Dear Kingsmead Community,
We are now well into the new school year. Thank you to all those who have warmly welcomed our new families and staff. So much has been covered this term already. Our Grade 6 and 7 camp provided our children with so many opportunities to grow. It is not always easy being away from home and from home comforts. Our students courageously involved themselves in many activities that brought them together as a team. The camp experience is critical to the holistic development of our students. The camps provide the opportunity for our girls to develop very necessary grit, resilience, leadership, social and emotional skills. Thank you to the teachers who gave of their time and energy to make the camp a memorable experience.
At a recent IEB meeting, the importance of consistently teaching ‘wisdom-based skills’ was reiterated. The difference between a good education and a significant education, rests with the prioritization of ‘wisdom-based skills’ from a young age. This includes the intentional focus on:
1. Seeing the world from multiple points of view/ perspective
2. Ethical considerations in decision-making
3. Understanding the inevitability of change over time
4. Managing failure and disappointment
5. Balancing personal interests; making choices
6. Both short-term and long-term implications for our actions
7. Thinking and behaving for the common and collective good.
I encourage our community to maintain focus on these wisdom-based skills as we prepare our youth for a world requiring strong ethical leadership.
With love and Courage Always,
Thinking-Feeling School Orientation Workshop
- We were delighted at the turnout of new families, class and subject teachers, support teachers, interns and new students to our workshop on Saturday, 28 January 2023. The level of engagement of all involved created a sense of camaraderie between parents, as well as teachers and students. Our teachers shared their learning journeys with parents and new staff, and then assisted in teaching all the new students about various thinking tools. Reflecting on their learnings for the morning, some parents commented as follows:
- What are your expectations for your daughter? “To be fulfilled, happy and a humble human being, ready to contribute love, and hard work to society.”; “Out the box thinking, to be prepared for a world she doesn’t know; creative thinking and able to problem solve”.
- I used to think that being part of a Thinking School meant that my daughter absorbed knowledge, now I think that she will learn by thinking and questioning with a curious mindset.
- My daughter will benefit from my new-found understanding and skills identified to address how I interact with her on her growth-journey.
- SO GRATEFUL that my daughter is exposed to this style of thinking from so young an age.
- The power of ‘yet’!
- The process of praising kids – for effective praise – needs to praise the process and not the intelligence.
- Growth over time.
- Learning can and will be fun at Kingsmead. Learning doesn’t just refer to academia, but the individual as a whole!
We are so grateful to the team of passionate teachers and Grade 7s who invested their time in facilitating the teaching of the various aspects of our Thinking School for both the adults and students.
At Kingsmead Junior School we realise that success, failure and practice are all part of the same system = learning. We strive to create a culture where, as teachers, we are constantly conducting reflective practices and how we can improve your daughter’s performance within the classroom and her assessments. Our one goal is to develop students who are resilient and able to achieve their potential. You might ask, how can you assist us…
Employ a Growth Mindset – How YOU can help your daughter?
Talk about it
Talk daily to your daughter, but guide the discussion by asking questions like: did you make a mistake today? What did you learn from this mistake? What did you do today that was difficult? Challenged your learning? It is important to note, on its own, a mistake has no value. James Anderson, reminds us that the value and learning potential come not from the mistake itself, but from the way we act on it.
To achieve learning and extract value from a mistake, we must follow psychologist Anders Ericsson’s 3 Fs:
- Focus: To recognise a mistake as a learning opportunity.
- Feedback: To understand what the learning opportunity says we must learn.
- Fix It: Take action to correct the mistake.
Praise the Process of Learning
Instead of saying you are ‘so smart’, praise the effort, the persistence of getting through the difficult task, the deliverance, the effort. Learning is a process, not a destination.
The Brain can GROW
Remind your daughter that her intelligence can be stretched every day. It is not fixed. Remind her that when work is challenging/difficult, this is when her brain grows best, if she can persist through the challenge. Each time she learns something new, her brain is making new connections. She needs to know that this is possible.
Help her change her dialogue
The way your daughter talks to herself can have an impact on her mindset. If she says ‘This is too hard’, help her change this ‘This is hard, and I just can’t do it yet – with repeated practice and deliberate effort, I will get there’. Give them the words to say when they are feeling defeated by modelling as parents/guardians.
Encourage Failure/Setbacks Your daughter needs to realise that setbacks happen and that is okay. Remind her that each time they fail and try again, their brain is growing, stronger! Don’t step in to prevent your daughters failure – this is how she will learn to persevere in the face of challenges.
Deputy Head: Senior Primary
Deputy Head: Academics and Innovation
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.
Oh, the Places you will go!
On 20 January the Grade 1 students and their parents were invited to participate in a Scavenger Hunt. This was an orientation that required navigational skills, using a device and a QR code to navigate from point to point on our school grounds. Each class had a specific-coloured sticker that was placed next to the QR code. Parents had to scan a QR a code which gave them a clue and after reading the clue, their daughter took them to that location. Once they got there, they found another clue leading to a different location, thus getting orientated with the various learning spaces on our beautiful campus. The Grade 1 students really enjoyed showing their parents around the school and all the different places they go to and learn in during the week as part of their daily routine.
Orienteering offers many benefits, but its real attraction was that it was fun! It is a joy to walk and run through our playgrounds and corridors. For some it was a competition and for others a chatty stroll. The ultimate quest for the orienteer is to find the balance between mental and physical exertion, to know how fast you can go and still be able to interpret the terrain around you and execute your route choice successfully. Orienteering is a fitness sport that challenges the mind. It offers the obvious development of individual skills in navigating while problem solving to locate each control. Decision making is paramount: Should I go left or right? Should I climb that staircase or walk along the passage? These decisions that constantly arise require thinking more than quick reactions or instinct; again, that is why orienteering is called the thinking sport. This fits in with our thinking curriculum and it also forms part of our philosophy of ensuring that Kingsmead is a Thinking school. This orientation was designed to prepare you and your daughter for successful year ahead. We wanted you to start your first month of being in Grade 1 with the confidence that comes from knowing the venues where learning takes place and what you can expect from our school environment. There were very excited and determined students and many lost parents, but the sound of laughter and giggles lead the way.
Parents finished off the scavenger hunt by returning to their daughters’ classroom and enjoyed a breakfast picnic. It was evident that our Kingsmead Community were passionate about environmental stewardship and lived the motto, “Take nothing away; leave nothing behind,” another way of saying that they did not pick the flowers in our beautiful gardens and cleaned up their waste after the picnic.
It was wonderful to have our parents onsite again and to participate in this special event with their daughters. It is important to start making connections again after being disconnected for such a long time due to COVID. We are intentional about creating and building relationships that lead to a community and sense of belonging.
The event was a great success, enjoyed by all the children and parents. The Orienteering Scavenger Hunt is also part of our Discovery Learning programme, which helps to enrich the lives of our children by giving them new experiences and a real sense of achievement.
Acting Deputy Head: Junior Primary
Arts & Music
In December last year Emma Lai participated in the National Eisteddfod Academy and won the Creative works Category for print making.
Jaime Kinnear completed ABRSM Grade 2 violin examination and received a distinction.
Mpho Chakane played the Trinity Initial Violin Examination and received a distinction.
Well done to our young artists for these wonderful achivements!
2023 Music Captains
We were thrilled to announce the Music Captains for 2023 in Monday’s assembly. Congratulations to the following girls, we can’t wait to work with you this year:
Orchestra – Ava Naidoo
Choir – Omolemo Tebeila
Marimbas – Khwezi Ngqula
Music all around us!
We have had THE MOST exciting week in the Arts & Music Department!
All our activities have kicked off this past week and the school was abuzz with art, music, drama and dance.
Our BRAND NEW African Music Ensemble, Jazz Band and Music Production started last week and we are delighted about these additions to our Music offering!
Welcome to Mr Hlogi Mashishi, who will be teaching our African Music Ensemble. All students are welcome to join, no prior knowledge of music or instrumental ability necessary.
Mr Alex Hitzeroth, well-known trombonist and arranger in South Africa, is our Jazz band teacher. Any Grade 4-7 student instrumentalists who can play a couple of notes are welcome to join. If you are unsure what it entails, attend a rehearsal and see what it is all about.
The Music department recently purchased laptop computers and professional music production software to enable all our students to learn how to produce music! What an absolute privilege to have access to this technology and well known producer Thuthuka Mbanjwa or better known as ‘808’ to teach at Kingsmead. All the Grade 6 students will do music production as their instrument projects this year.
On Monday morning all our students from Grade 1-12 were treated to a professional orchestra performance to introduce them to the instruments of the orchestra and remind them that all of these are offered at Kingsmead. We are so lucky to have access to the top musicians in our country to teach this wide range of instruments at Kingsmead.
🎶Meet your Music Teachers Week 6-10 February🎶
Come and meet us! All Kingsmead parents are invited to meet the Music staff on Monday 6 February at 18h00 online from the comfort of your home. We would love to tell all our Kingsmead families about the wonderful programmes we run in the Arts & Music department and give everyone a chance to ask questions and see what we look like!
Meeting ID: 761 0980 5951 Passcode: m2tQS7
During the week 6-10 February, we welcome all parents to pop into your daughter’s music lesson or a rehearsal and see what we get up to. We would love to get to know all our Kingsmead families! 🎶
If you have any more questions about Arts & Music at Kingsmead, get in touch, we would love to chat!
The 2023 sports season has kicked off and we are very happy to be participating and showing our opponents what we are made of. We have had our first fixtures in swimming, tennis, water polo & our selected hockey players have attended district trials. Our students have been putting in the hours of work and this can be seen in our results.
As we continue with a very action-packed sporting year, I would like to encourage parents to support the sports department by encouraging your daughter to participate and remain committed to all fixtures. Please make sure to check the live calendar weekly to avoid clashes with fixtures. The live calendar can hopefully ensure that parents do not book weekends away, birthday parties and external activities that may clash with the inter-school fixtures.
2023 Sports Captains
Congratulations to our 2023 Sport captains. You have all truly earned this position through your hard work and commitment to the Kingsmead sport. I look forward to working with each and every one of you, where we will achieve great things both on and off the sports field.
Water Polo – Zoe Kennedy
Swimming – Scarlett Grundlingh
Soccer – Sofia Allison
Netball – Omolemo Tebeila
Squash – Mary Yiannoulakis
Diving – Maya Rono
Tennis – Olivia Turck
Hockey – Emma Clowes
Athletics – Tsepang Maqubela
Our Grade 6 & 7 swimmers were amazing in the pool on Friday at St Katharine’s and made us all so proud. We placed 3rd out of the 7 teams with just 4 points behind 2nd position. Congratulations to all of the swimmers. The top 3 results of the gala were as follows:
1. St Mary’s 167 points
2. St Andrew’s 137 points
3. Kingsmead 133 points
Kingsmead hosted the first water polo festival on Friday night and we played exceptionally well against St Dominic’s. The results were as follows:
Kingsmead Kingsley vs St Dominic’s 7 – 4 win
Kingsmead Inyoni vs St Dominic’s 7 – 5 loss
The tennis season started off with some tough competition against St Andrew’s. Our players showed up with real courage and showed awesome sportsmanship on the court. Well done to all players.
Congratulations to the following U12 players who have made it through to the next round of hockey trials:
These players have been through 2 rounds of trials, and they will now go through to the last round of trials with the D9 government school team. A date and venue will still be confirmed. We wish them the best of luck!
Congratulations to Grace & Sophie Cornish-Bowden on their results at the Mandeville Dolphins Junior League Gala which took place over the weekend. Their results were as follows:
Sophie – age group 7
Freestyle – 4th position.
Breaststroke – 2nd position.
Grace – age group 9
Freestyle – 3rd position.
Backstroke – 2nd position.
Well done Grace & Sophie!!!
Thursday 2 February – Grade 4-7 Tennis vs St Mary’s
– A/B play at Kingsmead, C/D play at St Mary’s
Saturday 4 February – Grade 4-7 Gala 08:30 – 11:00
– A team at St Andrew’s, B team at St Peter’s, C team at Kingsmead.
Thursday 9 February – Grade 4-7 Tennis vs Brescia
– A/B play at Kingsmead, C/D play at Brescia
Friday 10 February – Grade 3-7 Gala
– A team at St Mary’s, B team at St Stithian’s, C team at Kingsmead
(Teams are to be confirmed on app by a Tuesday for Thursday fixtures, and by Wednesday for Friday/Saturday fixtures.)
A few reminders for parents & guardians:
1. Please send any sports achievements (school & non-school) to Mrs Hanekom.
2. A reminder to please download the Kingsmead app as this will be the direct method of communication to parents on sport fixture days.
3. All team lists will be published on the app by no later than Tuesday for a Thursday fixture and the Wednesday before the Friday fixture.
Yours in sport
Head of Junior School Sport
Transformation Diversity and Inclusion
As we continue to delve into this amazing year of absolute joy and celebration, it is imperative to recognise how incredibly privileged we are to be part of a community that is founded on values which say to us, “Remember there is a challenge to you to think, to work, to fight for all that is beautiful and good and true wherever you see these things overshadowed in a world which is at present shaken, depressed and lost.”
Our birthday celebration theme for this year, COURAGE ALWAYS, is an incredibly fitting one as it encourages us to use the big and small pockets of opportunities given to us daily to exercise courage. One such opportunity is in having courageous conversations around inclusion and belonging, and how opening ourselves up to these very necessary conversations contributes significantly to creating a space where every individual feels like they can show up fully and contribute purposefully to Kingsmead.
“Courageous conversations are like exercise – the first attempts will feel painful. The weight will feel heavy, your body may resist at first, and your muscles will be sore. But in the process, you are stretching, growing, and expanding your capacity to do hard work and, in time, the results will speak for themselves”.- Charmaine Alyce
The conversations we get to have daily impact us and those around us in a number of ways. These experiences take place in classrooms, in homes, in the parking lot, at break time. Everywhere. The conversations we have in different spaces form part of societal ‘ingredients’ intertwined in the production of an effective educational system, as education needs to equip individuals with the various tools necessary to navigate and impact this world well. The use of these conversations recognises that the easiest way for a person to connect with someone else from another walk of life is for them to hear about their experiences, hardships, and successes. Conversations humanise us. When we can empathise with someone’s situation, we’re able to connect on a much deeper level and teaches us how to value people.
Talking openly and positively about differences can help children, parents, and staff better understand themselves and those around them. Embracing diversity and inclusion empowers people to engage their world with curiosity, confidence and importantly, with kindness. Diversity and inclusion and courageous conversations help us learn to empathise with people who are different from us. Inclusion and belonging make us better by allowing each of us to understand various subjects from multiple points of view and experiences.
May we continue immerse ourselves in opportunities that encourage courageous conversations.
Director: Transformation, Diversity and Inclusion
Buddy Reading- Saturday 4 February
We are delighted to be hosting our buddies from Rays of Hope for Buddy Reading on Saturday 4 February from 13h00-15h00 at the Grade 0 classrooms. Students from Grade 4-7 are welcome to attend. Please sign up using the link below:
St Davids’s Marist Inanda