Dear Kingsmead Community,
I continue to be amazed at the innovation and energy that lives within our school. Although I already miss the happy voices of children on our campus, I am still surrounded by the voices of our students and staff on a daily basis, in so many new ways. Happy voices, contributing voices, enquiring voices, challenging voices and sincere, authentic voices. Although our community is tired, we still continue to thrive, still continue to find ways to love and support each other at school and beyond our school.
I am so proud to hear of the new initiatives brought forward each day from students, teachers and parents. I must believe, that this contribution continues because of what we mean to each other and what our school means for our future. Thank you to our community for continuing to inspire one another to get up each morning and live a life of purpose. Thank you for the new initiatives, thank you for the energy. It is because of this that we stand strong.
With all these voices sharing and contributing, it is also important to find the energy to listen. There is so much power in listening to each other effectively so that we can indeed continue to thrive meaningfully, not only to fulfill our own purpose but to fulfill the needs of others. These current circumstances are whole new experiences for each individual in our school. Sometimes, what we need is to be heard and to learn from what we hear from others. Surround yourselves with those who share diverse perspectives, find the patience to listen, truly listen and then we will rise by lifting others.
This week, we honour and celebrate the life of Nelson Mandela. Mr Mandela was often revered as a leader who listened. I was fortunate to meet Nelson Mandela many years ago as he arrived to watch his granddaughter’s concert. Even then, it was evident that this was a moment he treasured, a moment where he listened carefully and intentionally to all the young voices so that each person felt seen, felt heard, felt that they were valued. Let us take a bit of this into our own lives this week. Let us find the time to slow down and listen to our family members, to our students, our teachers. Let us remember to see one another, hear one another and value each contribution. By truly listening to others, we learn how to contribute meaningfully to the lives of others.
“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is the difference that we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.” Nelson Mandela.
Have a blessed week ahead.
Head: Junior School
With the implementation of load shedding on Friday, yet another factor has been added to the challenges experienced with online distance learning. We are aware that many of our students and staff are experiencing load shedding at inconvenient times and may not be able to connect for their daily online learning sessions. Most of these outages are scheduled, however, there are times when these are unscheduled which can cause frustration and anxiety. As far as possible the staff will endeavour to find alternate sources of Wi-Fi to ensure that connects and lessons are not disrupted. Lessons will also be recorded if possible to assist those who may have missed these due to load shedding. The teachers will keep you informed and updated via the broadcast groups in the JP and the class reps in the SP. We ask for your patience and understanding during this time.
Head of Junior Primary
Strategies for Maximizing Learning at Home
Over the past few months, teachers, students and parents have been shifted into a new way of teaching, learning and parenting without forewarning. Coronavirus has swept the world and closed schools, causing an unprecedented shock to the education system. Our students are having to learn from home through digital distance learning, accessing a new ‘skill-set’ and new ‘tools’ as their conduit to continuing with schooling.
Distance learning has shifted the students into using tech for “work” and not “pleasure”, this in itself is a challenge. Coupled with this, is digital distractibility and it is thus important to consider how to best ensure that your daughter is offering a deep-level of engagement with the content provided as her work and leisure ‘spaces’ collide.
It is imperative that we continue to look at strategies that will allow us to maximise your daughters potential, while at home during this time.
- Maintain a predictable routine, which includes exercise, healthy eating habits and self-care. An idea, is to set daily ‘action plans’.
- Set boundaries – in terms of time at desk, time to play and rest. Ensure that your daughter takes sufficient brain breaks and receives a change in scenery.
- Learning space – every child learns differently and in an environment that best suits their creativity. Therefore, even at home, you should create a designated space for your daughter to learn and play. She may move around during the day but having a dedicated space helps her concentrate and perform better, similar to a classroom setting. It is imperative that learning is not happening on a couch or bed. It is important to designate a work area, which is different from an area that encourages relaxing.
- Distractions – try and minimise both external and internal distractions. External distractions refer to door bells ringing, phones sounding, pets moving, smells of cooking etc. While internal distractions include your daughters emotions, particularly those of anxiety, worry and ‘trauma’. If you are finding her distracted by her own emotions, we as teachers encourage you to reach out to our support department for assistance and guidance.
- Your daughter, if left in her own learning space will ‘drift’ and require refocusing – this is a lot easier to do in a classroom setting vs. being at home. Try to assist her and develop the skill of time management – by providing a timer/clock to guide her in staying on task. (A visible timetable)
- Get enough sleep. Try avoid screen time at least 2 hours before bed. Encouraging her to read a book while settling down before bed.
- Encourage your daughters to think about the context of their learning – try to make connections to their past knowledge … tap into what they might already know.
- Practise gratitude – in difficult situations, like the one we’re all dealing with, it’s important to be thankful for what we do have.
For further reading on how to celebrate your daughters focus during distance learning, follow this link: https://www.understood.org/en/learning-thinking-differences/child-learning-disabilities/distractibility-inattention/focus-wins-when-distance-learning – Written on 28 April, 2020 by the team of authors of Understood.org; Reviewed by Bob Cunningham
Head of Student Affairs
Jordyn and Maike Knowles
Noa van Zalk does the Westcliff Steps with Mom
Morgan Bunkell’s Family
Jessica Stevens and Family Morgan Kohler for Knights
Ella Worthington after Helena van der Merwe & Daniella Murillo
2.76Km run with Dad
Sophie and Robin Pearce The Fifield Family
Kim Sutherland, Emma Simmonds The Galloway Family
& Chrismarie Chalmers
Jemma Goussard and Family
WITH 10 DAYS TO GO LET’S SEE WHICH HOUSE WILL TRAVEL THE FURTHEST. THANES, WHERE ARE YOU? WE NEED YOU!!!!!! Moms and Dads, let’s get on our bikes and peddle as fast as we can. I will donate my kilometres to Thanes.
Junior School Head of Sports & Head of Transformation, Diversity and Inclusion