Dear Kingsmead Community,
It is so wonderful to welcome our community back after the half term break. I hope that you all had the chance to slow down a little as we prepare for the remainder of our exciting term ahead. I have been so proud of our students and the manner in which they have embraced the changes and continued to seek new opportunities to contribute meaningfully to our school and our community this year. We have managed to assess the current learning intentions and place strategies accordingly to ensure that our students are fulfilling academic expectations for 2021. We realise that these may have changed and we are open to redesigning our daily interactions to find the best possible way for our students to thrive.
During our half term break, our President, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa, announced that the country would move from adjusted level 3 restrictions to level 1 restrictions. I have no doubt that this will have a significant impact on our school routine, sporting and cultural calendar. We await any further clarity from the Department of Education with regard to gazette changes. In the meantime we will explore decisions that will positively impact our students and staff with regard to their school experience.
We wish Bronwyn Leeming well for this weekend. Bronwyn celebrates her wedding day on Saturday. We wish Bronwyn and her fiancé so much joy and happiness for their future!
With Courage Always,
Head: Junior School
Girls in Science @ Kingsmead
The 11th of February, marked the International Day of Woman 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 Earth Sciences approach including Science and Geography. Whilst the aspect of Science is taught through our Discovery Learning approach, within the Junior Primary.
Earth Sciences is the study of the planet we live on. 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 on 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 month.
Grade 4 – Food Processing
Grade 5 – The process of capillary action in plants
Grade 6 – Density experiments
Grade 7 – Fermentation experiments
Deputy Head: Senior Primary
The Library Checkout
Reflections from the TSSA Roadshow: The Next Chapter in Teaching and Learning
On Thursday 18 February, two of our Grade 7 students Victoria Kahwa and Kate Sardi each presented their Student Led Conference to a wide online audience inclusive of international guest speaker, Tom Schimmer, who addressed the conference delegates on the importance of ‘Reassessing Assessment to Achieve Growth’. A special thank you to both Victoria and Kate whose presentations deliberately showcased how they organise their thoughts around personal strengths, areas of growth and a plan for moving their learning forward. These are the feedback practices that we value at Kingsmead and ultimately help our students to ‘lean into’ their learning journey.
CEO of TSSA (Thinking School South Africa), Jane McIntyre, shared the following letter of appreciation to both of our students:
‘We are so grateful to you that you shared your Student Led Conferences that you normally have with your lead teacher/mentor and your parents.
It was a beautiful insight into the way you think about and articulate your Growth Mindset journey, and I know that everyone watching and hearing you speak was deeply inspired. This is the kind of consciousness and life practice that is the reason we do what we do in the Thinking Schools community. Even our international speaker Tom Schimmer was in wonderment and awe. You can be very proud of how far you have come, and equally confident about meeting the challenges of where you are going.’
In closing, some reflective words from our students based on their experience:
Victoria Kahwa: Presenting my SLC at the TSSA Roadshow was an honour. It was a bit nerve-wracking at first but very enjoyable. It gave me insight on the importance of why Kingsmead encourages thinking and growing not just academically but as a whole. The feedback from the audience was great and I thank Kingsmead for this opportunity.
Kate Sardi: What stuck with me is how important it is to reflect on your learning and share it with others! By presenting my SLC from last year, it has reminded me once again of how I learn, which will help me be better prepared with my future learning!
Congratulations to Tarryn McLaren and the Kingsmead NEST Team of 2020 for their informative and inspiring session on how Kingsmead runs their effective Student Drive Teams – one of two leading student Drive Teams in South Africa!
Tania O’Maker and the Library Ambassador Team
Donate a Kingsmead Rose
The PTA has beautiful Kingsmead roses left over from their Valentine’s rose sales. We would like to donate these roses to the gardens of Bunny Hop Haven, Sunshine Assocaition, Hotel Hope Children’s Home and Isipho Primary School.
You can donate a rose for R160. In addition, for every rose donated, the PTA will donate R30 towards data vouchers for the students at Isipho Primary .
Use the following online form if you would like to donate a Kingsmead Rose.
Jenny Venter Lauren Myburgh
Director of Service Junior School Head of Service
ARTS & MUSIC
Term 1 Music Concerts
Music is a performance art and we love sharing what we have learned with an audience. There is no selection or audition process for concerts at Kingsmead. If a student has a performance piece ready at the time of the concert, their teacher will put their name on the list. We only have space for a maximum of 25 performers at any concert. Students who want to perform at a later stage, can be signed up for the next concert or submit a video to be part of an online concert. We try to make performance opportunities available each term for all age groups; however, every student cannot perform at every concert. Please note the concert dates for the 1st term:
The Music department endeavours to introduce all students to orchestral instruments during their Junior School years. Playing an orchestral instrument allows children to participate in team music making, which also has a range of benefits and is a great deal of fun. We have developed a strong tradition of orchestral and ensemble playing at Kingsmead and would like to continue delivering excellent orchestral musicians.
During class music lessons, specialist teachers will take students out of class for group classes to introduce them to different instruments. These programmes include:
Grade 2: Violin
Grade 3: Flute
Grade 4: JSax (Single read instruments), Brass instruments &
Instruments will not be sent home with students. Mouthpieces will be washed thoroughly and instruments be sanitised in between every lesson. Parents will not be charged for lessons or the use of the instruments. Should your daughter wish to continue with lessons after the programme, you can apply for individual lessons by completing the music application form on the App.
If you are a Grade 2/3/4 parent and you DO NOT want your daughter to take part in the programmes, please click here to let us know. If you are happy for your daughter to participate, you do not need to complete the online form.
The programmes serve as introductions to each instrument and students cannot join an ensemble or the orchestra after participating in the programme. Progress in a group format and without playing regularly on the instrument at home, is slower than with individual lessons.
Should you have any questions about these programmes, please contact us.