Dear Kingsmead Community,
I hope that you are all keeping well and healthy. As I said in my last letter, I do particularly miss the contact that I have with the students. I keep getting the reminders in my calendar of the Grade 8 teas that I would be hosting in these weeks and I definitely feel a sense of loss. We will ensure that we do a lot of catching up when we are able to do so and we will be re-scheduling these meeting times.
I have been able to do a lot of reading lately and I am particularly conscious of leading a school in such different and unpredictable times. My latest inspiration comes from The Harvard Graduate School of Education where an article on “Providing Stability in a Time of Crisis” by Emily Boudreau caught my attention. She notes the following as guiding principles and ideas in a time of uncertainty:
Organising principles include:
- Safety, security, and belonging
- Relationship building at the heart of student learning
- Communication and transparency around decision-making
Her practices for continuing education in times of emergency include ensuring that students feel secure, safe, and have a clear sense of belonging so they can learn.
A way of doing this is by communicating clearly and regularly to the families and to the students and making sure that everyone has the material needed for independent work.
It is also important to create a strong sense of community at this time. The teachers and families need to feel supported and ‘safe’ and a sense of belonging is key.
I think that these principles are simple, but powerful and they can provide us with direction.
I wish you all well during this time. Stay healthy and safe during the 21 days and beyond that.
Head: Kingsmead College
Netball Clinic at Sun City
On Friday, 13 March 16 students and 2 staff departed for a netball clinic which was run by South Africa’s Spar Protea coach Dorette Badenhorst.
On arrival we were greeted by Dorette as well as Julene Meyer, Namibia’s national netball coach – the players were excited and ready to get started on the fun-filled and packed weekend. They each received a snazzy pair of Wilson court shoes which got them ready for all the action that was to follow.
We started with a specialisation session on attack play and this was followed by a delicious dinner at the tennis courts. On Saturday morning there were many tired and weary bodies but after a protein filled breakfast they began with centre pass and long court attack followed by long court defence – the players worked extremely hard and learnt many new skills.
On Sunday they tested their new skills in matches against St Peters and St Andrews teams – it was an excellent weekend of top level coaching and was enjoyed by all. A highlight was the attention our Kingsmead players received from one of our past netball captains, Tshina Mdau, who is now a Protea Fast Five player.
1ST Team Netball Coach
The polo teams had a good season and as a group finished 3rd overall in the league. We were very proud of the following players who were selected to attend the SA National camps.
The swimming team competed in the annual Inter High where both teams finished 7 out of 10 teams. It was once again a very exciting event.
Kingsmead took part in the annual inter-high tennis and both the A and B teams finished in the top 13 positions out of 28. The league has now been completed with all teams finishing mid-table in each of their respective leagues.
The squash league has come to an end with all the teams competing within their age groups. Our u16 teams finished 2nd and the u15 teams 3rd in the league.
Our divers competed in their annual inter-high competition and finished 3rd overall, a fantastic achievement. Notable achievements were:
Sarah Benning – 2nd in open age group
Katherine Jones – 4th in u15
Nina Evans – 8th in u16
We have completed 2 of the 4 qualifiers and waiting to see what the rest of the seasons brings. Unfortunately Covid-19 will cause changes and delays to the planned season’s qualifiers.
Helen and Isabella Cockeran competed in the Central Gauteng Athletics Championships on 14 March:
- Isabella placed 10th in the 800 and 11th in the 1500m, girls under 17;
- Helen placed 4th in the 800 and 5th in the 1500m girls under 15 and would have been selected for the Gauteng team to compete in the SA Championships on 28 March in Paarl.
Director of Sport
Arts & Music News
SENIOR SCHOOL MAJOR PRODUCTION – SISTER ACT: THE MUSICAL
The major production is always a highlight on the Arts & Music calendar and this year was no different. Sister Act was a fun-filled, exciting, colourful and much-enjoyed musical that provided a platform for our students to get involved in a large stage production and share their talents with the community. It was a wonderful collaborative effort of the Music and Drama departments, incorporating the students’ singing, acting and dancing skills. The cast and directors sacrificed many hours during the weeks of rehearsals to learn the challenging vocal parts, choreography, develop the characters, add some South African flavour to the play, and bring the story together. The crews worked hard to make sure everything happened quickly and quietly behind the scenes to ensure a professional production. HUGE congratulations to the cast, crews, musicians and directors who did an excellent job! Thank you to all the staff involved in directing, producing, coaching, organising, marketing, and all the logistics involved in making a production come together. Thank you to our facilities and events teams for their never-ending patience and support, and for the incredible support from the Kingsmead community who filled the Lange Hall for all the performances.
Over the last few weeks, our Debating teams participated in the SACEE Debating League. The junior teams competed twice, completing a total of 6 debates, of which they won 2. The Junior teams involved Elizabeth Hakizimana, Mwamini Bukanga, Onthatile Sennelo, Pia Mastenbroek, Sange Sibiya, Sumayya Forssman and Nomaswazi Mdluli.
The Senior teams competed in 6 debates: Kingsmead Team A won 4 out 6 debates and will progress to the provincial rounds in May, and Kingsmead Team B won 2 out of 4 debates. The Senior teams included Adiya Pillay, Ammaarah Wadee, Atiya Gaffar, Chloe Wagner, Hanan Mastenbroek, Juwairiyya Arain and Lami’a Mahomed.
Kingsmead also hosted two friendly debates, discussing tough themes of healthcare and women’s rights. The Junior teams had a heated debate where Kingsmead came out victorious. Well done to all our debaters; it takes great courage to speak your mind in front of a critical audience of your peers.
During February and March, our public speakers participated in the Speech and Drama College High Schools’ Public Speaking Festival. Two teams per grade worked hard to prepare speeches and compete in this tough inter-schools’ event.
Both the Grade 8 teams were awarded B+ symbols. Team A was Kate Chapman, Mieka Costa, Emma Eckoldt, Nicola Keulder, and Team B: Kira King, Irné O’Neil, Madhuri Padayatchi and Sange Sibiya.
Both Grade 9 teams achieved A symbols, well done to Team A: Hannah Daniels, Sameeha Gangat, Hameeda Malik, Ariella Fenster and Team B: Ilani-Marie Prinsloo, Mia Oosthuizen Speirs, Keitumetse Makhanya and Mbali Ndlela.
In Grade 10, Team A included Jessica Robinson, Ella-Louise Russon, Nazrana Jhavary and Serena Momudu, who achieved an A+ and Team B included Alice Behr, Arya Maharaj, Meghan Eddison and Kimberly de Sousa and they received an A.
The Grade 11 teams both achieved A+ symbols and involved Ammaarah Wadee, Nivarya Naidoo, Gallia Fenster, Fikile Nhleko, Arya Naidoo, Nina Stockenström, Anjali Naidoo and Alexandra Liston.
The Grade 12 team including Gabriella Gainer, Leyya Osman, Mulalo Makhaga and Naledi Mbokane was awarded a B+ and the Trophy team, which included Georgina Beart, Alexa Lipchin and Annabel Davidson was awarded a B+. The individual speaker, Adiya Pillay, was awarded an A. Thank you to the students who were the masters of ceremony – Ammaarah Wadee for the Grade 12 event and Sabeeha Banwa for the Grade 8s.
The Public Speaking Club aims to create a space in which each student can find their voice. The students discussed current affairs, with topics ranging from ‘Whether or not South Africa is Afrophic;’ ‘The Intersectionality of Feminism’ and ‘An exploration of Accountability as a principle.’ The students learned the power of language and articulation in giving their opinion. It has been wonderful to see the growth and development in the students.
During March, our Grade 4-7 and Senior School choirs participated in the annual Singing Sistas choir festival at St Mary’s. Well done to our choirs and Glee group for their enthusiastic, impressive performances and thank you to all the parents and siblings who came to support us!
Well done to the Senior School rock band, ‘The Phil’s’ who participated in the St Mary’s Battle of the Bands this term. They have been selected to go through to the finals in Term 2! The band had to submit two songs: one cover – they chose ‘Hip to be Square’ by Huey Lewis and the News and one original, which was a beautiful song ‘Good-bye to the Girl’ lyrics and music by Mikayla Alfonso. The band includes Maya Kganela-White and Penelope Phiri on vocals, Mikayla Alfonso on rhythm guitar, vocals and tambourine, Carys du Toit on lead guitar, Hannah Jadwat on bass, Jessica Robinson on piano and Chloe Collins on drums.
With all our April events cancelled, our musicians hope to perform for you again in Term 2.
Thank you to our parents how have embraced online music lessons. It has worked so well and by all accounts, our students are loving seeing their teachers for their music lessons. If you have not yet made contact with your music teacher regarding online lessons, please do so as soon as possible.
We have also launched Group Music Making this week! Your choir/orchestra/ensemble teacher will post music and practice tracks on the Kingsmead App in the Arts & Music folder and make contact with you on our WhatsApp groups with instructions and tips. We hope to continue making music ‘together’ in new ways.
Thank you for your continued support of the Arts & Music department at Kingsmead. We wish our parents and students a happy, healthy April and hope to see you back at school in May.
Director of Arts & Music
We are really proud of Christiane du Plooy and Fatma Ben Azouz (Grade 11) who represented Kingsmead in the first African French Spelling Bee in South Africa.
You really need nerves of steel and a cool head to compete in such a fast-paced event. Both students were remarkable contestants and at the end of a heated final round, Fatma came second overall. Félicitations, Mesdemoiselles!
This event took place at the Journée de la Francophonie in Pretoria, where our 2 finalists and their lively team of supporters enjoyed delicious traditional food from all over the French speaking world – in their own words, the Togolese cuisine is the best!
Senior School French Teacher
The Grade 9s have been learning about nutrition and digestion in their Foodology Module. As part of extending their learning beyond the classroom, we invited a registered dietician, Mrs Pippa Mullins, to talk to the students about their eating habits, the nutritional value of certain foods and how incorrect foods can trigger inflammation in the body. Many of the students realised the importance of a healthy diet, and how fast foods and convenience foods should rarely be eaten. The students analysed various diet scenarios and evaluated the pros and cons for each type of diet, eg. ketogenic and vegan. Pippa also showed them a variety of foods and the students had to give the equivalent of the number of slices of bread for that meal and the number of teaspoons of sugar in a food item. The students were horrified to learn that a pizza is equivalent to 20 slices of bread and that Aloe Vera juice has more sugar than a Coke!
The Grade 9s also had a trip to the Consumer Studies room where they had a cooking class with Ms Minnie and Mama P. Some of the students have never cooked before so there was much excitement when they made their own pizzas from scratch. They measured out the ingredients for the base and learnt how to knead and prove dough. The pizza bases were rolled out, toppings were added, baked in the oven and they could not wait for the final product, which was then enjoyed by all. The students were very proud of their (and Mr G’s) cooking skills and we hope this has encouraged them to do more cooking at home.
In the Growth Curriculum there are a range of different modules, STEAM (Sciences, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) being one of my favourites.
On Tuesday, 3 March 2020 the Grade 8s enjoyed STEAM Day at school where we had the opportunity to work in groups, to make new friends and learn more about each other at the start of the year.
During this time we worked on our group project, focusing on solving a problem in the world around us through our invention. We also did a really cool water experiment which made us realise just how important clean water is for living in South Africa.
Technology is a crucial part of our lives – especially as 14-year old girls – and it is important that we learn how to code and use technology effectively as it will continue to play a huge role in our future. We used the Arduino Uno Board and LED lights and made the LED lights flash through coding.
STEAM Day encouraged us all to think deeply about the challenges that we face, so that we have the chance to become the innovators, educators and leaders of the future.
Grade 8 Student
ISIPHO PRIMARY SCHOOL PARTNERSHIP
The first visit to Isipho Primary School was a humbling experience. 58 students, ranging from Grade 3 to Grade 9 arrived at Isipho for a Saturday morning of extra mathematics lessons. The Kingsmead Senior School students were effective at assisting with the lesson.
The Mathematics department hosted a Pi Civvies Day for International Pi Day and all donations will go towards purchasing mathematical sets for the Grade 7 class of Isipho Primary School.
In spite of the isolation period, Service continues at home. An online platform has been created to share passive Service opportunities that can be done at home in order for students to stay involved in Service.
One of the opportunities is to create multiplication table flash cards for the Grade 7 class of Isipho Primary School. Our partnership continues in spite of the lockdown.
Director of Service