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Kingsmead Newsletter February 2021

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Dear Kingsmead Community,

We have reached the half-term mark of the first term and it has been wonderful being onsite at school during the past weeks. Thank you to all our staff, students and parents who are adhering to the Covid protocols in spite of feeling a little fatigued at this point.

We had a real week of celebration last week and I was filled with hope as we celebrated the Matric results of 2020. If this class could achieve such outstanding results during such a disrupted year, then they have shown us that anything is possible and I have to believe in the power of persistence and true grit. I must also pay tribute to the staff who never wavered from their commitment to the matrics, in spite of being exhausted themselves. It seems that the Class of 2020 went all out to show us that in spite of a global pandemic, they could rise to the occasion and do even better than we had imagined. I eventually ran out of superlatives to describe their results when speaking to journalists. This was a feat like none other.

Please click here to view an outline of our Top Achievers for 2020.

I completed most of the interviews for the Grade 8 class of 2022 this past week and was able to interview nearly 60 candidates from 22 different primary schools. We also hosted an information evening for the Kingsmead Junior School Grade 7 Parents which was very well-attended. Most students are looking to come to Kingsmead for the holistic offering – excellence in all areas – Academics, Sport, Arts and Service, and they like the emphasis on the individual student – growing her to her full potential. Other comments made were about the success of the GROWTH Curriculum; the nurturing and beautiful environment of the school and the values and ethos of the school.

We are very sad that Mrs Janine Lovatt and Mrs Bronwen Roberts will be leaving us at the end of the first term. We welcome the following members to the English Department from Term II:

Robyn Hillowitz:
Ms Hillowitz is currently the Head of the English Department at Crawford College. She has her Master’s Degree in Applied English Language Studies, having completed her Honours in English Cum Laude focusing on Contemporary Women’s Writing.

Ms Hillowitz has been teaching for 22 years, focusing on the senior grades and has marked the IEB Paper II for the past 5 years. She brings with her a wealth of experience and we are looking forward to her contribution to the English Department at Kingsmead.

Jacquie Aires:
Ms Aires has been teaching at St David’s Marist Inanda for the past 8 years and has a total of 17 years of English teaching at schools. She has her Honours in English and her Masters Degree in Writing.

Ms Aires is a highly skilled English teacher and has a proven track record of superb Matric results. We are looking forward to her contribution to the Kingsmead English Department.

Matthew Hartdegen:
Mr Hartdegen has been appointed to a full-time post at Kingsmead, having spent the last year in a part-time capacity. He has his Honours Degree in BMus, but is passionate about the teaching of English. Mr Hartdegen has already made an impact in the English Department and we look forward to further input from him in a full-time capacity.

I wish you a wonderful, restful half-term ahead.

Fond regards,

Lisa Palmer
Head: Kingsmead College

Arts News

ARTS & MUSIC

Why do Music?

‘What if a large number of scientific studies had found that there was one activity that could improve our cognitive function, help our memory systems to work, help us to learn language, help us to moderate our emotional state, help us to solve complex problems and help our brains to be healthier. What if that activity is beneficial undertaken at any time of our lives, but found by scientists to be most beneficial if it was undertaken under the age of 7. What if that activity, is actually enjoyable for everyone involved…’ Anita Collins TEDx

Click on the pictures below to watch these two insightful videos about the benefits of Music Education.

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Music Groups Rehearsals

Music is back on campus and we are having so much fun! The orchestra, jazz band and choir started rehearsals mid-February, although very different from the way we were used to: all music groups are divided into smaller groups with social distancing and we keep our masks on. Wind instrument players who can’t play with masks, stand even further apart. Research has shown that with the appropriate social distancing, playing and singing are safe.

Details of all music practices have been posted on the relevant WhatsApp groups. Sign up forms can be found on the App in the extra-curricular folder and the Music Application Form under Arts & Music. Click on the photo below to hear our Grade 10 Marimba group practise their new song.

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Meet your daughter’s Music Teacher

Since we could not have our annual ‘Meet your Music Teachers’ week this year, click on the photo below to meet the Kingsmead Music staff.

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Events

We hope to still have our internal concerts planned for March and will keep you updated as to whether these will take place on campus or online. Keep an eye on the App for further details.

Wednesday 10 March 18h00-19h00: Senior School Music Concert
Monday 15 March 18h00-19h00: Grade 4-7 Music Concert
Tuesday 30 March 18h00-19h00: Grade 1-3 Music Concert

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Elsabé Fourie
Director of Arts & Music

Sports News

We have been very pleased to start with our extra-curricular timetable again. We have not been permitted to compete in any fixtures for the remainder of Term 1. However, just being able to train again has given our students that spark that the routine of sport brings.

The attendance at all the sports has been amazing, thank you for your patience as we worked to get the programme up and running.

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During our Physical Education lessons, we have kept the classes busy with fitness. The students at first doubted the lessons, but they have now adjusted and seen the benefit of exercise!

Robert Pullen
Director of Sport

Academic News

GROWTH CURRICULUM

Foodology

In Natural Science as part of the Foodology Module, the Grade 9s are learning about the human digestive system. Not just the traditional way, but we used an incredible app called Curiscope. This is an app that gives a visual representation of what the human body looks like, when scanned with a t-shirt with an encrypted QR code, called a Virtuali-Tee. Using this learning approach was extremely educational and entertaining. Not only providing us with information, but also a visual of the body inside. I really loved getting to see what each organ looks like and how it functions while food is being digested. I cannot wait to learn a lot more about the human body.

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Andza Mbelengwa
Grade 9 Student

LIFE SCIENCES

Grade 12 Life Sciences

In the midst of a particularly busy week, the Grade 12 Life Sciences students managed to achieve something that would be considered controversial to perform on humans, but not on bacteria.

We created transgenic bacteria by using the process of genetic engineering. First, we grew our E. coli bacteria on nutrient agar to develop colonies. Then we used a green fluorescent protein gene (called pGLO), that was previously extracted from a bioluminescent jellyfish, and inserted it into the E. coli bacteria by using a heat-shock treatment. After completing all the necessary procedures, the bacteria were incubated on nutrient agar and we ended up with transgenic/genetically modified bacteria that could glow under a UV light.

Thanks to the Life Sciences department, we were greeted with pleasing results on Monday morning.

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Juwairiyya Arain
Grade 12 Student

Grade 10 Life Sciences

Mitosis – the division of cells. It’s a tricky topic to wrap your head around even on a good day. So what better way to engage a bunch of teenage students than with food. Sweets in particular. After being divided into groups we created the 5 stages of mitosis using sweets, paper plates, string and tooth picks. What started as competition among groups quickly turned into a win-win situation. For those who didn’t understand mitosis before this, they definitely do now. It was an interesting and interactive experience which I would one hundred percent do again given the opportunity.

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Mia Speirs
Grade 10 Student

FRENCH – Nouvelles du Département de Français

The Grade 10’s colorful wall of Haïkus

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Spelling Bee Competition

Nina Jacobs and Leah Falcon will be representing Kingsmead at the finale régionale of the Spelling Bee, épelle-moi Afrique on the 1st of March. They will have to spell accurately, and in the shortest possible time, difficult words such as échauffement, remue-méninges, impatiemment or quatre-vingt-dix-neuf. I thank them for their remarkable dedication and enthusiasm.

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Joëlle Harding
Senior School French Teacher

Service News

DONATE A KINGSMEAD ROSE

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The PTA has beautiful Kingsmead roses left over from their Valentine’s rose sales. We would like to donate these roses to the gardens of Bunny Hop Haven, Sunshine Association, Hotel Hope Children’s Home and Isipho Primary School.

You can donate a rose for R160. In addition, for every rose donated, the PTA will donate R30 towards data vouchers for the students at Isipho Primary .

Use the following online form if you would like to donate a Kingsmead Rose.

FOOTLOOSE FRIDAY

Footloose Friday was a great success with 1569 pairs of shoes donated to the following beneficiaries:

Kingsmead College Service Staff
Isipho Primary
Hotel Hope
Fight with Insight
Sunshine Association
Kids Haven
Dlala Nje
Rays of Hope

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Thank you to the entire community for donating generously and a special thank you to the PTA for assisting with the sorting, pacing and delivering of the donations.

Jenny Venter
Director of Service

Medical News

SANBS BLOOD DRIVE

Kingsmead staff and students came together in the midst of the global pandemic to selflessly donate blood with the SANBS. We managed 36 donations and only 4 deferrals. This is a great achievement, especially as we were not able to accommodate our regular parent donors due to the school’s Covid-19 protocols.

Our aim as Peer Promoters is to encourage regular and new donors to consider donating blood. We are pleased with the results that we have achieved after our first blood drive of the year as we managed to gain 17 new donors. All the new donors were given a red rose as a sign of our appreciation and all donors were given a red hair ribbon and from SANBS, a stainless steel water bottle, for their support of the drive.

The Peer Promoters are responsible for organising the event, decorating the venue and supporting and encouraging the donors on the day, as well as assisting the professional staff from SANBS, to make it a memorable day.

We are very grateful to everyone who took part in the blood drive, which helped save many lives, in a time where many lives are being lost.

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Takalani Ramukosi
Grade 11 Student

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