Dear Kingsmead Community,
Random Acts of Kindness
Random Acts of Kindness Day was celebrated last week on 17th February. This is the second time that this has been celebrated during this worldwide pandemic. Now, more than ever, we need people to show up and be kind. Spreading kindness not only helps others but has physical and mental health benefits for the giver too. Kindness also contributes to our sense of belonging and happiness.
Our world we live in is very complex at the moment. Social media, the press and the continued negative spiraling conversations are hard to rise from. Let us uncomplicate matters and show kindness. This doesn’t have to be something that costs too much time or money either.
I share my gratitude to our parents who share affirmations and gentle words with our teachers and staff. I thank the security staff for their generous greetings each morning. I appreciate the child who opens her circle to include her friends, even if they have been unkind to her. The world needs more people who forgive easily, trust graciously and give one another their time and presence.
South Africa may need strong economic recovery, a better education system and improved health facilities. We might not all feel like we have control over these big needs. What we do have control over, is how we show up for each other.
Each day this week ask yourself and ask your child “How did you show kindness today?”
The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-21
With Love and Courage Always,
FUNCTIONAL PENCIL GRASP
You might have heard the term “functional grasp” before. This is way more important than your perfect tripod grasp when it comes to handwriting.
A “functional grasp” means the child can hold the pencil, write with legible handwriting (possibly with poor letter formation, size or placement) and does not have joints that are hyperextended or otherwise inefficient joint positioning. Fatigue and endurance play a part in a functional pencil grasp.
Functional grasp also means the child can perform the strokes that make up the letters and numbers without pain, low endurance, misaligned joints or with proximal motions of the arm.
As your child’s body matures and strengthens so the way your child grasps a crayon or pencil will develop and mature. Usually, given normal play and development opportunities by the time a child is 5-6 years old he/she should have the correct pencil grip needed for handwriting. However, if we force the “correct grip” before the muscles are developmentally ready to control the pencil in that way, we run the risk of awkward pencil grasps emerging.
HOW CAN YOU HELP YOUR CHILD?
Believe it or not but pencil-and-paper activities are NOT the best way to help your child develop a good pencil grasp.
Learning to hold and use a pencil or crayon does not develop in isolation from other fine motor skills. There are several underlying functions that can help your child develop good fine motor skills.
Research has shown that 90% of fine motor skills is reliant on adequate shoulder stability. A few shoulder stability exercises such as wall handstands, wheel barrow walks and swimming are some exercises that can help develop shoulder stability.
If you make sure that your child is developing important foundation skills (postural stability, tactile perception, hand function and bilateral co-ordination) then you are helping him/her have a good chance at developing a functional, efficient pencil grasp.
We have included activities to do with your child to improve pencil grasp. These activities should be done with a tripod grip. Please see images below.
Ways to improve Pencil Grasp with these Household Items:
- Push toothpicks into an empty spice container
- Poke dry spaghetti into the holes of a colander
- Tear pieces of paper into small pieces and use the torn pieces in an art project!
- Drop dry beans into play dough
- “Paint” with water using small squares of cut up kitchen sponges
- Press push pins into a foam board or recycled boxes
- Poke toothpicks into a shoe box or empty cereal box
- Press board game pieces into play dough
- Use tweezers to place small balls of tissue paper into a container
Tarryn Kulber and Gillian Greyling
Arts & Music
Meet our new Grade 7 Music leaders! From left to right: Safiya Vally – Orchestra; Jordyn Knowles – Choir;
Thandeka Nzimakwe – Marimbas with Mrs Mia Loock – Junior School Head of Arts & Music
Well done to Safiya Vally who achieved an outstanding Distinction for the Grade 4 Trinity Violin examination. We are so proud of her!
Meet your Music Teachers week!
It was an absolute delight to meet our music parents at the online connect last week and to see many visiting the department to attend lessons. At the online connect I shared these quotes with the parents:
‘The Arts are an expression of our being, our thoughts, our feelings. The Arts create a kind of light that transcends boundaries.’~ Keren Spyker (Grade 12 Head of Arts & Music)
If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.’ ~ van Gogh
The Kingsmead Arts & Music Department aims to involve every student in some way in the Arts & Music during their school career. We strive to provide an inclusive space where everyone feels welcome and catered for. The magic happens when we play together and a range of opportunities enable students to perform and collaborate. A partnership between parent, teacher and student ensures the best results in learning to play an instrument. We aim not to only develop musicians who love making music, but to foster an appreciation for the Arts and Music, developing our future audiences.
If you were unable to visit your daughter’s lesson last week, please pop in on another day!
The Grade 4-7 Choir will be performing at Singing Sistas Choir event on Wednesday 9 March at St Mary’s. A letter with more details is available on the app in the Arts & Music folder and has been emailed as well. Please complete the online forms for transport, permission to film/photograph the event and tickets.
We are so excited to perform for an audience again!
Term 1A has been full of excitement and high spirits. The long-awaited return to sport has definitely taught us to appreciate sport and all the benefits that it provides. I have witnessed such amazing friendships being built both in and out of competition.
As the first sports of the term draw to a close, we look forward to preparing for our winter sports which we have missed over the last two years. We have a lot of exciting upcoming events to look forward to with the netball and hockey season on its way.
Before we take a look at what lies ahead, let’s celebrate our athletes’ achievements over the past two weeks:
Congratulations to our u12 and u13 hockey players who have made it through to the 2nd round of the D9 hockey trials.
Unfortunately, our tennis matches were called off due to bad weather for our fixtures against Holy Rosary and Roedean, however, that did not stop our girls with their preparations for the final fixtures of the season. The girls have been training hard and we have seen great improvement in their skills.
Our swimmers were amazing in the water at the annual night gala held at St Mary’s.
1st place St Mary’s
2nd place St Andrew’s
3rd place Kingsmead
4th place St Teresa’s
5th place Roedean
Our A, B and C team participated at various venues on Friday and all three teams placed in the top 3. Congratulations to all swimmers.
Our prestige swimming galas will be taking place on Saturday 5 March. All team swimmers are to attend the Wednesday morning practise on Wednesday 2 March as this will be the final session before changing over to netball.
EQUESTRIAN INTER-SCHOOLS QUALIFIER 1:
It was with huge excitement that the equestrian riders attended the first inter-school event for 2022. The Kingsmead College Prep girls did us proud participating in many different events and earning Kingsmead many points. These school points will carry through to the rest of the qualifiers to award the top schools in Johannesburg District, and the rider points will carry through for district team selection to ride Gauteng finals for provincial selection. We congratulate the Kingsmead Prep riders on the following results:
Isabella Cadman (1st Sanesa)
4th – Equitation
10th – Jumping
7th – Working riding
Hannah Cooke (1st Sanesa)
1st – Working riding
1st- Performance riding
2nd – Prix Caprilli
6th & 7th – Dressage tests B & A
7th & 11th – Jumping 60 cm A2 competition & normal competition
3rd – Handy Hunter
2nd & 5th – Jumping 60cm – normal competition & A2 competition
5th – Equitation
1st – Handy Hunter
2nd – Equitation
3rd – Jumping normal competition 80cm
3rd – Prix Caprilli level
4th – working riding
5th – working hunter
6th – Dressage
Well done to all riders! Qualifier 2 will be held on 26th and 27th March at Eaton Farm. New riders are still welcome to join, as a rider’s top 2 scores from the 3 qualifiers are used for team selection.
Lucy Berry and Madison Botha swam in their first competitive time trials over the weekend of 12 & 13 February for their swimming club – Ravens. Lucy placed 1st in Freestyle, Backstroke and Butterfly and 2nd in Breastroke. Madison also had great results after placing 3rd in her Breastroke and took 3rd in her Backstroke. Congratulation’s swimmers!
Congratulations to Inés Bregman for obtaining second place in the U13 epee mixed event at the Gauteng Provincial Ranking Open held Soweto. Keep up the good work.
A few reminders for parents & guardians:
- Please send any sport 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 sport fixture days.
- All team lists will be published on the app by no later than the Tuesday for a Thursday fixture and the Wednesday before the Friday fixture.
- A reminder to refer to the week ahead document on the app in the Sport section.
- The Term 2B extra-curricular programme will start on Monday, 7 March. All team swimmers are to be at swimming on the prior Wednesday, 2 March, in preparation for the final gala on Saturday 5 March. This will be the final swimming practise for the term as we change over to our winter sports.
Wishing you and your family a restful half-term.
Yours in sport
Head of Junior School Sport