Dear Kingsmead Community,
The Gift of Time
The sun sets and rises and the seasons predictably shift over the course of a year. Time is also a socially constructed concept. As humans we live our lives according to a clock, a calendar and defined blocks of time. At present we are counting down time to the end of term. We wish time away when we experience struggles and try desperately to hold onto time when our experiences are positive and bring us joy.
We look back at the past and remember significant moments in time that have steered our course. Last week we gratefully unveiled the Grade 7 2021 gift to the school – a clock for Joel Hall. My hope and wish for our community is to take this as the gift of time. As a famous quote refers: Time is a bit like the water that flows in a river. We dip our hands in at a moment in time. You will never touch that same water twice because the flow of water that passes, will never pass again. Let us remember to take the present moment in time to enjoy what brings us joy, hope and love.
The greatest example of this time cherished was the time we spent together as a community at Kingstock on Friday. I was completely overcome with gratitude and love to see both our Junior and Senior School families and musicians coming together. This was our time to RISE!
As we begin to close our term, we are certainly not slowing down. We wish our sports teams well during the St Stithians Prep Sports Festival this week; our musicians strength at our Kingsmead Ensemble Festival and all our students joy as they intentionally build relationships with our community partners.
We thank Lorna Rait for her time spent in Grade 2 as a locum teacher during Georgina Sfarnas’ maternity leave. We wish Lorna good health and happiness as she deservedly takes some time to rest. We also wish Lauren Myburgh well for her long leave in the second term. Lauren will return to school at the start of the third term. We welcome Sandy Curry as a locum in Lauren’s capacity for Term 2. Karen Goddard will also be taking a portion of her long leave at the start of the second term to visit her family abroad. Denise Schefermann will be assisting us during this time.
Ramadan Mubarak to all our families of Muslim faith. May this be a blessed time spent together with your families.
Our term closes early on Wednesday 13 April. I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a peaceful, joyful Easter break. Enjoy the gift of time with your families and friends.
Wishing you all a happy and healthy April holiday.
“Tomorrow belongs to people who prepare for it today” African Proverb
With love and Courage Always,
Head: Kingsmead Junior School
Helping Your Child Create Balance in Their World
While our lives within our school community appears to have returned to ‘normal’ this year, fast paced and somewhat exciting, it is important that we assist your daughters to achieve a sense of balance.
Society rewards and respects busy. We wear our busyness with pride, but it’s a house of cards and at some point, it will all come tumbling down. In the long term, ‘busy’ leads to worn out, it leads to illness, academic decline and it leads to disengagement from the people we love.
On some level we need to recognise that being so busy is not good for us. You may even hear people acknowledging that they the need to find balance in their lives. However, balance is not something you find, it is something you create.
How to create solid foundations of balance:
Balance Comes from Understanding Yourself.
A big part of creating balance is knowing who you are. For adolescents this is difficult because they are still trying to figure that out. When they get to a point where they can embrace their individuality and not be so worried about fitting in, they will have more chance of creating balance.
When children notice and put value on their individuality, they start to figure out what works for them and what doesn’t. After that we need to encourage them to speak up and articulate who they are and what they need from others.
Balance Comes from Accepting That Not Everything Is Under Our Control
Teach your child to be mindful of what she can control and what she can’t. Part of finding balance is finding acceptance. When a child is able to recognise that a lot of things are out of their control, the mental load reduces. It is very liberating to know they are not responsible for everything.
Balance Comes When We Are Aware of Our Priorities
Children deal with a lot of other people’s priorities. There are their parents’ hopes and wishes, their teachers’ programs and ambitions for them and the opinions and judgements of their peers. They are still developing their own identity and autonomy. They want to please everyone. Unfortunately, this means they may not even truly know what they want or what their priorities are. Encourage your daughter to make decisions about her priorities too. That will mean sometimes asking them to make choices.
Balance Is Created When We Choose to Live in The Moment
Not everything has to be about success or failure, and we don’t have to be good at everything to enjoy experiences. Too many of our kids only focus on tasks and activities that can define them as successful or fitting in. Encourage your daughter to try new things and not quit just because she may not be great at it. Shift her focus to how things feel. Not everything has to be a competition, we can just have fun.
Balance Controls Expectations
It is easy to think that if we lowered expectations of ourselves and our children, we would all have a more balanced life. In fact, it is more important to see where expectations come from and then manage them.
Adapted from Santa Maria for Girls, September, 2021
Research indicates, that when compared to adults, children are more vulnerable to the emotional impact of traumatic events which disrupt their daily lives. COVID-19 impacted on our lives in ways we never thought possible, and for many it still threatens our sense of safety. As a Thinking-Feeling school we continue to invest in the emotional and psychosocial well-being of our students and school community. All staff have received extensive Emotion Coaching training so as to facilitate students’ sense of safety when needed, thereby maximising learning, enhancing students’ emotional regulation and problem-solving skills, as well as facilitating positive peer relations.
In addition to staff training, Kingsmead Junior School recently hosted a coffee morning where our school psychologist Moira Severin, and guest clinical psychologist Francesca Chetwin, discussed trauma and shared practical and tangible ways for you to further support your daughter’s emotional safety. Dr Daniel Siegel’s (Professor of Psychiatry) Hand Model of the Brain was shared in order to explain what it looks like when we are stuck in a stress response (https://youtu.be/gm9CIJ74Oxw). Francesca posed two questions to parents/guardians; ‘How would you like your daughter to feel about themselves in the now and in general?’ and ‘How would you like your daughter to feel about herself when she grows up?’
Emotion Coaching, which is based on the work of American psychologist John Gottman (1996), was expanded on in the coffee morning. At the center of Emotion Coaching are two key elements – empathy and guidance. Emotion empathy and guidance is recognising, labelling and validating your daughter’s emotions in order to promote self-awareness of emotions.
Gottman has delineated five steps in Emotion Coaching:
- Be aware of your daughter’s responses
- Recognise emotional times as opportunities for intimacy and teaching
- Listen empathically and validate your daughter’s feelings
- Help your daughter to verbally label emotions
- Set limits while heling your daughter to problem-solve
To quote L.R. Knost (author and social justice advocate), “Don’t ask yourself at the end of the day if you did everything right. Ask yourself what you learned and how well you loved, then grow from your answer. That is perfect parenting” and perfect teaching. We look forward to continuing the Emotion Coaching journey with our school community.
Deputy: Head of Junior Primary
Arts & Music
Congratulations to our Chess players!
On Saturday the 19 March 2022 our Kingsmead Checkm8s Chess students participated in a fun Junior Schools Chess Tournament. As always, all our students did exceptionally well, with their skills improving each tournament.
Special mention goes to:
Amahle Mbele won Gold in the U8 section and won 4 out of 5 matches
Milisuthando Mabusela received a Bronze medal
Nondumiso Mabuza was 4th in the U10 section.
Lalu Hu-Grobbelaar received a Bronze medal in the U14 section.
Lalu Hu- Grobbelaar competed in the SAJCCC Nationals in Centurion this weekend and attained her SAJCCC and National colours. Lalu will be participating in the African Common Wealth Games in Zambia in July 2022. We are super proud of you, Lalu, what an exceptional achievement!
Thank you so much to all the families who supported KINGSTOCK on Friday evening. Our musicians absolutely loved performing on the magnificent stage and sharing their music with the Kingsmead Community. It was an absolute thrill to perform ‘live’ again! Sincere thanks to all our parents, grandparents, guardians, and caretakers for your continued and unwavering support of the Kingsmead Arts & Music department.
We look forward to the Kingsmead Ensemble Festival this week where our Junior School Orchestra, Drum Gym and all our Grade 1-7 Marimba bands will be performing. The programme for the three evenings as well as a letter with more information can be found in the Arts & Music folder on the App.
It was wonderful to see our Grade 1-7 musicians perform in the Music Concerts this term. Our last concert of the term on Monday 11 April is a Voice Concert and will involve all the Grade 4-7 voice students. We cannot wait to see them perform!
The Arts & Music department wishes all our Kingsmead families a super April holiday!
Congratulations to Maya Rono for being selected to participate in the South African National Diving Championships 2022.
She will be representing the Central Gauteng Youth Games Aquatics Team. This competition will be hosted by KwaZulu-Natal in the beginning of April. We are proud of you and your determination is inspiring, Maya! We wish you all the best for the competition.
Equestrian Inter-schools Qualifier 2 – March 2022 (Central Gauteng district)
The riders competed on the 26th and 27th of March in the 2nd District qualifier and continued to do well in many disciplines. We congratulate the Kingsmead Prep riders on the following results:
Katherine Papadopoulos riding Beau
1st Equitation – Level 5
3rd Dressage (test a) – Level 3
3rd Working Riding – Level 5
3rd Prix Caprilli – Level 5
4th Working Hunter – Level 3
Hannah Cooke riding Firefly
1st Performance riding – Level 3
2nd Working Riding – Level 3
4th Dressage Level 2
Mila Hozak riding Potluck
2nd Equitation Level 2
2nd Jumping Level 2
We wish the team riders well in the 3rd Qualifier that will take place on the 21st and 22nd May 2022.
Congratulations to all netball players who took part in our first fixture on Friday against St Stithian’s. The players all played their hearts out and we are very proud of you.
A won 5 – 4
B won 6 – 0
C drew 4 – 4
D lost 1 – 7
A lost 3 – 4
B lost 2 – 8
C lost 0 – 2
D won 2 – 1
A lost 3 – 7
B lost 1 – 6
C won 2 – 1
D lost 0 – 18
A lost 5 – 9
B lost 3 – 7
C lost 0 – 12
D lost 3 – 6
Kingsmead will be participating in the St Stithian’s Prep Sports festival from 7-9 April. We will be participating in both tennis and netball. This is a very prestigious event, and we wish all our players the best of luck.
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 and the Term 1B/2A Sports information on the App under the Sport section.
Yours in sport
Head of Junior School Sport
Realema Intern Programme
At Kingsmead we are passionate about helping to ‘grow’ the next generation of educators in South Africa. We are proud of our partnership with Relaema, who embody our united and shared passion for teaching. The calibre of interns we receive from Realema epitomize passionate, enthusiastic, and diligent professionals. At our core, we care deeply about being part of the solution to poverty in our country and couldn’t think of a better NPO with which to partner.
Our interns gain experience through many opportunities at Kingsmead. In the Foundation Phase classroom, the interns are involved in the daily running of the classroom and gain insight into the daily administration involved in the running of a class and the structure within a classroom. Our interns see differentiation in practise and can support and extend children, according to their learning needs. The interns assist with break duty which gives them the opportunity to see the children interacting beyond the scope of a classroom. Assisting with sport and physical education lessons also affords the interns an opportunity to interact with students.
In the Intermediate Phase our intern, Tsholofelo Rapoo, has had the opportunity to gain experience in Grades 5-7 Mathematics, as well as be part of a LEAD class. She observes lessons and supports studnets who have questions or need additional explanation / practise during lessons. She teaches one lesson a week while being observed by the teacher in the class. She has guidance with planning her lessons that she will be teaching and access to resources to assist her in her planning. Meaningful, constructive feedback is provided once she has taught a lesson. This allows for growth and reflection. Tsholofelo has had the opportunity to take responsibility for some of the marking. She is also leading an extension lesson called ‘Vocal Fixation- African Edition’ where students can grow their interest in singing.
We have received wonderful feedback from our interns:
“Kingsmead College has equipped me with the knowledge, resources, and abilities I will need when I begin full-time teaching. The workshops, webinars, and staff developments have been quite beneficial in terms of providing training and addressing problem-solving abilities. My favourite workshops are those that teach us how to integrate technology in the classroom. As a result, I’ve learned how to optimize my teaching and make learning more enjoyable.
As a full-time student and employee, I found it challenging to build a system for managing my academics and career. On some days, I feel like I’m putting more effort into my work than I am into my academics, while on other days, the opposite is true. One technique I’m employing is simply making a schedule that details my work and study plans. I also keep a calendar with critical tasks and deadlines on it. That, in some ways, has taught me how to manage my time wisely.
I’m proud of how far I’ve progressed as a ‘pandemic intern.’ I evolved from isolating myself and being anxious all the time to loving being among others. I’m also proud of how many responsible risks and challenges I’ve given myself this year. I work in a predominantly female workplace. I’ve witnessed the devotion, continuous effort, and perseverance from these women. This really has led me to recognise and celebrate how women empowerment has moulded me into a self-assured, eager, and courageous woman, who rises by lifting others.” Tsholofelo Rapoo
“I have learned a lot at Kingsmead College, such as experience with classroom management. Classroom management is a skill that not everyone possesses. Learning how to manage a classroom full of students takes a lot of practise. I have learned what I should do when a student speaks out of turn and what I can do when students are fighting with one another. It takes a lot of trial and error to figure out what works. Being an intern gives me time to put what I have learned from my lectures and readings into practice. I am able to figure out what works best for me.
Working at Kingsmead helps me learn through hands on experience. I have learnt which are the most effective sorts of lessons among learners and which are the most successful teaching methods.
Kingsmead allows me to try out new lessons and teaching practice in a safe atmosphere. That way, when it’s time for me to have my own classroom, I’ll know just how to create a safe space for teaching and learning.
I am also exposed to a lot of resources that Kingsmead has to offer, which helps me as an aspiring teacher. The workshops such as Emotional Awareness and TSSA really help nurture and grow me.
I am an introvert so having to interact with other teachers has been a challenge for me. I am working towards being comfortable around everyone and speaking, but I know it will take some time. Finding my own method of teaching has also been a challenge since I have only been with one teacher for almost 3 years. It feels like I only know one way of teaching and I have no options.
I am more comfortable in a classroom and with the girls. I understand them and they also get my energy so it’s always refreshing to go to the class. Being a teacher intern helps me with my academics because I can always ask for help from my mentors.” Phindiwe Tshabala
“I have gained a lot in this short period of time from the school. I gained constant support and academic guidance, especially from my mentor. I believe I am professionally growing in this teaching profession. I learnt several things like controlling and managing a class. Interacting with children in a different and appropriate manner. My confidence has improved. I also learnt how to multitask and improvise.
It was quite challenging for me to fully focus on school and work simultaneously, more especially when I had to attend staff meetings at work and attend UJ online classes immediately after that. I do not get enough time to study my schoolwork. I created a daily schedule which helps me to remember my duties and manage my time effectively.
I have the opportunity to be part of a great school. The environment is warm and welcoming, and I am growing and developing my skills every day.” Keletso Makoa
Since I have joined Kingsmead College, I have become more confident with planning and presenting my lessons in the Foundation Phase, and this has assisted me with my practical modules. My mentor teacher’s feedback and guidance on my lessons has helped me improve my classroom management sills, vocal skills, and pedagogical skills. The workshops that we get from the school have had a great impact on my professional growth and I am very proud to say I am a developing thinking and attachment aware teacher.
At the beginning of the year, I battled with transitioning from being an ECD intern teacher to a Foundation Phase intern teacher. However, I have received so much support from my mentor teacher and other teachers. With the knowledge I have learnt from the previous two years both practical and theoretical I am managing to find balance and I am learning more. This year I am growing much stronger professionally, emotionally, and mentally.” Lerato Baloyi
In the words of Nelson Mandela, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” We believe that through our partnership with Realema we are working together to achieve the noble task of educating the next generation.
Intern Co-Ordinator Kingsmead College