Dear Kingsmead Community,
During our assembly this week, I shared one of my favourite bedtime stories from when I was a child. The Ugly Duckling was a fairy tale that I would often read. In short, the story speaks of a duck who nurtured several eggs. One of the eggs was different to the rest. Once hatched, the ducks all looked the same except for the one – she was bigger, a different colour and behaved differently. Her siblings labelled her ugly and she was teased and belittled. The ‘ugly’ duckling left home looking for a place of belonging and was also rejected by the other farm animals. At the start of spring, she saw her reflection in the water and saw that she had transformed into a beautiful swan. A flock of swans flew passed and invited her to join them. They all lived happily ever after and the ‘ugly’ duck was now accepted. As a child, this story brought comfort and joy to know that a once ‘ugly’ duckling soon found acceptance and a place of belonging when it grew up into a swan.
There is an inherent challenge with this story which I could only see now as an adult. The duckling should never have received this label, ‘ugly’, in the first place. If she were accepted and seen for her beauty, her difference and her strength, her place of belonging would have been right there at the farm from hatching until she grew up to find her gifting.
Social media, movies and music often describe what it is to be beautiful. We are often driven to behave and look a certain way as we seek perfection and the social need to belong. Too many movies speak to the girl who doesn’t typically fit the profile of perfection, and how after a major transformation, she shows up at an event looking ‘pretty’.
I have challenged our students this term to look at themselves and recognise their own beauty and perfection – just as they are. In turn, to realise that those who are different, bring something special to their classes, teams and social groups. Let us keep reminding our daughters that they do not have to look and behave in a certain way to be ‘perfect’; they do not need to undergo physical changes to be ‘perfect’; they do not need to buy branded clothes, food and drinks to find a place of belonging.
A recent poem written by psychologist Naomi Holdt says it well:
“Just be you.
Where you are.
All of you.
THIS is happiness
THIS is perfection”
Wishing you a wonderful term ahead.
With love and Courage Always,
Head: Junior School
International Education Trends – Kaleidoscope of Inquiry Conference, Vancouver Canada
During the April holidays, the two deputy heads of academics and innovation, Mrs Banwa and Mrs Pretorius together with Mrs McLaren, deputy head of Senior Primary travelled abroad to Vancouver to visit several schools and attend a conference on the pedagogy and methodology on Inquiry in education.
As a team we have arrived back inspired, enriched, proud and ready to embark on some deeper and richer approaches to our inquiry philosophy and mindset at Kingsmead. Our school is well aligned with the many different international trends and standards we observed, interviewed, surveyed, and experienced. We too were able to share openly with our approach to education at Kingsmead, and our philosophy of the ‘individual matters first and foremost’, which was by far more revered amongst our international colleagues than their students within their schools. Our level of intense social, emotional and academic support is noted with pride.
There has been growing interest in ‘personalized learning’ for many years now. Increasingly, schools such as Kingsmead, are making arrangements to provide more opportunities for students to learn to be self-directed and to have their needs and interests met through the curriculum. An inquiry-based approach is an approach that recognises the importance of student voice and choice and of linking new learning to the existing knowledge, experiences and interests of the student.
Teachers who use an inquiry-based approach are committed to helping students ‘learn to learn’ and to equipping them with the skills and dispositions to independently investigate questions, problems, issues and interests. One of our responsibilities as leaders at Kingsmead, includes us asking questions such as … what opportunities do we give students to do this beyond the “units of inquiry” we may develop? How can we provide students with real opportunities to follow their passions and to truly inquire into those things that matter to them? How can we do this in a way that is not overwhelming for them or for teachers!
It was a delight to unite with so many specialists within education from all over the world, including Hawaii, Uganda, Mexico, Korea, and Switzerland, to name a few. The Kaleidoscope of Inquiry Conference brings together a group of globally renowned educators who invited participants to take a deep dive into the transformative potential of inquiry-based practices in classrooms, staff rooms and communities at large. The presenters reflected a diverse range of experiences from teaching preschool through to senior secondary schools and universities. They have worked around the world in a range of settings and bring unique perspectives on the ways in which inquiry can be harnessed for powerful learning. While each presenter has expertise in the field of inquiry learning, this will be the first time they have come together to create such a special professional learning experience!
Our discovery and knowledge now invites our teachers to take their thinking about inquiry to the next level and to truly honour both their own and their students’ agency. We would like to thank Council, Ms Palmer and Mrs Lowman for this incredible opportunity.
Arts & Music
Welcome back to all our parents and students! Term 2 is going to be an exciting and busy one for the Music Department.
Fill our schools with music and watch the world change ~ Vaughan Fleischfresser
Music Lessons @ Kingsmead
Individual music lessons are on offer for a variety of instruments. The sign-up form for individual music lessons is in the Arts & Music folder on the app: Find the 🎵icon or access it HERE
Grade 0 students may start with music lessons from this term. They can enrol for the following instruments: violin, piano, guitar, and cello.
Group Music Making
There are no sign-up forms this term for any groups. If your daughter is interested in joining one of the music groups, she is welcome to join the rehearsal. The extra-curricular schedules can be found on the App in the Extra-Curricular folder.
As you are aware, the PTA is organising a wonderful community event, KINGSTOCK on Saturday 13 May. All our young musicians will be showcased and music groups from Grade 1-12 will be performing. Various food stalls, a thrift store and entertainment for students will be available, and it promises to be a super afternoon and evening to catch up with everyone in the community.
- Performers: Grade 1-3s are to wear their sport shirt and Grade 4-7s their house shirt with a pair of blue jeans and any white takkies.
- Performers do not need tickets. Armbands for performers will be handed out on Friday.
- Tickets for families and friends can be purchased by clicking this link: Ticket Sales.
- Tickets may be collected in the car park before and after school every day this week. If you have booked a ticket, you can collect your band from the PTA table.
- The performance schedule and call time for every group will be communicated on the WhatsApp groups.
All participants must return to their families after their performance. The gym, where instruments may be left, will be used as an assembly point for participants only, and there will not be ongoing supervision.
- DO bring a picnic blanket and something to keep warm. If you bring camping chairs, position them in such a way that you don’t block the view of others. Do NOT bring your own food or drinks, but instead, support the many food, snacks, and drinks stalls. This event is a fundraiser and all money raised will go towards various PTA projects. Make sure to download Zapper or SnapScan to your phone for purchasing any item quickly and easily. Cash 💰 will be accepted.
- Should you want to take photos of your child when performing, stand in the area on the corner of the stage which will be clearly marked. Please be mindful not to block the view of others.
- There will be enough dustbins in the area, encourage students and visitors to our campus to use these and help to keep the area clean and tidy throughout the event.
- There will be limited parking available, so perhaps take an Uber to the event.
- The liquor license prohibits alcohol from being brought on-site. The license also requires us to use plastic glasses. In the interest of the environment, we will reuse these. Once you have finished using your ‘glass’, deposit it in the red bins close to the bar. Support the PTA bar!
- Kingsmead is a no-smoking 🚬 and no-vaping 💨 zone!
- The MDC will be running activities for the children ages 6 – 10 in the Joel Hall, as well as a thrift 🧥 👗 👚 🎩 store outside the Joel hall. Please donate any gently worn clothes or accessories for the thrift store; these may be dropped off at Music Reception any time this week.
- Write your telephone number on your child’s armband in case they wander off.
- There will be two entrances for the event: Cecil entrance (by the bus stop) and at the Cricket Pitch entrance (by Jabula).
Order of events
This is a rough guideline, subject to change. On-stage set-up sometimes takes longer than anticipated, and the teachers will need breaks in between as well.
Please stay until the end, it promises to be an exciting lineup with a range of musical styles to enjoy. Our younger students also love seeing the seniors perform.
The event starts at 15h00; live music starts at 16h00:
We are excited to be back after a lovely break and the students are eager to get out on the sports field and shine once again. The start of the Junior School hockey pre-season is exciting for young athletes as they hit the field with renewed energy and determination. With new team members and coaches, players are eager to showcase their skills and work together to achieve their goals. Whether they’re aiming for all-around wins or simply looking to improve their game, the start of the season is a time of great promise and anticipation for all involved.
A reminder that safety is our top priority on the sports fields so please ensure that your daughter attends the hockey practices with shin pads as well as a gum guard.
Our netball season is still in full swing, and we encourage all students to attend the practices. This a reminder that 2 practices per week must be attended to be eligible for team selection.
Sun City Netball Tour
From 21 – 24 April 2023 a group of Grade 5,6 and 7 netball players attended the Sun City Netball Tour. The Tour provided an opportunity for our players to further develop their netball skills, as well as enjoy team building, adventures, and endless laughter.
We were afforded the privilege of being coached and mentored by some of the most prestigious names in the netball fraternity. These included a former Protea netball coach, the Namibian national netball coach, a former Protea player, a Namibian national player, South African players (within their respective age groups), an under-17 South African team coach, a provincial coach, and an international umpire. This collective wealth of knowledge, which was imparted to our players, was eagerly implemented during our fun matches and drills.
We were also given the opportunity to enjoy some rest and relaxation at the resort pools and the Valley of Waves. The players attending the tour left their coaches with an overwhelming sense of pride through their good behaviour, impeccable manners, and courageous representation of Kingsmead College.
Congratulations to Maya Rono for her excellent achievements in diving. Maya participated in the National Diving Championship which took place in Durban and her results were as follows:
1M – 4th position
3M – 2nd position
Synchro – 5th position
Congratulations to Lucy Berry for placing 3rd and 6th in the Show Jumping SANESA Qualifier which took place on 28 & 30 April. We wish her all the best for her remaining qualifiers.
Congratulations to Georgia Lenaerts who moved up to the Junior Max class in go karting this year. This class is packed with fierce competition. On 15 April, Georgia raced in the Formula K Regional championship and placed 2nd overall! This is an exceptional achievement. On 29 April, she took part in the Formula K National Championship which saw her tie 6th overall. The day was full of challenges, but her driving was exceptional! Well done, Georgia!
11 May – Grade 3 Netball festival at Roedean. (more information will be sent to parents of the selected players via email.)
12 May – Grade 4 – 7 Netball fixtures (Grade 4 & 5 – St Teresa’s, Grade 6 & 7 – Kingsmead)
13 May – Grade 7A Netball Festival at St Andrew’s
18 May – Grade 3 Netball festival at Brescia. (more information will be sent to parents of the selected players via email.)
18 May – Squash Fixture (A, B & C Teams – TBC)
19 May – Grade 6 & 7 C/D Netball fixtures at Bellavista.
20 May – Grade 4 & 5 Netball fixtures (Venue – TBC)
20 May – Grade 6 & 7 A/B Netball Festival at Holy Rosary (Shanahan Park)
Good luck to all of our teams.
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/Saturday fixture. Please ensure that you let the coaches know if your daughter is not able to attend a fixture.
Yours in sport
Head of Junior School Sport
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.
Kingsmead Book Fair – 27 May
The 11th annual Kingsmead Book Fair is just over two weeks’ away.
The programme has been published on our website:
Kingsmead Book Fair Adult Programme
Kingsmead Book Fair Children Programme
Kingsmead Book Fair Teen and Young Adult Programme
Tickets have gone on sale on Webtickets.
The Book Fair tickets are structured as follows:
Entry ticket (age 3 upwards): R100
Grade 6-12 students in school uniform: free entry
Session tickets for the teen and adult programme: R75 each
Session tickets for the children’s programme: included in the R100 entry
Please have a look at our exciting programme filled with a diverse and interesting range of topics and authors that we have been working hard at curating. Please also stay tuned to our event media partner, Hot 102.7. We look forward to seeing you on 27 May!