Dear Kingsmead Community,
We have finally come to the end of what must surely be the longest term in the history of the school. I am exceptionally proud of the courage that all our stakeholders have shown during this time and am so pleased that, apart from closing for one day before half-term, we have been able to keep the Senior School open; fully functional and a safe environment for our staff and students.
The pressurized, and very different operating environment in which we find ourselves, has necessitated a change in mindset and in behaviour. More than ever, the community as a whole is important and the range of responsibilities to that community and all its stakeholders has become greater. In a particular way, this pandemic has ensured that we work with greater purpose and that we are more explicitly humane in our dealings with others.
We have had to reimagine our potential together and we have had to take some bold decisions. We have had to work differently to ensure that work gets done in ways that we would never have thought possible before. It has also been good to see how the decisions taken will extend beyond the months of this year and might in fact, change how we do things into the future.
I would like to thank the community for its support this term. There have been constant messages of encouragement and I have valued the communication that we have had during this time. The staff has also worked tirelessly this term, often juggling many roles and I cannot thank them enough for their positive approach in the face of this adversity. They have had to reimagine their roles as educators completely and have done so with such ease, never forgetting the individual care for which the school is renowned.
Thank you, too to our Service and Admin Staffs who have been at school for much longer than others, to ensure that the school was completely ready to receive the staff and students. There is such a sense of comfort and familiarity when you meet the team of screeners every morning. Thank you!
Thank you to each and every one of our Service Staff who have certainly gone the extra mile in ensuring that our classrooms are deep cleaned and that all our facilities are constantly sanitised for our staff and students.
At this time, I think of the state schools who have battled in numerous ways to open their schools. I pray for the safe reintegration to all schools in the next weeks and pray for the students and staff who would like to complete the school year.
I wish you all a very happy and restful August break.
After this somewhat unusual term, the Music department says THANK YOU!
- Parents, for allowing us to teach your daughters ‘in your homes’, making devices and wifi/data available
- Our musicians, for their continued enthusiasm, diligently attending online lessons and rehearsals
- The music teachers for staying positive and finding solutions to all the obstacles.
Some thoughts from our music staff on the online journey:
“What a learning curve – never a dull moment! Overcoming technical challenges, with load-shedding thrown into the equation, has spurred us towards new heights in thinking “outside the box”. Together, we’ve persevered, maintained our sense of humour, and enjoyed a colourful, creative journey!”
“I have found online teaching really positive. We have enough time in every lesson to go into the detail of all aspects of learning an instrument. Students have made incredible progress, because you absolutely get the most out of every lesson. Grateful for every lesson I get to teach.”
“I have found the girls more focused during lessons. They seem to take more ownership of their practising and learning.”
“Online teaching is comfy, no-rush teaching. We have gained time together with time to spare; time that is both more relaxed and more focused.”
“I am grateful to each and every one of my students for teaching me resilience, dedication, and grace during this trying time. We have achieved so much online, and I have loved watching each of my students grow week by week.”
“It has been such an interesting way to connect with our students. Students ‘arrive’ less rushed and in no hurry ‘to leave’. I have loved meeting the pets at home and getting to know my girls in a new way. They have definitely learned to work independently – making notes on their music by themselves, listening carefully to instructions and tuning their own instruments. As much as I look forward to teach ‘in person’ again, online lessons have more benefits than I ever anticipated.”
CONCERTS IN THE LOUNGE
Well done to all our courageous performers for participating in the CONCERTS IN THE LOUNGE series.
You can watch the last few concerts by clicking on the date below:
We wish all our music families a happy holiday and look forward to seeing you next term.
Director of Arts & Music
English Olympiad Report
In this year’s De Beer’s English Olympiad, we explored the theme “Consequences” in an anthology called “Aftermath”. The candidates navigated some really challenging texts, including an extract from Andrew Marlowe’s “Dr Faustus”, along with some exciting short stories and poems. The Olympiad was written what feels like light years ago – at the beginning of March. The organisers, in Makhanda (formerly Grahamstown), invited Grade 9s to write this prestigious examination for the first time this year. The certification was adapted, with the top category now being awarded a Diamond Certificate. I am very proud of all the candidates who wrote the English Olympiad, particularly the 32 students who achieved a Silver Certificate (6 of whom are in Grade 9), Hannah Buttifant-Sewel and Jemma Bennett who were both awarded a Gold Certificate, and Leyya Madhi, who is congratulated on her Diamond Certificate.
English Teacher and Grade 11 Co-ordinator
BREAD TAGS AND BOTTLE TOPS COVID SLUMP
The bread tag and Bottle top project has taken a bit of a Covid-19 slump, but it has not shut down. The only change is that the bottle tops and bread tags collection point has moved to the back of the Medical Centre. Please use the gate from the parking lot gaining entry to the Grail House courtyard to drop off your bottle tops and bread tags.
The bags will be left for at least 3 days before being touched to minimise possible exposure to lingering SARS-CoV-2 viruses. We request that bread tags and bottle tops are sorted and delivered in separate bags.
The Kingsmead community collected 500kg of bottle tops since our last collection. The bottle tops were collected by Microscrap just before the school opened in May. At R3.00/kg the project generated R1500.00 to go towards a wheelchair for a needy recipient. This is added to the 69,6kg bread tags (at R8.00/kilo) earned in August 2019. The fund now stands at R 2080.00, enough to purchase a wheelchair for our 11th wheelchair donation since the project started in 2014.
Please contact the Medical Centre if you know of a person whom the KMC Community can serve by donating a wheelchair.
Sister Monica Loubser
Kingsmead Medical Centre
67 MINUTES SLEEP OUT FOR MANDELA DAY
Thank you to everyone who participated in the 67 Minutes Sleep Out for Mandela Day to raise awareness for homelessness. Nearly 200 participants signed up to spend 67 minutes outside in their garden or on their patio. There is still the opportunity to donate towards a blanket (R100 per blanket) to Gift of the Givers:
Gift of the Givers
Standard Bank (Pietermaritzburg)
Account number 052137228
Branch Code 057525
Reference: Kingsmead School
Director of Service
We wish all our Muslim families Eid Mubarak. May Allah bless you and your family with love and prosperity.