Dear Kingsmead Community
We have settled well into the rhythm of the school year and it is as if the December holiday took place a very long time ago. The Grade 8s are already making an impact in many areas of the school and I thank them for their enthusiasm and their commitment.
We launched HerVenture this month which is an exciting, extended camp for the Grade 9 students. Much research has gone into this programme and I thank Jenny Venter for her input in this regard. The camp will take place in October this year, but the students will be using their PE lessons to work on their fitness and water skills in preparation for the adventure.
We are delighted to see that some of the Matrics from 2019 have had their re-marks completed and we congratulate them on achieving even better results. Please see the updated poster.
You will notice that there is hoarding around Jabula as we start with the Box Theatre development. We have set up a number of security measures for the contractors, but ask that the students and parents remain vigilant when in this area. We are so excited to see the theatre take shape and we know that this building will add immensely to our offering at Kingsmead from the Junior School through to the Senior School.
I have been interviewing the prospective Grade 8 2021 class and I am thrilled with the interest of the prospective students in coming to Kingsmead. When I ask them why they want to come to Kingsmead, the answers are mostly around Kingsmead having a good balance when it comes to Academics, the Arts, Sport and Service; that the girls here are kind and caring; that the staff is excellent; that the grounds and facilities are wonderful and that the values are truly lived. I am looking forward to welcoming the Class of 2021 to Kingsmead.
I am reminded in these interviews of the positive impact of an all-girls’ environment and of the opportunity we have to grow and support strong women. We are able to partner with them; to listen to them; to cultivate excellence in them and to prepare them for the outside world.
I am so proud of the 11 students who drove the initiative to speak to the boys’ schools on the topic of Gender Based Violence. They showed such courage and had such strong voices on the matter – voices that do not have to be aggressive to be heard. They told their stories in a powerful way and made an immense impact. I thank the St John’s community too for agreeing to host the students and I look forward to a similar session at St David’s at the beginning of the new term.
I wish you a restful half term and if you are travelling, please do so safely.
Kingsmead College Head
MUSIC WEEKEND WORKSHOPS
THANK YOU to our Grade 4-7 and Senior School Choir, Junior and Senior Orchestras and Jazz Band members for giving up a Saturday over the last month for practice workshops. It is a wonderful way to learn a range of new music and have sectional (instrumental group) practices with specialist teachers to learn orchestral skills and do voice work with smaller groups. We appreciate our music parents’ support!
MEET YOUR DAUGHTER’S MUSIC TEACHER
Thank you to all the parents who popped in during our meet and greet week. If you were unable to meet us then, please contact your daughter’s teacher to schedule a time to meet. We would love to get to know all our music parents as we are partners in your daughter’s musical journey.
FOUR-SCHOOLS ORCHESTRA FESTIVAL
Over the weekend of 15 and 16 February, the Senior School Orchestra and Jazz Band participated in the annual Four-Schools Orchestra Festival. The mass orchestra rehearsal on the Saturday took place at Kingsmead and the concert on Sunday at the beautiful campus of the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls. Kingsmead performed alongside Trinityhouse Randpark Ridge, St Stithians and OWLAG. The event concluded, as always, with a fantastic mass orchestra, of over 140 high school musicians playing alongside about 20 professional musicians. This event is a wonderful reflection of the joy of group music making. Thank you to our music parents for your support and a huge well done to our musicians!
We are very excited for this year’s major production – ‘Sister Act: The Musical’. Based on the 1992 film starring Whoopi Goldberg, this fun-filled show promises to be entertaining for the whole family.
Wednesday 11, Thursday 12 and Friday 13 March in the Lange Hall
11 March @15:00
12 & 13 March @18:30
Tickets are R100 and can be booked through Quicket
Don’t miss out!
Congratulations to all our Public Speaking teams who have participated thus far this term. The Grade 9 teams both achieved ‘A’ symbols. The 1st team included Hannah Daniels (Chair), Sameeha Gangat, Hameeda Malik and Ariella Fenster and the 2nd team Ilani Marie Prinsloo (Chair), Mia Oosthuizen-Speirs, Keitumetse Makhanya and Mbali Ndlela. The Grade 10 teams also did Kngsmead proud. Team 1 including Jessica Robinson, Ella-Louise Russon, Nazrana Jhavary and Serena Momudu received an A+ and team 2, including Alice Behr, Arya Maharaj, Meghan Eddison and Kimberley de Sousa, received an A.
Both Grade 11 public speakers impressed with both teams receiving an A+. Ammaarah Wadee, Nivarya Naidoo, Gallia Fenster and Fikile Nhleko made up the one team and Arya Naidoo, Nina Stockenström, Anjali Naidoo and Alexandra Liston in the other. The Trophy team also did a fantastic job, achieving a B+. This team included Georgina Beart, Annabel Davidson and Alexa Lipchin.
Well done to all our public speakers and all the best for the teams who are yet to compete.
Director of Arts & Music
The teams are close to the end of the season and our u15 will be attending the Annual Sean Fuchs tournament and the 1st team the Old Petrians Tournament at the end of February. In the Old Mutual Cup, the 1st team has finished 5th out of 10 teams. The 1st team will also be competing in the Reef Cup in March.
The swimming team will be participating in the annual Inter High Gala on 5 March at Ellis Park. We wish all our swimmers the best of luck.
The staff Learn-to-Swim programme is still going ahead on Fridays to upskill the Kingsmead academic, service and support staff.
Christy-Anne Peers swam the recent EGA Gala and achieved promising results, in preparation for Level three and SANJ mid-April. Amy Dickinson swam her first 3km Open Water race. She swam a qualifying time to swim at SA Nationals in Jeffery’s Bay in March. She placed 6th in the open ladies category and 20th overall.
We sent 2 teams to play in the St Marys DSG Valentines festival and both teams achieved amazing results. The season is coming to an end.
Our team is currently in preparation for Inter High on the 4th March.
Cheryl Smith has been selected to represent her Province in the Gauteng North Inter Provincial Championships 2020.
The Tuks top 10 event is the biggest athletics competition in South Africa with more than 1400 athletes competing. Helen Cockeran placed 4th in the 1500m final and Isabella Cockeran 11th in her 1500m final.
Helen placed 2nd and Isabella 3rd in the 0/15 Central Gauteng Biathlon Championships on Sunday. They have both been selected to compete at the SA Championships in Oudtshoorn on 20 and 21 March 2020.
They both placed 3rd in the 800 and 1500 district championships last Friday. We are incredibly proud of their achievements on the athletics track and know that they have enjoyed competing.
Mia Koutromanos has been selected to represent Central Gauteng Action Netball (C.G.A.N.) in the Under 17A team at the 2020 Little League inter-provincial tournament (IPT).
Director of Sport
Grade 12 Geography Matric Dinner
On 13 February, the Grade 12 Geography pupils attended a Geography evening hosted by St John’s College. It was an enriching experience that will help us to further understand the content that we will be covering this year. We had the opportunity to discuss the topics, which will be covered and how they could impact on our future, with Matric peers and made new friends in the process.
Professor Jennifer Fitchett from Wits enlightened us on the impact climate change has on the timing of the blooming of the Jacarandas. She showed us several statistics on how they have been recorded to be blooming earlier and earlier each year. She also drew our attention to how small things in our immediate surroundings are changing (like the butterflies that we saw in early February), which highlights the impact of climate change on our environment. She further explained the impact it will have on our agriculture and food production in South Africa.
Our second talk was by Andrew Luke from GAAP. He spoke about how architects and urban designers have worked together to change areas around Johannesburg and other parts of the country and have, as a result, brought about positive change in the communities involved. There were distinct and very different examples that stood out for us. The first aspect he spoke about was how architects had changed many taxi ranks. Previously the taxi ranks had seemed very uninviting and extremely littered; GAAP intervened and made it look more modern and less like an overcrowded parking lot. They changed the place from looking like it had a very chaotic energy to a place where people can wait to be collected in a more organised fashion. He wishes that this renovation could occur in all taxi ranks in South Africa. The other example was how they focused on small pieces of land within the city and changed them into small green parks for recreational activity. An example of where they did this was in Hillbrow where they were able to make a small unused piece of land an important part of the community’s lifestyle and wellness.
We are so glad that we decided to attend the evening as it broadened our views on certain topics. We left the hall as newly enriched individuals who are now able to apply what we have learned and are more aware of events occurring around us beyond the set work we do in class.
Lindo Ndlovu & Caitlin McCrum
Grade 12 Students
The Grade 12 Consumer Studies students were treated to a day at the Swiss Hotel School to enhance their cooking skills. They got to engage with other culinary students and had the opportunity to interact with Chef Gina who demonstrated the art of making pastry. The students prepared a pastry dessert for the entire Hotel School which was served after the main course at lunchtime. It was really pleasing to hear comments from different chefs about the good behaviour of the students and the good quality of desserts that they produced. Some of the students were enchanted by the life of a chef and are considering making it a career choice. This was a wonderful opportunity to explore the culinary environment.
Senior School Consumer Studies Teacher
In Life Sciences this term, the Grade 10 students have been learning about life and cells. We have studied the anatomy of plant and animal cells as well as the function of each organelle. Recently, we did a practical on the structure of the cell membrane as well as the role that it plays in the cell. Using different shapes and sizes of sweets, we created a representation of the cell membrane. We then generated a stop-start motion video clip of how the membrane and proteins inside the membrane work in order to ensure that the cell receives all the elements needed to carry out its cell functions. The practical allowed us to be creative with how we depicted the movement of the substances through active and passive transport. It helped us to better understand the complex process as we designed and constructed the videos ourselves. The end product enabled us to see the process come together, giving us clear and useful knowledge on the topic.
The Grade 10 Business Studies students enjoyed a valuable visit to our very own Kingsmead Marketing office on Wednesday, 12 February, 2020.
Mrs Bouche and Mrs Mpeke explained the practical application and the function of Public Relations to us. They highlighted the fact that the main focus of public relations is communication.
We discussed how Kingsmead deals with social, political and environmental issues; how it is using brochures, and media such as newspapers, magazines, etc. to communicate our brand to the community in order to establish a good relationship with our stakeholders.
Mrs Bouche and Mrs Mpeke also explained how they make use of networking events, such as Expos and Open Days to publicise Kingsmead’s image and we looked at the marketing campaigns of Kingsmead’s key events such as The Book Fair and Goodwill Day.
Our Business Studies class thanks Mrs Bouche and Mrs Mpeke for sharing their wealth of knowledge on Public Relations and Marketing with us. We can now link the textbook theory to practical application with confidence.
Liezel van Lith
Afrikaans, Business Studies & EMS
A huge thank you to the French Embassy for generously donating the set book La Vengeance du Pardon by Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt to our Grade 12 students.
Muriel Huet, is a renowned ‘consultante-éducation’ who taught French at the British Film Institute in London for more than 10 years. There, she developed a truly innovative language teaching programme using short movies to motivate her students to communicate freely and confidently.
Our Grade 11 learners were treated to a full day of French immersion with Muriel during which they debated the emotionally charged topic of ‘love and loss’.
“Recently, the Grade 11 French class had the privilege of experiencing a fully immersive French day. The day comprised of watching and analysing carefully curated French short films, which really helped us expand our vocabulary, and sampling some of the best of what France has to offer being croissants, baguettes and crêpes. It was particularly fun to learn French colloquial language as well as camera shots and angles, should we ever need to analyse a film in French. It was a truly valuable and enriching experience and it has helped us become more comfortable with conversational French, especially through interactive activities such as role plays. It was a very engaging and nice bonding experience for all those who take an interest in the language.” Chrissie du Plooy
We are proud to announce that Kingsmead is one of the pilot schools that will participate in the first French Spelling Bee in South Africa. The finale will take place during the celebrations of the Festival Francophonie in Pretoria on 7 March. Bonne chance, les filles!
We launched the Grade 10 poetry syllabus with the beautiful poem Déjeuner du Matin by Jacques Prévert at Pâtisserie Paul in Melrose. The students had to order their traditional breakfast in French and they enjoyed delicious fares such as pain au chocolat, pain perdu, croque-monsieur and chocolat chaud.
Senior School French Teacher
As part of the Foodology Module, the Grade 9s got to experience some augmented reality using special t-shirts called Virtuali-Tees by bringing the human digestive system to life. These t-shirts have a special code that is compatible with an App called Curiscope. When the t-shirt is scanned many of the internal organ systems are visible. In this case, the students studied the human digestive system. There is a computer-generated voice-over that takes one through the different organs that comprise the digestive system. The students could even enter a virtual small intestine and see what the villi look like, which line the inside of the small intestine.
We have had an exciting start to the year with the Grade 8s. After a brief introduction about different revolutions in History and what contributed to these, they were more than inspired to voice their opinions about issues that are relevant to them as young students.
For Drama, the students were briefed to choose a topic they were passionate about, co-write a poem in the style of ‘slam’, rehearse the lines and then finally perform their poem in front of their class.
Well done to all the classes for displaying such an impressive stage sense, physical presence, voice and dramatic appropriateness in their performances.
With such a high level of creativity, the Revolution team are looking forward to the mini plays that the students will put together at the end of the term.
Later that week, they used their fantastic creative flair to write their very own poème acrostiche.
Senior School Teacher
Thank you to the Kingsmead community for their generous donations on Footloose Friday. 1472 pairs of gently worn shoes have been donated. The beneficiaries are Isipho Primary School, Sunshine Association, Fight with Insight, Rays of Hope, Hotel Hope, Dlala Nje, Kids Haven and Rata Social Services in Sebokeng.
Director of Service
On 22 February, Kingsmead had the pleasure of hosting our annual Aurora day. This event focuses on exposing Grade 10 students from less fortunate schools to subjects or content they may never have the opportunity to experience at their own schools.
This year Aurora was focused on technology. We invited two inspiring woman from Standard Bank, Wendy Pienaar and Kungela Mzuku to speak to the students. Kungela Mzuku spoke about her own journey through technology, from winning the “Hackathon” to visiting Silicone Valley in the United States and attending MIT. Her journey is truly inspiring to young women wanting to break into the industry.
We had several interactive activities run by our own experienced staff members, this included painting with Spheros, Binary Bracelets as well as Arduino coding. As is the Kingsmead ethos we were not short of extra helpers thanks to our wonderful Kingsmead students offering up their Saturday to assist in running the workshops and learning alongside the Aurora girls.
Paint with Spheros
Lisa van den Biggelaar
Head of Innovation | Information Technology Teacher | Apple Teacher