Dear Kingsmead Community,
This is my final newsletter for the term and what an exceptionally busy and successful term it has been. Some of the highlights I can think of are the orchestra festivals, choir performances and FEDA. On the sports field netball and hockey matches and festivals. Kingstock was a definite highlight, as was Mandela Day and our brilliant Book Fair. We held leadership interviews with Grade 11s and there were many academic excursions for the various subjects. The MDC held a wonderful padel fundraiser amongst all their other initiatives. The PTA continued to support the school in so many ways, as did the KCA. The Tyrwhitt Gates project was launched and many of our spaces in the school received magnificent upgrades.
This is also the week in which we bid farewell to Kim Lowman – the Head of the Junior School. Kim has been an incredible support to the whole school, and she has made an impact on our strategic discussions at an Executive and Council level. I have so enjoyed working with Kim over the past 6 years and I will miss her inputs greatly. She is a most professional colleague but is also a dear friend and I believe that St Stithians is certainly fortunate to have her at the helm of the Girls’ Prep School. I wish Kim every success and much happiness with her move, and I do know that we will continue to work together (even at a distance) in the years to come.
I wish our community a wonderful, relaxing and happy August holidays. If you are traveling, please do so safely. We look forward to welcoming you back in spring on 5 September for a busy and exciting third term.
With fond regards,
Executive Head: Kingsmead College
Made in Africa
The ‘Made in Africa’ module involved collaboration between Geography, Visual Arts, Music, and Enrichment. In this module we explored Africa’s unique geographical features. We investigated the importance of water on the continent, as well as the nuances of Egyptian Art and Civilisation. The characteristics of African contemporary music were surveyed through the research, composition and recording of an original song in the style of an allocated artist. Students created an aesthetically pleasing design, inspired by the different components of the module. This design was transferred onto lino plates, which were then carved and printed. Here is my print and rationale to provide you with some insight into what we created:
My lino print is about a baobab tree. The baobab tree is a prehistoric species and is native to the African savannah, where the climate is extremely dry and arid. Therefore, the baobab is a symbol of life and positivity in a landscape where little else can thrive. In the centre of my tree, is the Nyame Biribi Wo Soro which is a Ghanaian adinkra symbol which signifies hope, which correlates to a baobab tree as they prosper even during hard times. Surrounding my tree is the Crown with Sunburst, which is depicted in Ancient Egyptian art, symbolising life ever-lasting which correlates to the baobab tree as it can survive up to 5 000 years.
Grade 9 Student
Coding and Robotics Elective Term 1 and 2
The Grade 8s who took the Coding and Robotics Elective in Term 1 and 2 had a fantastic hands-on educational experience learning how to code the Arduino microcontroller. They also learnt how to build electronic circuits using a breadboard. Towards the end of the term, they used their skills to build a prototype to solve a real-world problem.
After many wires and a lot of programming, us Grade 8 Coding and Robotics students have finally created our very own Arduino projects using the skills we have learnt in class during the first term. The main components that we have learnt to use are breadboards, LEDs, Push buttons, servo motors, buzzers, and the Arduino. We were tasked to create our own Arduino projects using the Arduino kits. We were split into groups of 2 to 3 people, each group made very creative projects ranging from an alarm system to a sweet dispenser. We all had a blast coding and building our projects and we hope that the other Grade 8 elective groups enjoy this elective just as much as we did.
Grade 8 Student
In Term 2 a group of Grade 8s selected coding and robotics as an elective. We learnt a lot of new things about coding. We learnt how to connect the Aduino, how to code lights into turning different colours, how to switch a light on and off without touching any switch. We were also given the option to sit and work in different groups each lesson. We then started working on a project. This project was about us, Grade 8s working in groups to create something that would have an element of what we learnt in Coding and Robotics. My group worked on making a party house that lit up when you pressed the doorbell that also opened the door. This project was fun because we did some painting and it was also another opportunity to socialise and work with each other.
Grade 8 Student
On Sunday 30 July, our Senior School Choir performed at the prestigious Choral Celebration Network Foundations concert at the Linder auditorium alongside 7 other youth, school and adult choirs. The organisation aims to provide performance opportunities for choirs all over the country and create a collaborative space for choral singing and conductors. The power of choir singing to unite people from a range of communities and walks of life is quite remarkable and it was a privilege to be included.
Our choir was magnificent and closed the event with an enthusiastic and energetic performance to the absolute delight of the audience. Thank you to all the parents for their support, and for cheering us on.
Inter-House Arts Week!
This week is one of the most exciting weeks of the term – INTER-HOUSE ARTS WEEK! Note that it is compulsory for all Grade 8-11 students to participate. The competition will take place on Thursday 3 August at 18h00 in Lange hall.
May the best house win!
For so many people, it’s music that lights their fire. It’s the one thing that fills them with confidence and hope, it gives them belief, it gets them through the day, it fills their life with friends, and ultimately makes them happy. Everyone needs the light that music provides.
~ Vaughan Fleischfresser
Director of Arts & Music
“July is Mandela month! Everyone has the opportunity to heed the call to action for people to recognize their individual power to make an imprint and change the world!” Unicef
At Kingsmead we strive to make everyday a Mandela Day. We recognise the importance of Mandela Day and commemorating Madiba’s 67 years of service to the public and his life’s contribution towards peace and freedom, we celebrate this day with the global community. We also choose to spend every day being of service to others, to doing good and being kind. We encourage random acts of kindness and engaging in volunteering activities.
Our second inter-school volunteering event was held on the 15 July, hosted by Roedean. The theme for the event was Period Poverty. The event was attended by 130 volunteers from: St John’s College; St David’s Marist Inanda; Holy Rosary School; De La Salle Holy Cross, Roedean and Kingsmead College. Qrate and Candice Chirwa – the Minister of Menstruation – facilitated a brilliant workshop on menstruation and period poverty. To experience young men and women talking so openly about periods and asking such important questions was phenomenal – we certainly have come a long way to removing stigmas and shame. The Pad Princess coordinated the packing of 50 000 sanitary towels – these were very generously donated by a Kingsmead parent – Holly Griffiths. It is of such importance for students to have the opportunity to engage with students from other schools in a safe space.
We collaborated with Clothes to Good for Mandela Day 2023. The Clothes to Good Toy Making Workshop works to achieve multi-level impact. There are many beneficiaries to this program: The Waste Recyclers – the plastic items that the waste recyclers collect go to Inter Waste where the recyclers eke out a small living from the weight of what has been collected. Many of the materials used in the Toy Making Workshop are from Inter Waste. Clothes to Good primarily employ people with disabilities and parents of children with disabilities, many people who otherwise would not be employed. All of the kits were packaged by people with disabilities. The toys that were created will go to under served ECD Centres – with the first 1000 days of a child’s life being of critical importance, access to educational resources is key. Our facilitators are young people who we have had a long relationship with – the youth from Fight with Insight in the inner city. Our biggest winners of the day were our volunteers – from age 4 right through to parents, staff and alumnae, everyone was engaged, did good and had fun. Mrs Wilkinson, accompanied by Joseph, delivered toys to two of the ECD Centres in Soweto. Our other beneficiaries are Thusanani – in support of children in children’s homes, and the Maletsatsi Foundation.
Our Winter Warmer Collection ran from 12 June – 10 July. We collected 434 Meal in a Bags – each feeds 4 people. Mrs Crichton has worked tirelessly sewing together the knitted squares and we have been able to donate 50 blankets. Over snow week we delivered to One Small Act of Kindness. The clothing collected will go to an informal settlement in Florida. The balance of the Meal in a Bag and blankets were donated to the Rosebank Soup Kitchen and the Noah CAN.
On Friday, 21 July, we hosted 50 children from The Sunshine Centre for Children with Disabilities. As part of The Special Olympics South Africa, the children are part of the Youth Athletes Program. From able bodied children to children with significant disabilities – all of the children took part in various activities. Many Kingsmead staff took the time to pop in to watch the children and to cheer them on – there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. The Grade 4s and 5s spent time in the gym playing, singing and dancing with the children. These children and their exceptional caregivers truly have courage. We sponsored the transport – the big bus went to fetch the children, they were so excited – the venue, tea and coffee, and party packs for the children. Special mention has to be made of Bethuel and Joseph – our bus drivers. The care, compassion and kindness that they showed the children was inspiring. They worked with the Sunshine staff to get the children on and off the bus – many had to be carried, to fold up the buggies and wheelchairs, and to push the children into the venue.
“What an amazing day. We were treated like VIPs. Thank YOU for arranging that our kids could come to Kingsmead and for hosting us. Thank YOU for the amazing gym that we ran wild in. Thank YOU for the transport. Thank YOU for the treats for each child. Thank YOU for everything that you so willingly do for Sunshine, it is hugely appreciated and means the world. Thank YOU for making a difference”. Shannon O’Keefe – The Sunshine Association
Thank you to you all for being #CourageouslyKind
Head of Service
Wits Integrated Experience
On 23 June I, along with my 4 classmates Fatima-Zahraa Asvat, Kate Chapman, Lyonê Marenwick and Emily Stoutjesdyk, attended the Wits Integrated Experience (WIE) at Wits university for a day filled with enhancing learning opportunities and fun experiences, with other students from the various schools around Johannesburg.
During this day, we were each allocated into different groups, with students from the various school, and had the privilege of attending university lectures, that broadened our understanding of university life and exposed us to the new learning environments that we will encounter when attending university in the near future. These lectures allowed each of us to independently interact with a diverse range of people from the different schools and pushed us out of our conventional comfort zones so that we could engage and learn with the new people around us, who we did not know initially, whilst having a great time! Throughout the day, we were also given the opportunity to interact with content from the various faculties, such as the faculty of humanities or law, during the lectures, in order to gauge an understanding of the expectations of each sphere of education and to allow us to form deep and personal perspectives of the life and role of a university student in a specific course. However, the grand finale and highlight of the day was when we were brought back, into our groups of 5 with our own school, and introduced to the programme’s grand challenge, which was based off all the content we learnt from each lecture. We, as a team of 5 Kingsmead College students, are expected to combine all the knowledge we gained from the individual faculties in order to present a detailed explanation on how we as a team would react to and take action if a meteor were to hit Deneysville in two months! This challenge was an excellent way to close the day and will teach us how to integrate everything that we learnt throughout the day in order to successfully complete the task and present our answer to a board of judges on 4 August.
All in all, with the delicious food provided after much learning, shared sense of community and exciting new opportunities to learn and grow, this day was one that allowed each of us to develop and broaden our understanding, as high school students, about university life. This opportunity deeply engaged each of us, with the introduction of this once-in-a-lifetime challenge that will enable us to extend ourselves beyond the simple facts and teach us to apply the knowledge we gained, collectively, throughout this amazing experience in order to complete the challenge and triumph together, as a team!
I can speak for each one of us when I say that this experience is one that we are very grateful to have had and will never forget!
Grade 11 Student