up the fantastic work, team! We can’t wait to see what the rest of the season has in store for us.
The tennis players played against St Mary’s for the opening match of the Term 3 season. Our players showed courage throughout the day as we faced a number of nationally ranked-players from St Mary’s. Well done players, we are very proud of you!
We started our water polo season against the Water Warriors team from St Stithians on 13 September 2023. The players fought hard with a nail-biting final score of 6-4 to the Water Warriors. We cannot wait for the rematch in the upcoming water polo tournament. We look forward to an exciting season.
Congratulations to Lucy Berry for being awarded half colours for Equitation and Full colours for Show Jumping at the recent SANESA prize giving. Lucy is also preparing for Nationals which will take place from 4 – 7 October. We wish you all the best for Nationals, Lucy.
We are excited to announce that a soccer pre-season clinic has been scheduled for our students on October 20th. The clinic will be conducted by JVW coaches, who are premier league players and part of the national squad. Please visit the sports section on the App to follow the links to register. These links will be available from Friday, 29 October
A few of our students participated in the gymnastics competitions which were held on 16 September and received amazing results:
Congratulations to Rorisang Mamathuba for being selected to represent Gauteng at the 2023 Gym Games. We are very proud of you, Rorisang.
Anna Herb obtained her level 4 and scored 9.8 for the beam and vault. She also received a score of 9.0 for her floor routine and bar routine. Well done, Anna!
Faye Thomas received 1st place in level 3, 8 years age group. Well done, Faye!
Charlotte Linsell placed 3rd in her Grade 4 gymnastics grading. Keep up the good work, Charlotte!
Lilia Thomas and Taylor Palmer participated in the level 5 TL fusion gymnastics competition. Both students placed 2nd in their age groups (10 and 11 years) and they have now advanced to level 6. Well done Taylor and Lilia!
28 September – Grade 3-7 Diving Trials at Kingsmead
28 September – Grade 4-7 Internal Tennis Matches at Kingsmead
30 September – Grade 3-7 Athletics Meeting – Cancelled
4 October – Grade 6/7 Water Polo Fixture vs St Mary’s at St Mary’s
There will be a bus travelling to St Mary’s and back to Kingsmead. All players are to travel on the bus. Players may be collected from St Mary’s after the fixture.
5 October – Grade 4-7 Team Tennis vs St Peter’s (A/B – St Peter’s, C/D – Kingsmead)
There will be a bus travelling to St Peter’s and back to Kingsmead. All players are to travel on the bus. Players may be collected from St Peter’s after the fixture.
5 October – Grade 3-7 Diving Competition at St Andrew’s.
There will be a bus travelling to St Andrew’s and back to Kingsmead. All divers are to travel on the bus. Divers may be collected from St Andrew’s after the fixture.
6 October – Grade 3-7 Athletics Meeting at St Peter’s
There will be a bus travelling to St Peter’s. All athletes are required to travel on the bus. Parents may collect students from St Peter’s at the end of the meeting once scores have been announced.
A few reminders for parents & guardians:
- Please send any sports achievements (school & non-school) to Mrs Hanekom.
- A reminder to please download the Kingsmead app as this will be the direct method of communication to parents on sports fixture days.
- Students are required to attend both practise sessions in order to be eligible for team selection.
- All team lists will be published on the app by no later than Tuesday for a Thursday fixture and the Wednesday before the Friday/Saturday fixture. Please ensure that you let the coaches know if your daughter is not able to attend a fixture or a practice.
Yours in sport
Head of Junior School Sport
The Junior School was abuzz with excitement about World Rhino Day, which took place on 22 September. The Grade 7s were extremely busy baking delicious treats, creating fun raffles and dressing up to suit the theme of rhinos. The Grade 7s have teamed up with the Zululand Conservation Trust, to assist them in raising funds to adopt an orphan rhino as well as provide all the necessities to take care of a rhino. Merchandise including branded rhino socks, crocheted rhino teddies and beaded rhino keyrings sold like hotcakes. We look forward to continuing to raise funds for the rhinos!
Transformation, Diversity and Inclusion
What a joy it was to celebrate Heritage Day with both the Senior and Junior schools in the same place at the same time. It is a rewarding experience to work in a place where you get to see children at different stages of their lives. It is also a reminder of the value that educators bring to the development of people. This environment is truly a community, where people from different backgrounds come together in the pursuit of clear goals under the guidance of specific values.
It was quite memorable that the actual assembly to celebrate this national holiday was held on a spring day that was surprisingly cold and overcast. In our preparation, we had accounted for everything, except the weather. We anticipated hot sun and thus asked everyone to prepare accordingly for the outside assembly. However, the weather was not what we expected! During the assembly, the sun did eventually come out and in the end it was a morning characterized by perfectly balanced weather.
It was encouraging to see so much colour. Staff and students all celebrated in a way that was comfortable to them. It was about sharing our stories through dress, food, music and dance. The words from the speakers were felt in our hearts. It was a day to also remember our heritage as a school, in the year of our ninetieth birthday. It was also a day that reminded us that our heritage, however we define it, is something to be celebrated every day and not just on specific dates.
Director of TDI
We hope that you enjoyed the last conversation starter…as we know, one of the signs of a healthy family is open and meaningful conversation/communication. But often finding the time or the points to speak to, don’t always come easily. We thought we would share some prompts to facilitate this process, which are ideal to share around the table, on a trip – anytime, anywhere.