Brave Schools Create a Culture of Meaning
(Summary by Marisa Di Terlizzi)
In the October article from Knowing Girls, a publication from Santa Maria Girls’ Catholic School in Perth, the author wrote about Creating a Culture of Meaning in Schools.
In summary, the following points were made:
- Academic success does not equal success overall in life
- One size does not fit all in education
- As a society we do not have narratives that normalise this changing reality
As such, this article suggests that we consider developing our students’ internal locus of control and promote genuine engagement, curiosity and learning over awards and external recognition. Real learning happens in real life and is not constrained within a timetable.
Thus, creating opportunities for learning and focusing on rewarding effort, persistence, bravery and process is ultimately more valuable than a focus on marks and static achievement. Fostering creativity, exposure to different interests and promoting skills such as problem solving and collaboration, provides more of a grounding for future success, building of goals and real-life application of skills. This gives children meaning to their learning and an authentic celebration of success.
The article refers to schools that create a culture of meaning as “brave”. At Kingsmead we are brave! This is in alignment with our values and ethos of Courage Always, resting on the firm foundation of our 86 year-old heritage. Initiatives such as SELF, LEAD, IBL, Discovery Learning, our sports and music philosophy as well as our awards philosophy and discipline approach speak to cultivating a culture of meaning and helping to educate children for real-world skills. This is something we pride ourselves in and continue to grow as we pursue curiosity for learning.
What do Johannesburg High Schools look for when selecting students?
In response to this summary written above, regarding Australian schools.
I recently attended a panel discussion of High School Heads giving Primary School Heads insight into what they are looking for when selecting students. The insight shared was energising and progressive. Gone are the days of our neighbouring high schools seeking students who are over-prepared and ‘coached’ for interviews. Schools do not value academic results in isolation; in fact some of the Heads reported that they would rather not see marks on a report. While academic rigour is important and essentially the core reason schools exist – it is still imperative that we continue to develop character and learning dispositions. Schools who value mindful, thoughtful, enquiry-based learning are seeing outstanding results in academic as well as emotional and social development at a matric level. This authentic reflection is what schools are valuing.
In summary, High School Heads are looking for the following characteristics in a young Grade 6 and 7 student:
- Social and emotional awareness. Students should be aware of themselves and their influence as part of a larger, diverse community.
- Flexible, adaptive, independent students – those who are able to ask and answer questions without seeking the input from their parents.
- Solution-building, curious, happy students.
- Real, young, spontaneous children who love learning. Students who are not ‘produced’ by a factory-like system but who see their difference as adding value.
- A student who is okay with not making the A team because they love the game.
In answer then, High Schools are looking at Primary Schools as places where students learn about themselves, their learning journey and see possibility for more. More learning, more growth, more contribution. Let us remember that children need to be children. Children need to have room to play, discover and imagine. Children need structure and support to know that learning is a journey and not an outcome. Learning can never only be reflected in a set of numbers on a report card or the red ticks on an examination. Learning is never done.
On that note, thank you to all involved in the Evenings of Wonderment and Awe hosted last week. Thank you to the parents for spending time with their daughters as they shared their learning journey and stories. The girls were unbelievably proud of themselves and the progress they have made. Their personal reflections were inspiring. I would be proud to invite High School Heads to an evening of sharing like this. Kingsmead continues to thrive as we so strongly believe in nurturing individuals as they discover themselves in an age appropriate way.
We have a short few weeks left of term. As a community, we prepare our students for final tests, concerts, sports, music and dance performances. Let us remind ourselves, that these final moments of a momentous year do not define our students, they a merely part of the learning process. It is what they are learning about themselves that matters the most. The voice they hear the most is their own – let us encourage our students to be kind to themselves, forgive their errors and motivate themselves to step-up and step forward as we close 2019.
Head: Junior School
Grade 6 & 7 Exams
As the girls approach exams in the next few days, I thought I would share this blog link with you: https://santamaria.wa.edu.au/knowing-girls-blog/surviving-exams-13-practical-tips-for-parents/. Despite being geared for high school parents – the tips are most practical and effective for all students. We wish your daughter well over the next 2 weeks.
Natural Sciences Teacher & Cognitive Education Coordinator
ARTS & MUSIC
St Mary’s Ensemble Festival
Well done to our Orchestra, Grade 4-7 String Ensemble and Grade 4-7 Flute Ensemble who performed beautifully at the recent St Mary’s Ensemble Festival. Besides our own performances, the girls also participated in fantastic mass items which concluded the evening. Well done to our excellent musicians and enormous thanks to our parents for your continued support.
Please note our upcoming concerts. These concerts are for girls learning an instrument on an individual basis. Your daughter’s teacher will notify you if she is on the programme to perform. The programme will be posted on the live calendar on the day of the concert. Girls are to wear summer school uniform. Please note that all concerts start at 18h00 except the Grade 0 & 1 concert which starts at 17h30. The concerts are in the Joel Hall.
|Mon 4 Nov
|Grade 0 & 1 Music Concert
|Tue 19 Nov
|Grade 4 & 5 Music Concert
|Wed 20 Nov
|Grade 6 & 7 Music Concert
The Eisteddfod scheduled for Saturday 2 November has been cancelled because of the World Cup Final.
Should you have any questions or queries about Arts & Music at Kingsmead, please don’t hesitate to contact me via email.
Director of Arts & Music
From the Sports Desk
Water PoloCongratulations to our students who took part in the U13 Water Polo Festival on 18-20 October at St Stithians. The team played various opponents including schools from Zimbabwe. The weather played havoc with matches and the teams had to wait lengthy periods of time for the storms to pass before they could continue. However; this did not dampen their spirits as they made it through to the quarter finals. Unfortunately, the team lost in the quarter finals but ended 8th out of 20 schools. Congratulations go to the coaches and managers who worked tirelessly throughout the weekend.
A huge thank you to Mr Davis for the awesome photography.
Congratulations to our divers who participated in their first competition of the season. The meeting was held at Kingsmead against Roedean. Below are the results:
2 55.40 Shane Van Lith (2010) — Kingsmead College
3 54.05 Maya Rono (2010) — Kingsmead College
6 30.95 Alexandra Miller (2010) — Kingsmead College
1 41.75 Ren Clement (2010) — Kingsmead College
2 35.45 Elabo Jekwa (2010) — Kingsmead College
3 27.00 Nhlalala Vumazonke (2010) — Kingsmead College
1 80.55 Grace Hefer (2009) — Kingsmead College
2 70.20 Emma Grey (2009) — Kingsmead College
3 62.95 Jade Williams (2009) — Kingsmead College
3 55.75 Chloe Mandy (2009) — Kingsmead College
4 55.35 Ella Watermeyer (2009) — Kingsmead College
5 52.15 Ngani Mihle (2009) — Kingsmead College
2 59.85 Camden Williams (2008) — Kingsmead College
3 58.70 Amy Teeling-Smith (2008) — Kingsmead College
3 48.25 Aadilah Hatia (2008) — Kingsmead College
4 46.40 Makhutis Moloi (2008) — Kingsmead College
5 42.40 Nicole Dyer (2008) — Kingsmead College
4 73.60 Morgan Easter (2007) — Kingsmead College
5 49.20 Matsie Mageza (2007) — Kingsmead College
1 56.85 Nuhaa Mahomed (2007) — Kingsmead College
3 39.45 Ameera Allie (2007) — Kingsmead College
2 79.15 Andza Mebelengwa (2006) — Kingsmead College
3 69.40 Haana Patel (2006) — Kingsmead College
1 74.30 Alison Marshal (2006) — Kingsmead College
2 69.20 Zara Motala (2006) — Kingsmead College
Our next Diving meeting will be taking place on Thursday, 31 October at St Dominic’s. The bus will be leave at 13h15 and return at approximately 17h30. Divers are expected to stay until the competition is finished.
Please note that the Prestige team for Friday 1 November 2019 has been uploaded on to the Live calendar with all relevant details.
Grade 1-3 APPS Gala
Date: 13 November 2019
Time: 10h30 – 12h30
Please see training squad on the live calendar.
- Grade 1 girls who are on the APPS training squad list are to please bring costumes for their IC sport session as from Wednesday 30 October.
- Grade 2 girls who are on the APPS training squad list are to please bring their costumes for their IC sport session as from Tuesday 5 November.
- Grade 3 girls who are on the APPS training squad list are to please bring their costumes for their IC sport session as from Wednesday 6 November.
2020 fixture dates will be uploaded by close of business today (Wednesday 30 October 2019) for your planning.
Junior School Head of Sports