This will be the last newsletter for the term. It is good to celebrate the conclusion of my first full year at Kingsmead. I am grateful each and every day for the opportunity to engage with your inspiring daughters, you as supportive parents and with our dynamic teaching team.
We have made some positive progress in ensuring that the needs of our girls are met. We have deliberately engaged with the feedback from our parents, girls and teachers and taken some courageous steps forward, all at the same time holding on dearly to the values and ethos embedded here at the Junior School. Thank you for walking the path alongside us. I look forward to the next step together.
Please take note of some of the staffing news for next term:
We welcome back Mrs Annemarie Linsell (Grade 1M) and Mrs Aimee Gilbert (Grade 2G) from maternity leave. Thank you to Miss Camilla Montgomery and Mrs Lorna Rait for the excellent teaching which took place during the first term.
Mrs Cindy Dalling and Mrs Maryanne Clegg begin their well-deserved long leave at the start of Term 2 and will return in Term 3. We welcome back Mrs Bev Pruett who will be teaching Senior Primary Art as well as Grade 5 History. Mrs Pruett will be assisting with Mrs O’Maker’s role in the library as well and will take over as the LEAD teacher for Mrs O’Maker. Mr Nick Smit will be joining our Mathematics department as a locum teacher for Mrs Dalling.
We also welcome three new permanent staff members next term:
Mrs Helen Schreuder comes to us from Cedarwood school. Mrs Schreuder will be fulfilling a new post at the Junior School as Academic Support Co-ordinator and Life Skills teacher. Mrs Schreuder will also be taking Mrs Dalling’s LEAD group for the second term.
Mrs Belinda Aspoas joins us as the new full time Educational Psychologist and Life Skills co-ordinator and teacher.
Mrs Sheillah Denenga has been appointed as the new Head of Junior School Sport from the second term. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mrs AK for her commitment to the Junior School as the Head of Junior School sport. Mrs AK will now be focusing her energy on coaching and the development of a Junior Primary physical development programme. I have no doubt she will continue to add great value to our physical education programme.
We wish our new staff members a happy start at Kingsmead!
Have a good holiday season. We look forward to welcoming all our girls back on the 3 May in winter uniform.
Kim Lowman – Head: Junior School
Tuesday 3 Apr
- 14:00 – 18:00 Grade 000 – 3 Parent interviews
- 15:00 – 18:00 Grade 4 – 7 Parent interviews
Wednesday 4 Apr
- 14:00 – 16:00 Grade 000 – 3 Parent interviews
- 15:00 – 19:00 Grade 4 – 7 Parent interviews
Thursday 5 Apr
- Cycle test – English
- JS Sports festival – St Stithians
- 18:00 – 20:00 Kingsmead Music Festival – Rosebank Union Church
Friday 6 Apr
- 07h45 JP Assembly
- JS Sports festival – St Stithians
- 10h45 SP Hymns / Chapel
Saturday 7 Apr
- JS Sports festival – St Stithians
- JS Music Eisteddfod
Monday 9 Apr
- 07h45 Assembly – Performing arts assembly – Joel Hall
Tuesday 10 Apr
- Last day for Grade 000 – 0
Wednesday 11 Apr
- 08h30 – 10h00 Final Assembly
- 10h00 JS closes
- Aftercare will run till 13h00
The Kingsmead Book Fair
We will be hosting our seventh annual Book Fair on Saturday 12 May from 8h30 to 18h00.
This year the Kingsmead Book Fair is sponsored by Standard Bank – Wealth and Investment, 702, Porcupine Ridge and Timberland. Join us and enjoy good food and drink, interesting discussion, heated debate and in-depth dialogue with a host of dynamic authors, facilitators and 702 presenters. Immerse yourself in the day, which has the theme “The more you read, the more you know.”
This year’s line-up includes Jacques Pauw, Mark Heywood, Glynnis Breytenbach, Redi Thlabi, Gregg Hurwitz, Zinzi Clemmons, Claire Robertson, Mandla Langa, Ayobami Adebayo, Kate Furnivall, Kate Mosse, Pumla Dineo Gqola, and J’Something, among many others. Our young adult programme offers our girls, from grades 6-10, a variety of workshops from writing to slam poetry and other interactive discussions. There is the full children’s programme to keep the little ones entertained with storytelling, crafts and visits from some of their favourite book characters.
The programme has been published on www.kingsmead.co.za/bookfair/. Entry tickets are R70 for adults and children over 3, session tickets are R60 and both can be purchased through www.webtickets.co.za. We are also developing an event app which will have all the pertinent information. This can be downloaded for iOs and Android, from mid-April via http://myeventzone.eventapp.com.au/ with the event code KBF2018.
There is most definitely going to be something on offer for everyone, we look forward to welcoming you on the day.
Alex Bouche and the Kingsmead Book Fair Team
We are celebrating our achievement as the first Advanced Accredited Thinking School in South Africa!
In 2010, we embarked on a journey towards attaining our international Thinking School status with the University of Exeter in the UK. We received our accreditation as a Level 1 Accredited Thinking school in May 2014. We are now delighted to confirm that Advanced Thinking School Status has been awarded to Kingsmead Junior School by the University of Exeter’s Cognitive Education Development Unit.
As an advanced accredited thinking school we join an international community of accredited schools of excellence. As such, our details have been added to the CEDU network of accredited schools for alerts about future developments and research in thinking skills and dialogue. Our details have also been added to the Exeter Professional Learning and Inquiry Network (ExPLAIN), and additionally we receive live streaming links for the Graduate School of Education Research seminars when available.
After her in-depth analysis of our digital iBook portfolio and visit to our school in February, Lena Green (Ph.D Extraordinary Professor, Faculty of Education, University of the Western Cape and Honorary Associate Research Fellow, University of Exeter) compiled the accreditation report submitted to Exeter University. We share some excerpts from the accreditation report:
The portfolio integrates the criteria for Advanced Accreditation with the requirements of the recently developed pro-forma, was submitted early in February. It takes the form of an iBook that includes both formal and specially created documents, photographs, PowerPoint presentations and videos of presentations, interviews and student initiatives. Additional information was provided in school yearbooks for 2014, 2015 and 2016 containing reflections by teachers and by students of all ages, including one by a grade 4 girl who wrote “It feels like I am now part of a thinking family”.
An extremely thorough page of the portfolio details how the school not only demonstrates that it is a thinking school to the broader community, parents, staff and students but also shares its expertise in a variety of ways. These include involvement in the Thinking Schools SA online digital platform for Student to Student learning, various pamphlets, presentations at conferences, hosting of regional cluster meetings, student-led Open Days, training in thinking tools at schools across the country, Information Evenings, orientation of new families, a range of professional development activities for staff and several initiatives to engage parents.
Head of Critical Thinking, Research & Enrichment at the Senior School for her impressions of the girls coming from the Junior School. Ms Bocher wrote “My impression of girls coming from the Junior School is that they are utterly fearless and doggedly determined in their pursuit of learning. These are self-assured, independent students who embrace challenge and problems with enthusiasm and call on an arsenal of thinking tools to assist them.”
The Inquiry Based Learning initiative, introduced as “a vehicle to practice skills and strategies”, was said to have resulted in “a marked difference in the way girls approach test questions”, presumably towards being less inclined to concentrate only on ‘right answers’. The inquiry based class which I observed included an online inquiry, shared with me by one of the girls, in which it was clear that the students were capable of thinking for themselves, thinking flexibly, and generating creative ideas.
In 2014 it was already observable that Habits of Mind and Thinking Maps were well established in the school. By 2018 attention to thinking and the tools to enhance learning is taken for granted by most teachers and students, which makes for a more relaxed atmosphere. As one staff member wrote, “The teaching of thinking is now an integral part of who, and what, we are as a school”.
At a school like Kingsmead with its high standards of teaching and reputation for excellent academic results, the professionalism, creativity, questioning and discourse of the majority of teachers is historically at a high level and the lessons I observed confirmed this. Changes that were referred to frequently in the portfolio were the rethinking of the teacher’s role from instructor to facilitator of learning and the vital importance of a Growth Mindset for the entire school community. It is recognized that being a Thinking School is not a state the school achieves but a dynamic identity that will continue to evolve. The accreditation process was aptly described as “a pause in the school’s journey” and the preparation for it as a growth experience for the staff involved.
Teachers’ professionalism is expected to include sensitivity to students’ social and emotional development as well as to their ability to think and learn. A recent initiative has been to extend pastoral care such that every student belongs in a small support group led by a LEAD teacher. Informal reports indicate that this has already shown itself to be a valuable initiative.
Areas identified as requiring continued focus:
Follow-up of girls after they leave the Junior School (would be valuable data); planning for appropriate and sustainable support for less-privileged schools in the community; ways of supplementing the existing rich qualitative data with some independent quantitative measures besides academic a
chievement; and ways of mediating certain lower-order thinking skills, a need identified by staff.
The school is developing as a thinking institution rather than just ‘a school that practices various approaches to teaching thinking’ and is aware of its own challenges. It is, therefore, well positioned to share its skills and insights with the wider community.
We will be sharing our excitement of this achievement with our girls at the final assembly of the term. You are most welcome to join us in our celebrations.
Ingrid Beekhuizen – Head of Academics
ARTS AND MUSIC NEWS
Well done to our Junior School Orchestra and Marimba Ensembles who performed so well at the Junior School Kingsmead Music Festival on 27th of March.
Kingsmead Music Festival Thursday 5 April
As you all know, we are having our Kingsmead Music Festival this Thursday 5 April at Rosebank Union Church. The programme will include our Grade 2 & 3, Grade 4-7 and Senior School Choirs, Junior and Senior School Orchestras, Glee groups, Marimba Ensembles and Senior School Jazz Band.
I realise the tickets are not cheap. However, this is a fundraiser and we hope that every performer will at least bring a few special people in their lives to come and support them. Please avertise the event among your friends and family. Tickets are on sale through Quicket @ R100 for adults and R75 for children.
Final arrangements for Thursday are as follows:
- 15:00 Buses leave Kingsmead with SENIOR School Choir & Orchestra members
- 15:30 SS Choir & Orchestra sound check and run through on stage at RUC
- 16:00 Buses leave Kingsmead with JUNIOR School Choir & Orchestra (Grade 4-7)
- 16:30 JS Choir & Orchestra sound check and run through on stage
- Grade 4-7 girls not using the buses must please be at RUC by 16h25
- 17:00 Grade 2 & 3 girls to be at RUC for a quick run through on stage.
- 18:00 Soup & Sherry for parents in the foyer; Grade 4-12 girls to have a snack
- (Grade 2 & 3 girls to please have a snack at home)
- 18:30-19:30 Concert
- Participants will wait in the hall adjacent to the auditorium from 18:00; we will collect them for their performances and return them to the hall
- The girls may be collected from the hall after the concert at 19:30
- Performers do not need tickets.
- Girls are to look smart on their Nr 1’s (Grade 7-12) or summer school uniform
- Girls who are playing sport matches in the afternoon must get to RUC as early as they can, preferably by 18:15.
We hope to see you all on the 5th of April at Rosebank Union Church for a wonderful evening!
Elsabé Fourie – Director of Arts & Music
St Stithians Prep Sport Festival:
- Dates: 5th, 6th and 7th April
- Transport: OWN TRANSPORT
The following girls will participate in the St Stithians Prep Sports Festival:
(All participants will receive letters with the necessary information.)
- Morgan Easter
- Jessica Stevens
- Zintle Papiyana
- Chrismarie Chalmers
- Emma de Kock
- Emma Simmonds
- Francesca Druce
- Lucy Davis
- Courtney Cloete
- Isabella Botha
- Neo Shibambo
- Gabriella Dodd
- Irne O’Neil
- Emma Keast
- Jessica Black
- Emma Spronk
- Alison Gace
- Tegan-Lee Parker
- Fatima Peer
- Paula Prinsloo
- Natalie Morris
- Scarlett Muirhead
- Anne-Marie Sutherland
- Gabriela Potgieter
- Kristin Brown
- Alexa Kohler
- Isabella Sardi
- Megan Rogan
Next Netball Matches:
NO netball matches due to St Stithians festival.
4th May: Grade 3 to Grade 7 A to D teams:
- Grade 3, 6 & 7 AT APPS
- Grade 4 & 5 AT KINGSMEAD
- Grade 3: Bus will leave from Cecil Road Gate AT 12h20. (During their PE Lesson). Their matches will start AT 13h15 or as soon as we arrive at APPS.) Parents are welcome to fetch the Grade 3 players AT APPS (14h00), after their matches are finished or the girls can return to Kingsmead after the Grade 6 & 7 matches and then they will only be back at school at approximately 17h00.
- Grade 6 & 7: The bus will leave from Cecil Road Gate AT 13h30 and will return to Kingsmead at approximately 17h00, depending on the traffic.
Johannesburg District 2018 Core League QUALIFIER DATES:
- Q3: 19th and 20th May
- Q4: 16th and 17th June
- Primary Schools: 28th and 29th July
- Primary Schools: During October, dates to be confirmed.
For any information regarding Equestrian contact Ms Feroza Motara. Email:firstname.lastname@example.org
Information regarding TENNIS:
Extra private tennis lessons are offered at school:
- Coach: Jade Pondicas
- Email: email@example.com
- Cell: 071 674 2108
- NO Grade 0 Hockey and Grade 4 Hockey on 5th