Kingsmead Newsletter June 2019

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Dear Kingsmead Community

We have passed the winter solstice and it seems hard to believe that we are half way through this term already.

Thank you for such a wonderful, positive term. We have had so much to be thankful for this term. Our sports’ results have been excellent and we have participated in so many successful Arts events – particularly noteworthy was the Celebration of Music in the middle of June where the whole school showcased the music on the campus. There have also been many Service outings and The Night on the Garth was exceptionally well supported.

I have been speaking to the Grade 11 and 12 girls in Chapel on what it means to be an “Old Girl” of the school. I am always surprised by the passion and enthusiasm that most old boys have for their school, but this is not always the case in girls’ schools. The main focus of the OKA is to raise money for bursaries and to this end they host an annual Bridge Drive and Lunch, as well as several get-togethers during the year.

I think that most of the girls were surprised by the following facts:

• That the Chapel in which they sit is 80 years old this year.
• That it is named St Bridgit’s Chapel after the Saint – Bridgit – who founded the first religious community of women in Ireland. She was admired as a strong, fun-loving and compassionate character whose commitment to service in the community was highly valued.
• Some of our notable old girls include:
Denise Scott-Brown – a foremost architect in the world. She taught at Yale University and at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design and has won numerous awards for her work all over the world. She is also an author of “Learning from Las Vegas: the Forgotten Symbolism of Architectural Form” and she has remained a prolific writer on architecture and urban planning.
Denise has been an advocate for women in architecture and has spoken out about discrimination within the profession on several accounts.
Elizabeth de la Porte – is a harpsichordist who studied at the Vienna Academy and the Royal College of Music in London. She was made a Fellow of the Royal College of Music in recognition of her services to music and music education.
Margaret Hilary Marshall – was the 24th Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court and the first woman to hold that position. She earned her Master’s degree in education from Harvard and went on to write more than 200 opinions in the course of her term of office at the judicial court. She wrote the decision in Goodridge v Department of Public Health – that declared that the Massachusetts constitution does not permit the state to deny citizens the right to same-sex marriage.
Dame Janet Suzman – is an actress and director and she was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) for her services to drama. She is an Honorary Fellow of the Shakespeare Institute and was awarded the Pragnell Award for lifetime services to Shakespeare in 2012.
Irene Menell – has been awarded the Order of the Baobab in Silver for her tireless efforts in community service. She was the founding Chairperson of READ – a national literacy programme which established more than 2000 schools and community libraries under her leadership.
Larraine Segal – an attorney, lecturer, author, board member and urban farmer. She is the CEO of The Little Farm Company – based in Los-Angeles and has been a commentator for CNN and CNBC and has featured in Fast Company magazine and Bloomberg Business. She sits on many boards of companies and is also an advisor on many boards.
Topaz Page-Green – model and founder of The Lunchbox Fund in 2005, which currently feeds around 2.6 million children a year. She created Feedie – an app designed to use social media to transform people’s passion for sharing their photos of food into the sharing of actual food with school children in need.
Cara Frew – is a singer and songwriter who has participated in the Coachella Music festival and the Ultra Music Festival in Singapore. She supports a number of charitable causes and launched “Music Heals” in 2014. Cara has also represented South Africa at Equestrian in 2010 and 2014 where she participated in the World Equestrian Games.
Julia Vincent – currently studying in South Carolina at the University of South Carolina. She participated as a South African Springboard Diver in the Rio Olympics in 2016 and was placed 4th in the Commonwealth Games in 2018 in the Gold Coast in Australia.
Tshina Mdau – has played Netball for the University of Pretoria for 4 years and is currently part of the national netball squad.

These are just a few Old Kingsmedians, but we also have many girls who matriculated from Kingsmead who are doing amazing things in their studies and workplaces. If you know of any, please let the school know so that we can put these on our OKA webpage.

I wish you all a happy and restful half-term break and wish our Senior School girls well as they come back to start exams.

Yours fondly
Lisa Kaplan
Head: Kingsmead College

Transformation, Diversity and Inclusion

Some of our Grade 10 and 11 students attended the St Stithians Social Regional Cohesion Conference 2019 this month. The purpose of the event was to create a safe environment for students from a diverse backgrounds to interact with one another by sharing their different experiences of high school life while also forming bonds over the shared ones. Along with an increased sense of empathy and understanding of people different from themselves, the students were also provided the opportunity to engage with dynamic speakers on topics that are relevant for any future leader aiming to make a world of difference. Cumulatively the students were able to walk away feeling inspired to take an active role in shaping their futures and the future of their shared society.

Katey Wijtenburg has the following to share.
Grade 11

On the 6th and 7th of June, a group of Grade 10 and 11 students from schools all around Johannesburg came together to discuss relevant topics around Transformation, Diversity and Inclusion with strangers and friends. This workshop took place at St Stithians College and was made up of incredible talks, exercises and activities that helped us to start conversations that are ‘tough’ to talk about. I was left in awe as I had learnt so much about the world around me and the people in it. These conversations have taught me so much about race, sexuality, ethnicity, gender, privilege, mental health, language barriers, the impacts of social media and so much more. After this workshop I was left with new friends and new ideas to share with people around me and continue to ask myself… what conversation will I start next?

Sharekha Banwa
Deputy Headmistress Academics
Director of Transformation Diversity and Inclusion

Sports News


Congratulations to Maia Luksmidas(Grade 9), who came third overall at a prestigious national Rhythmic Gymnastics competition in Stellenbosch.

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Joëlle Harding
Grade 9 Grade Co-ordinator 
Senior School French Teacher


The u16 Hockey team won the SPAR Hockey challenge. The team beat Beaulieu in the final. Congratulations to coaches Alridge Louw and Bronwyn Leeming.
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Our 1st netball team won the Redhill Youth Festival 2 weeks ago and also qualified for play-offs with their 2nd team. Congratulations to coaches Tracey Minnie and Basetsana Dibetswa for an outstanding season.


Results from the last Qualifier.

Hannah Buttifant-Sewel
6th & 5th – Dressage
3rd – Performance Riding

Sarah Warren
11th & 12th – Novice Dressage
4th – Performance Riding
5th – Working Riding
1st – Equitation
3rd & 7th – Prix Caprilli
2nd – In-hand Utility

Ella Hunt
3rd – Novice Dressage
6th – Show Jumping Competition

Mia Oliver
7th & 7th – Prelim Dressage

Paula Prinsloo
2nd & 9th – Show Jumping
1st – Handy Hunter
2nd – Working Hunter
6th – Working Riding
10th – Equitation

Leeya Motara
1st – Working Riding
2nd – Performance Riding
3rd – In-hand Utility

Annabel Dennison
6th – Equitation

Mia Byrne
3rd – Working Hunter
9th – Show Jumping Accumulator

Overall School Standings:
4th in our category

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Robert Pullen
Director of Sport

Arts News


One of the highlights of the Grade 7 year is being part of the production. This year was no different and it was evident that our Grade 7s loved every moment of the exciting journey of staging a musical production. Drought Breaker, is based on an African folk tale tradition and explores elements of the Ancient Greek choral verse and Medieval mystery plays. The truly original piece showcased the talents and hard work of our Grade 7 students. Every aspect of this production was managed by the students from make-up and costumes to backstage and marketing. Enormous congratulations to our Grade 7 girls and the team of teachers who worked alongside them, for their commitment, passion and efforts to make it all come together so beautifully.

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The much anticipated Kingsmead Interschools’ Dance Festival took place on the 5th of June. The exciting programme included performances from Kingsmead, St Mary’s Waverley and Parktown High School for Girls. The stage came alive with a variety of dance styles, including hip hop, contemporary, house and traditional dance, much enjoyed by the audience.

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You are invited to view some of the Grade 12 Art in the Learning Centre. These works, in conjunction with the drawings on display in the Arts & Music foyer, continue with the theme ‘Outside the Centre’. Keep an eye open over the next while for the Grade 11 site-specific artworks around the school and the topical themes they aim to communicate.

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Lynette Jonker
Head of Visual Art


The Art Club continues to be enjoyed by the girls and they love the opportunity to create interesting and innovative pieces of art.

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June has been a very busy month for Public Speaking. We have been fortunate to secure the expertise of Mr Tumelo Bore, our new coach, and to have showcased some of the incredible talent in our school.
Our Head of Public Speaking for 2019, Husna Maswanganyi, organised a Public Speaking event named ‘Voice for the Voiceless’. The purpose of the event was to create a platform for students from Grades 8 to 11, to voice their realities and opinions on their futures in South Africa. We extended an invitation to various schools in Soweto and Johannesburg.

Husna’s words: ‘I found it of utmost importance to host an event that was not only different to our regular public speaking get-togethers, but also to create a sense of awareness of the realities the South African youth encounter in their day-to-day lives. There is still more to be done but our voices were indeed heard’.

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On the same evening, we hosted a ‘friendly’ Public Speaking evening with St Theresa’s. Twelve brave speakers from each school prepared a speech on the topic ‘Why we should not take the world, or ourselves, too seriously’. In an environment so fraught with discord and stress, we thought it fitting that our young people be encouraged to see beyond their immediate stresses and look towards the golden lining promised behind each dark cloud. Divided into Juniors and Seniors, the speakers were introduced ably by our “Masters of Ceremonies”, Sabeeha Banwa and Arya Naidoo. The speakers from both schools can be proud of the opinions shared and the levels of empathy and wisdom expressed by each of the girls. It is at an evening like this, that one feels deeply comforted that the next generation will right the ills of our world and steer it in a better direction than we have done.

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Bronwen Roberts
Teacher-in-charge of Public Speaking


June was another exciting month for the Music Department. On the 11th of June, all our choirs, ensembles, orchestras and bands were showcased at the Music Celebration Concert. It was a wonderful evening of varied and interesting music and the enjoyment of making music together, was evident. Thank you to everyone who donated sherry and wine and supported this event.

The Senior School Choir and Glee performed very successfully at the annual St Stithians Choir festival where they showed off a fantastic and interesting new piece of music they have been working on, by Norwegian composer Ola Gjeillo.

This week, our Senior School musicians performed courageously at the Senior Music Concert and impressed with their confidence and high standard of performance.

Well done to our young musicians who make Kingsmead proud at all of our events. Thank you to our supportive and encouraging parents who are always there to cheer us on.

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Elsabé Fourie
Director of Arts & Music

Academic News


The Grade 10 Life Sciences students had the opportunity to make their own bread in a lesson this month. The practical, which forms part of the unit on cellular respiration, demonstrated the ways in which biological processes and theoretical work are applicable to daily life in a hands-on (and tasty) manner. We collaborated on the task, recording our observations, discussing our results and customising the flavour and design of our bread. It was a great way to end the section.

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Raeesah Jadwat
Grade 10 Student


On Thursday 27 June, the Grade 11 Life Sciences students had the opportunity to visit the Maropeng Museum and the Sterkfontein Caves. It was a very enriching experience as it provided valuable insight into the fossils and evolution section that they are currently studying.

At Maropeng, the girls were given a guided tour through the Tumulus building and underground museum. They viewed fossils and exhibits which explained the origin of Hominids and human evolutionary pathways. Highlights of the experience included a boat ride through an underground tunnel as well as the interactive displays which gave the girls an opportunity to engage visually with the content studied in class. The girls also got to see a palaeontologist working in the laboratory in the original fossil display room.

At the Sterkfontein Caves we ventured down into a sixty-metre-deep cave and our guide pointed out the points of discovery of two iconic ancient human ancestral fossils, Mrs Ples and Little Foot. It was incredible to see the various rock formations and deep underground lakes. The tour was invaluable to the girls’ learning experience and has certainly built on their true understanding of our human origins and what we need to do in order to secure a sustainable and prosperous future for our planet and our species.

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Angela Norman-Smith
Head of Science


Adrenaline Rush – Grade 9 Comp Lit

Getting into the flow! They had a blast playing around with the Spheros.
Once they had learnt how the circulatory system worked it didn’t take much convincing to get these students coding it! This was a step further from their first experience in the first term when coding the movement of food through the body. Hopefully we will soon have our students ready to take on the challenge of joining our senior IT classes. Watch this space!

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Lisa van den Biggelaar
Head of Innovation

Service News


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Kingsmead is proud to be a valued partner school of the Realema Teacher Intern Programme. Realema helps dedicated black students who struggle to afford a tertiary education, to study for a teaching degree, while gaining valuable work experience as full-time interns at top schools. Three Realema students live and work as interns at Kingsmead, while a fourth student completed her degree and internship at Kingsmead last year and is now a teacher in the Junior School.

On 27 August 2019 from 16:00 to 20:00, KAMERS/Makers will run a bespoke Moonlight Market at St John’s College, where all ticket sales will go towards Realema.
It will be a special evening of live music, spot prizes, a spring table demonstration by the inimitable Sandy Wood of Sandy’s Kitchen ( and first pick of all the brand-new merchandise that will be on offer for the rest of the week.

Moonlight Market tickets are R150 per person and can be used to visit KAMERS/Makers all week long. Kingsmead students may help Realema sell tickets, for which they will receive three community hours for every booklet of seven tickets sold. Every 100 Moonlight Market tickets sold will pay a student’s UNISA fees for one year!
Tickets will also be available online at Be sure to purchase specifically the Moonlight Market tickets to support Realema and benefit from the specials mentioned above. It is also quite the easiest and most enjoyable way to help them grow teachers for tomorrow!


Money raised at the Senior School Dance Marathon enabled Kingsmead College to donate Dignity Dreams sanitary packs to all Grade 4-12 students at St Vincent School for the Deaf. Thank you to everyone who contributed to making this donation possible.


Grade 6-12 students enjoyed Service Excursions to Fight with Insight, Itemba Soup Kitchen, Park Care, Dlala Nje, and The Bunny Hop Haven this term.

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Kingsmead College hosted another successful Donate a Lock of Hair event in collaboration with A Few Grey Hairs. The donated hair is used to make wigs for woman and children who have lost their hair. Donors can track their hair donation through the app, Hairs with Love.

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Rays of Hope is grateful to the Kingsmead community for the generous donations during the Winter Warmer initiative. Other beneficiaries of the Winter Warmer are Impilo, Itemba Soup Kitchen, Sunshine Centre Association, Park Care, Fight with Insight and St Vincent School for the Deaf.

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On Thursday 13 June, Senior School students slept outside on the Garth to raise awareness for homelessness. The evening was spent making sandwiches and scarves and various recycling activities.

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Kingsmead College, in collaboration with Community Hours, is hosting a Make-and-Donate-a-Sleeping-Bag event on Mandela Day (18 July 2019). Sleeping bags will be made from newspaper and recycled plastic and a handmade scarf will be placed in every sleeping bag. These sleeping bags will be distributed to the homeless.
Schools and visitors are invited to give 67 minutes for Mandela Day to make a sleeping bag and raise awareness for homelessness. Sessions start from 8h00 until 16h00 at Kingsmead College. A registration fee of R100 will cover the cost of the material. Teams or individuals are invited to join us on the day. For more information or to book, please email


Vendor Invitation to Goodwill Day 2019

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Kingsmead College’s annual Goodwill Day is a day of giving back to the various organisations we support. This day will not only be a fundraising event for our partner organisations, but will include various activities that will benefit and showcase these organisations. We will also celebrate Kingsmead College’s 86th birthday. The day will start at 08h00 and end at 13h30 on Saturday 5 October.

The programme will be filled with a variety of fun activities for the whole family. We will begin with a Fun Walk at 08h30, and refreshments will be available from 08h00. There will be a Tea Garden, a games area and a range of beautiful homemade goods and delicious food for sale.

All proceeds will be given to the Community Engagement partners who will be represented on the day.

All the craft stalls and food vendors will be situated around the games area and the layout will be done to ensure equal support for all the vendors. Stalls can be reserved at a cost of R400.

Please note that only craft stalls with handmade goods will be allowed and photos of products will be requested. We reserve the right to determine vendor allocation and placement according to our campus layout and event requirements, in order to give all vendors the best opportunity we can for maximum sales. We do limit the number of vendors for similar items, and we reserve the right to determine which vendors will be accepted.

Please contact us if you would like to book a stall. The booking form, payment details and more information will be then be forwarded to you.

Craft stalls: Maureen Ellis 0829013437
Food stalls: Thato Makae 0117317315

We look forward to hosting you at Goodwill Day 2019.

Jenny Venter
Director of Service

Green News

The Green Team created sustainable awareness by celebrating World Environment Day on 5 June and World Oceans Day on 8 June.

The theme for World Environment Day 2019 was about air pollution. With this in mind, the Green Team set up a display on the Garth between two pillars of the MacKenzie. We spun wool around the pillars in the shape of an hourglass, representing the time we have left to reduce air pollution. Stuffed animals were pegged up and represented the environment which would be affected by air pollution, along with facts about the problems caused by air pollution and solutions to these problems.
The display also included a donation area, where we collected stuffed animals which will be donated to the Sunshine Centre.

Reduce, REUSE, recycle! We are so proud of the Green Team and can’t wait for the next opportunity to create awareness about something we are passionate about.

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Charlotte Stockenström
Head of Green Team

The President’s Award


Over the April holidays, the Kingsmead students embarked on the Fanie Botha hike in the Graskop-Sabie area in Mpumalanga. The hike was challenging, yet the beautiful views compensated for the sore feet. We hiked in various terrains, consisting of woods, dense forests and valleys. I think the highlight for most of the students was swimming in the waterfall, as cold as it was. After 4 nights, 5 days and many falls we were relieved to have achieved the Silver and Gold Adventurous Journey for The President’s Award. I know for a fact we would do it all again!

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Maxine Muller
Grade 10 Student, Silver participant


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