Dear Kingsmead Community,
Although we are still living within a pandemic, we have certainly started feeling a ‘little more normal’. Our community has done really well by following protocols, and still finding ways to learn and enjoy school while we can. It was a real gift to hear our Grade 4-7 musicians live in concert on Monday. Our netball and tennis courts are alive with action and focus at the moment. Our students are loving their classroom discoveries every day.
We continue to step into each new day with caution and consideration for our families. We are also acutely aware of the innate negative impact that the pandemic has had on the social and emotional well-being of our students and staff. I encourage our community to read our newsletters carefully each week as we attempt to share information which we are hoping will alleviate some of the negative impact and possible trauma in our lives.
At a recent SAHISA (South African Heads of Independent Schools Association) meeting, we were addressed by Professor Gray on the recent vaccination research and implementation plans ahead. It is imperative that schools remain safe spaces for children and staff so that we can keep our physical doors open. She also reiterated the importance of embracing the moments where we have the opportunity to connect with each other in person, in classes and on the sports fields while following protocols. We know to expect a disrupted Term 2 ahead and we need to prepare for the easiest transition possible. I want to thank our parent body for your support with every step we take. Our connections with you are invaluable.
We begin the Winter Term on Wednesday, 28 April. Winter uniform requirements are available on the Kingsmead App. Specific details pertaining to extra-curricular schedules or any proposed changes to our routine will be shared before the start of term. At this stage, all going well, we plan to open Term 2 in the same manner that we close Term 1.
With only a few days left of our warm first term, I would like to say well done and thank you for the most beautiful term together on firm Kingsmead ground. Should you be travelling for the April holiday, we wish you a safe return. Please take care of yourselves and prioritise connections with your precious families.
With love and Courage Always,
Head: Kingsmead Junior School
Plans for the end of Term 1
Tuesday 30 March: Our Grade 000, 00 and 0 students will have their Easter Picnic. This will be their last day of term. They should be collected from the Cecil Ave Carpark at 12h30 for Grade 000 and 00; and 13h00 for the Grade 0s.
Wednesday 31 March: The Grade 1,2 and 3 students will have their Easter Picnic. They are to be collected from the Cecil Ave Carpark at 10h00.
Sherpa will operate from 10h00 onwards on break up day.
School will end at 10h00 for the Grade 4 – 7 students after their Final Assembly. They are to be collected from the Main Carpark.
Connecting with your daughter
We were reminded of this recently during our parent-webinar evening with Klikd. The ladies from Klikd are able to share the real tools that provide you as parents with the peace of mind to navigate social media and teens/ tweens. They were able to combine professional expertise in both child and adolescent psychology and social media law with a fresh “how to” instead of “beware of” approach to teens and social media. So in line with their message, we believe that the link below is a relevant read for you as parents to take the time to connect with your daughters.
Deputy Head: Senior Primary
The Library Checkout
In the following insert this week, let’s dive into some of the Junior Primary and Senior Primary ‘TOP SHELF PICKS’. Below is a list of 3 books explored and read during some of the Junior Primary library lessons over the last term and these titles proved to be firm favourites amongst the JP students:
While We Can’t Hug by Eoin McLaughlin , published in May 2020, is any library, classroom and home must-have!
A delightful guide on how to be affectionate and build connection with others whilst maintaining social distancing. Certainly reminding readers that “There are lots of ways to show someone you love them.”
I even bought this book to add to my own son’s memory keepsake box to remind him one day, years from now, of these unprecedented times that we are living through.
How best does one tackle the dos and don’ts of taking care of your books – definitely not by reading through a list of rules! Not Just a Book by Jeanne Willis is a memorable rhyming book about how a book is not just a book. It can be so many things: a hat or a building block, a flower press or a fly-swatter. But books are so much more than that. They can make you feel, they can take you anywhere, they can make you laugh and can teach you anything you want to know. “The two best things one can do with a book is to read it and love it”. Each lesson culminated in a useful review of all the ways in which we can show a book that we love it.
In celebration of International Women’s Day on the 8th of March, I introduced our students to the book Malala’s Magic Pencil that explored the true events and dreams that Malala Yousafzai herself had as a young girl living in Pakistan.
Malala, a Nobel Peace Prize Winner, finds magic not in her pencil that she continued to wish for, but in her voice and in the power of her writing. She fights for peace, social equality and the right for all girls to have an education. It was so rewarding when our Muslim students extended the knowledge of their peers by reviewing the terms used to describe the Islamic dress worn by Malala in the illustrations. We learnt about a ‘baia’, ‘burka/ burqa’ and a ‘hijab’.
A special thank you to Hope Ngwenya and Emily Donly, two of our Library Committee ambassadors, for preparing the following book commercials about their favourite ‘TOP SHELF PICKS’, suitable for the older students in the Senior Primary.
Hope Ngwenya’s book commercial video for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K Rowling
Emily Donly’s book commercial for Rick Riordon’s Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief:
Should you have any questions about these programmes, please contact us.
Books and Bites SELF-EXTENSION
A number of students in Grade 6 signed up for the Books and Bites Self -Extension activity this term. During this session, I aim to get our students to explore different authors or genres not always typically chosen.
In line with our GRIT Champion 2021 theme stemming from our Orientation Programme at the beginning of the year, we are currently engrossed in an emotive group reading of the book titled:
Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper via the Sora Reading App. This book promises that we will come to know an extraordinary mind and a brave spirit in the character, Melody, and it will change forever how we interact with anyone with a disability. A story reminiscent of The Diving Bell and the Butterfly for any of our interested adult readers.
Each week, students come together to read, eat and share their opinion about the events that unfold within the story. What a splendid way to retreat with a book and friends each Thursday afternoon!
Junior School Media Specialist
Children who are read to or read for enjoyment every day, develop a broader vocabulary, increased general knowledge and a better understanding of other cultures.
Tips for sending your child off in the right direction:
- Reading aloud to your child or getting your child to read to you: This includes talking about the words and pictures, and sharing ideas about the book, which will in turn improve vocabulary and language.
- Reading yourself: Children who see adults reading, and enjoying reading, are much more likely to want to read themselves.
- Making sure your child is surrounded by books: You don’t need hundreds of books at home, but make regular trips to the library or bookshop, not just to buy or borrow books but to spend time together browsing and learning to make choices. In this way, reading becomes a habit.
BA Hons (Speech & Hearing Therapy)
Junior School Head of Service
ARTS & MUSIC
Intokozo is a creative arts programme for Grade 1-3 students which takes place every Thursday morning. Every class is exposed to one performing art per term: dance, drama and music. The classes are offered by specialist teachers and the aim is to give students a space to express themselves, learn, play and have fun.
Do you know what we are all about in the Music Department?
The Kingsmead Music Department aims to create an inclusive space where all our students feel welcome. Our dream is that every student should play an instrument at some point of their school career.
If you want to know more about our offering, watch this video:
Pi Day (14 March) Poetry from Grade 5
South African National Equestrian Schools Association (SANESA):
Training Show – Sunday, 7th March 2021
Sanesa hosted a training show this past Sunday. Two of our team members competed and received a brilliant set of results. Congratulations go to:
1st in Level 3 Show Jumping
Helena van der Merwe:
1st in Level 2 Show Jumping
2nd in Level 2 Show Jumping
SANESA Johannesburg Qualifier dates are as follows:
Q1 – 8 & 9 May – Eaton Farm
Q2 – 22 & 23 May – KPC
Q3 – 26 & 27 June KPC
Director of Sport
“In every crisis, doubt or confusion, take the higher path, the path of compassion, courage, understanding and love.” – Amit Ray, Nonviolence: The Transforming Power.