JS SingSis 4 Kingsmead College

Our Connection: Issue 5

Nyeleti GoleleJunior School Leave a Comment

Dear Kingsmead Community,

Pause – Wonder

This long weekend alongside the Prep Fest hosted at St Stithian’s and the lead up to Easter, remind us of the opportunities we are afforded to ‘slow down’.

Recently in reading Naomi Holdt’s work on social media, I stumbled across her very poignant message, which I would like to share with you. We were lucky to host Naomi Holdt, an Educational Psychologist from Kwa-Zulu Natal in February, and again in May at our Annual Kingsmead Book Fair.

“Hurry up!” – “We’re going to be late!” – “Not now!” – “Come on!”. No doubt most of us have at some stage heard these exasperated words uttered from our mouths.

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Rush is a significant contaminant in relationships. It stresses. It disconnects. And too often it robs children of exactly what they were designed to do. Naomi reminds us that the very nature of childhood is to pause, observe, absorb and WONDER. Be curious and ask questions. This is how children make sense of and interpret the world around them. It’s how all their intricate neural connections form within their brain, to assist them in their understanding of the natural world.

But too often, because of our rush, daily stresses, our busyness, our incessant time demands, we are forced to limit connection and this leads us to becoming frustrated by our children. So I urge you as a parents, guardians and care givers to find time to pause to notice, to be amazed, to stand in wonder at what she wonders about, and what questions she asks. As a Grade 7 Earth Sciences teacher, I am in awe of the ‘wonder’ my students bring to our lessons on a daily basis ‘why this?’, ‘why that?’. Our planet is a mystery. Questioning and posing problems pushes everyone to think more deeply about the issue at hand. It requires having a questioning attitude, knowing what data are needed, and developing questioning strategies to produce those data.

Sometimes her simply wonderings and questions are so often the things we hurriedly pass by without pausing to notice, such as the leaves preparing for autumn. The immense wonder of, is an exquisitely beautiful attribute of childhood, and how blessed we are to be immersed in their world.

Next time your children keep you waiting, before hollering for them to hurry up – Inhale deeply and consider the magnificent luminescent explosion happening in their minds at that exact moment … possibly, would be our hope as teachers.

Don’t be the reason your child stops seeing the wonder. Pause, whenever you can, to wonder alongside them…Allow your child the enviable gift of childhood, ideally not behind the screen of a device, which Luke Lamprecht reminded us on Monday, 18 March.

Rather let her have time to be mesmerized with wonder.

There are so many reasons to celebrate as we look towards the close of our first term. I am reminded of the welcome and information evenings at the start of term, where our focus was to come together as a community and develop human-‘being’ skills as opposed to human-‘doing’ skills. Our Social, Emotional Learning (SEL) programme has highlighted the need to develop these critical skills, together with the age-appropriate cognitive skills required. I want to thank our teachers and coaches for creating a safe and stimulating environment for our girls in every way possible this term. It is rewarding to see how many girls have already found their place to ‘shine’. Our talented musicians have played their hearts out during many performances, further culminating in the upcoming Kingstock on Friday, 5 April. Our aquatics season concluded on a high note, coupled with the excitement at the Prep sports festival this weekend, and commencement of our netball season. We certainly have so much to celebrate!

We wish all our families a blessed Easter break this coming weekend. If you are travelling, please do so safely. We look forward to welcoming you all back again next Tuesday, 2 April. We wish those celebrating Ramadan a month of peaceful blessings. I do hope that all our families and staff take time these celebrations to rest and be ‘still’.

Please take careful note of the live calendar on the App for events leading up to the school closure on Thursday, 11 April.

With love and reminders to pause
#thriving in possibility.
Tarryn McLaren
Junior School Head

Points to Note:
Tuck shop
– please access our School App and update your account details, in terms of your daughter’s profile. We are doing our best to ensure that your daughters spending at the tuck shop is guarded to only her, thus with the addition of her photo connected to her card/band this can ensure that this is the case. ALLXS are your accounts as parents and not the schools, hence we cannot add the photos.

A. School App
B. Scroll to second page
C. Click on Tuck Shop / Hot Lunch
D. Open Jabula Café
E. Scroll down, last tab directs to you adding a profile pic.

Tour de Maths
I really enjoyed the Tour de Maths experience. APPS were fantastic hosts with amazing teacher snacks and facilities. I was paired with Milan Williams and I think we worked well together. We were paired with St Peter’s Boys Prep and they were great. They knew what they were doing, were fast and professional and had great manners. Overall it was an enjoyable experience to celebrate our wonderful opportunity as students and I was honoured to go.

Catherine Page
Grade 7 Student

Social media and the effect on your daughters

On Monday 18 March, we had the pleasure of hosting Luke Lamprecht, a well-known Child Protection and Development Specialist, with 32 years of experience in the NPO field. Lamprecht regularly conducts talks and training sessions on social cohesion, servitude leadership, child protection and development, health, mental health, disability, cyber-development and sexuality under Brain Mechanics. He is currently completing an MSc in Neurodevelopment at Wits and has an Advanced Health Management qualification from FPD and Yale University.

Luke led a presentation on the effects of social media on children’s brains and their development and how crucial it is, as parents to limit screen time as much as possible. While as parents we want to afford our children their right to privacy, Luke says that it is imperative to remember that protection always trumps privacy, every single time! This is especially true when it comes to your daughter’s online presence and interactions.

With the rapid uptake in AI software development, it is even more crucial to know what your children are doing online and have open and honest discussions with them. AI is slowly becoming your daughter’s best friend, from being able to ask it anything, including questions about sexual development, friendship issues and absolutely anything they can think of to having AI cyber “boyfriends” and “girlfriends”. The information they receive is not always accurate, age-appropriate, or in line with the morals and ethics you are trying to teach your daughter. Questions they would normally come to you with, for various reasons, they are now turning to AI to ask. You as a parent have no control over what AI will answer and children will more often than not believe what it says. As Luke says, AI is now competing with you for intimacy with your children.

This also speaks to the importance of having limits set on devices, monitoring software installed, and having apps that are not age-appropriate, blocked. The age restrictions apps give, are a guideline and often are lower than they should be. Parents need to take this seriously, for the sake of the mental health and cognitive development of their child. If you begin to blur this line, it is a slippery slope to your children believing they are allowed to do other age-inappropriate things; drinking, vaping, smoking, drugs etc.

Luke also cautions parents to check that their child’s identity in real life (IRL) and online (OL) align. If not, this leads to bigger problems down the line as your child battles to understand who they really are and opens the door to developmental issues. Luke further emphasised that children have no idea how to emotionally regulate themselves anymore, due to constantly being placated by a device. The brain’s chemistry plays a huge role here.

Our children cannot concentrate for long periods, anymore. Due to reels, shorts, and videos that are all over social media, our children’s attention span has been radically affected. Nowadays, children have the need to be on two or more screens at a time, one for watching videos, one for gaming and even a 3rd for talking to friends. This can even go as far as children wearing double headphones/earphones. One is to talk to friends, the other is to listen to games/videos etc. Take a moment to think how all this overstimulation is affecting their young developing brain.

Luke urges parents to teach their children how to think, not what to think. To become curious about what their children are doing online and the choices they are making, before jumping straight to punishment. Your children need to know you are their safe place if they find themselves in a dangerous, inappropriate, or tricky situation online. They need to know they can ask you for help.

Luke recommended the following paid apps you can install on your child’s device to help with monitoring and safeguarding:

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Please see the link below to Luke’s presentation slides, as well as, the recording.
This was an immensely informative and eye-opening presentation and I encourage more parents to attend events like these. Parents need to take charge of the script. Remember, “once you have seen it, you can’t unsee it.” Let us work together to keep your daughters safe online.

Roxy Harman-Leak
Grade 6 Co-ordinator and Digitech and Media Specialist

Arts & Music

🥳 Congratulations!
Scarlett Haslam recently showcased her talent at the South African qualifiers of the Dance World Cup, securing an impressive 2nd place among 46 competitors in her category. This outstanding achievement has earned her the opportunity to represent her country at the international phase in Prague later this year. Well done, Scarlett!

🎶 Singing Sistas
On Thursday, 14 March the Grade 4-7 Choir took part in the annual Singing Sistas choral event. They performed songs from a range of different styles with energy and conviction and their joy was palpable on stage. The evening culminated in a mass item where Kingsmead joined St Peter’s and St Mary’s on stage. We are so proud of our choir and grateful to our choir parents for their ongoing support and encouragement.

🎶 JP Masicule Sonke
The Grade 2 and 3 Choirs took the stage with gusto at our annual Junior Primary Masicule Sonke Choir Festival at Rosebank Union Church last week. The atmosphere was electric, brimming with delight and infectious enthusiasm. Our choirs showcased their dedication, delivering performances that were polished and exciting. Sincere thank you to our community for turning out in full force to make this evening unforgettable.

Get ready for Kingstock!
Join us for an unforgettable evening filled with community spirit as our children take the stage. Don your most vibrant beach attire as we come together for a night of fun. Food vendors will be on hand to satisfy any food and drink cravings. Stay tuned for more details on the programme and other details closer to the date. See you there!
Kingstock Ticket Booking

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If you have any more questions about Arts & Music at Kingsmead, get in touch, we would love to chat.

Elsabé Fourie
Director of Arts & Music

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Mia Loock
Head of Junior School Music


St Stithian’s Sports Festival
Spanning from March 12 to March 23, the recent Saints Sports Festival was a resounding success, with our school’s squash, tennis, and netball teams delivering outstanding performances that filled us with pride. This festival not only showcased the talent and dedication of our athletes but also served as a valuable platform to hone their skills and prepare diligently for the upcoming squash and netball season. The spirit of sportsmanship and camaraderie was palpable throughout the event, leaving a lasting impression on all participants and spectators alike.

Congratulations to Anvita Nunna who participated in the 2nd SANESA qualifier. Her results were as follows:
Show jumping level 1 – 4th place & 2nd place
Prix Caprilli level 1 – 12th place
Equitation level 1 – 10th place

External Sport

Congratulations to Vuyo Mkwanazi and her team for a fantastic season in the JHL Hockey league! Vuyo was part of the U12 Samauri team that took silver in the JHL tournament.

Congratulations to the divers who took part in the Central Gauteng Diving Championships which took place over the weekend of 16 March. The results were as follows:
Olona Mbele 2nd position 1m Novice & 1st position in 1m Synchro
Mikayla Rono 4th position in 1m Novice & 1st position in 1m Synchro
Thoriso Motshegoa 6th position in 1m Novice
Well done to these divers!

Congratulations to Amelia Southey on her recent achievements. Amelia participated in the Gauteng trials for the JKA karate on Friday, 15 March. Amelia won a bronze medal and has been selected to represent Gauteng at the Nationals in both of her categories.

Amelia Southey Karate scaled Kingsmead College

Congratulations to Madison Botha for placing 3rd in the 50m backstroke event at the SA level 2 National Gala on Sunday, 24 March. Well done, Madison!

Madison Botha Swimming Kingsmead College

Upcoming Events
6 April: Grade 4-7 Netball Matches vs Brescia
(Grade 4 & 5 – Brescia, Grade 6 & 7 – St Stithians)
Please note that there won’t be a bus for this fixture and players are requested to meet at the venues. Players may be collected at the end of the fixture – All players are expected to stay and support until the end of the last match.

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 sports 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/Saturday fixture. Please ensure that you let the coaches know if your daughter is not able to attend a fixture.

Yours in sport
Shavaun Hanekom
Head of Junior School Sport

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The Grade 1s had the opportunity to meet puppy guide dogs in training with their puppy trainers. They learnt how to care for a puppy in training as well as how long it takes to fully groom a guide dog. The girls loved spending time with the puppies and treating them when they followed a command.

The Grade 2s ventured off to the Siyakhana Gardens. Here they spent the day tending to the community garden. The girls learnt how to weed, plant and water seedlings. They also harvested vegetables. We partnered again with the Siyakhana Gardens and had a pop-up farm stall. This was a huge success.

The Grade 3s had a wonderful morning visiting the Sensory-Space where the girls got to interact with the magnificent displays and had a lot of fun! They also learnt how to create succulent gardens which were donated to form part of the garden at the venue.

The Grade 0s have an exciting upcoming visit from Paws4U. Each girl will have the opportunity to cuddle and snuggle with a furry friend.

The Grade 4 – 7 girls look forward to their service outings this upcoming week.

Siyakhana Gardens
Siyakhana Gardens is a remarkable initiative partnered with the Grade 2 students, aiming to educate children about sustainable gardening practices. Through Siyakhana, the girls learn to cultivate organic gardens that not only promote self-sufficiency but also contribute positively to the environment. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to everyone who supported our recent Farmers Market, which proved to be a tremendous success. Moving forward, we are excited to announce that the market will become a regular feature, taking place every first Thursday of the month at Cecil Avenue carpark after school. Participation operates on a first-come, first-serve basis, with proceeds directed towards Siyakhana. Participants can anticipate taking home a delightful box of fresh vegetables and herbs. Mark your calendars for the upcoming market on Thursday, 4 April, and join us in this wonderful endeavor.

Kerry Drake
Grade 2 Teacher

Raeesa Kaka
Junior School Service Coordinator

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Paige Dott
Juniour School Service Coordinator

Support Department

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Gillian Greyling
Occupational Therapist

Conversation Starter

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.

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