Dear Kingsmead Community,
There is always a reason to celebrate! On 11 February, the United Nations joined all women and girls in celebrating the International Day of Women and Girls in Science. Our students have thoroughly enjoyed every moment in experimentation and discovery. Moments of pure wonder and joy could be seen, felt, and heard across our school grounds. Thank you to our innovative teachers for creating these pockets of exploration for our students.
We have a full and busy week ahead. I remind all parents and guardians to check our App daily for the calendarized events and details. Thank you in advance for your generosity and care. We thank you for the shoe donations, the rose sales, the attendance to events and the participation in parent coffee mornings. Valentine’s Week is the perfect opportunity to pause and show our family and friends how much we love and care for them.
With love and Courage Always,
Head: Kingsmead Junior School
Girls in Science at Kingsmead
Saturday, 11 February, marked the International Day of Women and Girls in Science. This link below is an interesting read and video as to the necessity and importance of science teaching and learning in Girls’ Education.
At Kingsmead, we continue to develop our Senior Primary within an integrated and inquiry Earth Sciences approach, including the various sciences and branches of geography. Whilst science is taught through our Discovery Learning approach, within the Junior Primary.
Earth Sciences is the study of the planet on which we live. The rapidly-changing scope and nature of the subject is reflected in the curriculum at Kingsmead Junior School, which provides sound and broadly-based scientific and geographical skills development.
We have combined physics, chemistry and biology with geology, and geography to answer fundamental questions about the origin, development, and future of the Earth. The students will learn about the physical environment in which humans live, this includes not only the immediate surface of the solid Earth but also the ground beneath it and the water and air above it, considering aspects of the environment.
These sciences are interdisciplinary in nature, thus as Earth Scientists, our students need to know the core sciences of chemistry, physics, and math. Earth is where we live – what affects it, and in turn, affects us.
Why is Earth Sciences Important?
Earth is our home. We rely upon it for our existence in many different ways. Its resources feed us and provide the materials of our way of life. Even modest changes to Earth’s systems have had profound influences on human societies and the course of civilization. Understanding these systems and how they interact with us is vital for our survival.
Earth Science is especially important at this time in history, as our world is faced with many crises that require urgent attention and solution finding. There are many challenges facing humanity—dwindling energy and mineral resources, changing climates, water shortages—directly relating to the Earth sciences. There are many difficult decisions that governments, local and national, will have to make concerning these issues, and how well humans survive the twenty-first century will depend upon the success of these decisions.
We need to raise students who are Earth science literate. Human history is a record of the creativity and ingenuity of people solving difficult problems. The solutions to the current Earth-science-related challenges will also come from human creativity, as individuals or corporate businesses. However, as our modern society and its needs have become increasingly complex, so have the solutions. It will take a deep and subtle understanding of Earth’s systems for future generations to be able to feed, clothe, house, and provide a meaningful existence for all humans. We need citizens and businesses that are Earth science literate, which this subject aims to develop.
Please enjoy some of our Earth Scientists in Action this past week within our Senior Primary
Deputy Head: Head of Senior Primary
Grade 4 – Exploring and researching impactful contributions made by women inventors and scientists throughout the decades.
Grade 5 – The lines that shape the stories of phenomenal women in science.
Grade 6 – Density and Rates of Dissolving experiments
Grade 7 – Let’s Make Magic Happen – ‘Dissolving’ experiments
Fun With Phonics in Grade 0
What is phonics, why do we teach phonics, how do you teach phonics? These are just some of the questions one has when they hear the word ‘phonics’.
“Phonics is a way of teaching children how to read and write. It helps children hear, identify and use different sounds that distinguish one word from another in the English language,” National Literacy Trust.
When teaching phonics, we focus on all learning styles and create a multi-sensory lesson for all our students. We incorporate a range of Thinking Maps into our lessons that can be done in both group and individual tasks, such as Circle Maps, Tree Maps and even Bridge Maps.
Karen Goddard and Lauren Baines-Fourie hosted a fun and interactive session where everyone got to see, hear and experience different activities that the Grade 0 girls take part in when they learn their sound of the week. From show and tell tables, to sand writing, play dough letters and practicing pronouncing your sounds in the mirror, the parents got a hands-on experience of a day in a Grade 0 phonics class.
Phonics is a wonderful journey of learning sounds leading to the beginning of reading and writing. It is important that our lessons are fun, interactive and engaging because we want to instil a love of learning. Not only is it fun for our girls, but it was also fun for our parents. The Joel Hall was filled with laughter and lots of group interactions and discussions.
It was so wonderful to have our Grade 0 parents join us for an interactive session about phonics, learning is a collaboration, and we look forward to many more workshops in the future.
Co-Acting Deputy Head
Science Fun in The Junior Primary
Saturday, 11 February, was a day to Celebrate Women in Science. Not only do we do this to recognise the contributions of women in science but to inspire the next generation of scientists. This was a wonderful reason to explore and discover through a range of experiments in the Junior Primary. The last few days have been filled with wonderment and awe! Walking through the corridors you heard ‘Wow, this is magic’ and ‘this is the best thing I’ve ever made!’
Across the Junior Primary, the girls were exposed to different experiments and investigations. (Some messier than others.) They had the opportunity to share experiments from home and some worked in groups to learn about solids, liquids, force and different reactions that take place in the natural world.
The overall lesson learnt (by both the girls and teachers) is that Science is not only about observations and experiments but also about having a lot of FUN while doing so.
Co-Acting Deputy Head
Arts & Music
The Arts in schools will always thrive, even in the face of AI.
As technology continues to advance and become more integrated into our daily lives, there are those who fear that the Arts, particularly in schools, will be pushed to the side-lines. Some believe that the increased focus on STEM education and the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) will eventually render the Arts irrelevant. However, this could not be further from the truth. In fact, the Arts will continue to play a crucial role in the education of our children and in the overall cultural landscape of society, even in the face of AI.
The Arts are essential in the development of critical thinking and creativity. They provide students with the opportunity to express themselves and to understand the world around them in new and unique ways. This is especially important in a world where technology is rapidly changing the way we interact with one another and the way we live our lives. The Arts provide a space for students to reflect on and analyse these changes, and to find meaning and purpose in a rapidly evolving world.
Moreover, the Arts have always been a source of inspiration and beauty. From painting and sculpture to music and dance, the Arts have the power to evoke emotions and to bring people together in a way that nothing else can. This is why the Arts will always thrive. No matter how advanced technology becomes, the Arts will always have the power to touch our hearts and to inspire us to be better people.
In addition to their intrinsic value, the Arts are also becoming increasingly important in the job market. Many careers in fields such as graphic design, film, music, and advertising rely heavily on the skills and knowledge developed through Arts education. This is why it is essential for schools to continue to offer a well-rounded education that includes a strong foundation in the Arts, especially as technology advances.
Finally, it is important to remember that AI can never replace the human touch that is at the heart of the Arts. It is a reflection of who we are as a species, and it embodies the unique qualities that make us human. From the written word to visual and performance art, the Arts give us a window into the human experience, and they will always remain an integral part of our cultural heritage.
The Arts play a crucial role in the education and development of our children, and they will remain a source of inspiration and beauty for generations to come. So, let us continue to celebrate and support the Arts in our schools and in our communities, and let us never forget the power that they have to enrich our lives and to bring us together.
We have an exciting week of sport up ahead and I encourage all parents in our community to come together and support the students at the various fixtures.
We have not had the weather on our side for our aquatics the past week; unfortunately, the galas had to be cancelled. However, we are very excited about the annual Valentine’s gala which is taking place on Wednesday at St Stithian’s as well as the inter school gala’s which will take place on 4 March. We wish our swimmers the best of luck for the remainder of the swimming season.
The tennis players have also been working hard for the Inter-Schools Festivals which will take place on Saturday, 18 February. Our Grade 4-7 players will go head-to-head at various venues against our competitors. We wish our players all the best.
Unfortunately, the Water Polo Festival for Friday evening was also rained out. We are looking to arrange another festival after our half-term break. The live calendar will be updated as soon as we receive confirmation from the participating schools. Parents are to please check the live calendar for the amended festival dates.
On 11 February 2023, we spent the afternoon at our netball clinic. Wearing tutus, sunglasses, pearls, and socks, our eager players had some fun whilst learning and mastering their netball skills. The clinic has left us feeling excited about the upcoming netball season, but more importantly, it has reignited the love of netball in our players. Thank you to all the players who joined us on the day. We thoroughly enjoyed our time with you!
– Wednesday 15 February – St Stithian’s Night Gala
Selected swimmers are to meet at the Gym by 15h15. There will be a bus going to St Stithian’s. Parents are to please collect the swimmers from St Stithian’s. Gala Start time: 17h30 Approx. end time: 19h00
– Thursday 16 February – Grade 4-7 Tennis vs St Stithian’s
(A/B play at Kingsmead, C/D play at St Stithian’s)
– Saturday 18 February – Grade 4 – 7 Tennis Festivals
(Grade 4 at St Mary’s, Grade 5 at St Stithian’s, Grade 6 at Brescia, Grade 7 at St Andrew’s.)
– Thursday 23 February – Grade 3 – 7 Inter House Gala
08h00 – 10h00
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
On Saturday, 4 February, we attended Buddy Reading at Kingsmead with our friends from Rays of Hope. It was a fun-filled afternoon which included reading, decorating cookies, doing art and lots of playing. It was a joy to spend time together and enjoy our beautiful Kingsmead gardens. There were 65 buddies and an awesome turn out of girls from both the Junior and Senior School. Thank you so much to all who attended.
Nishka Makan and Scarlett Grundlingh (Grade 7 students)
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.