Dear Kingsmead Community,
The end of the year is upon us and 2023 has passed in a blur. The birthday assembly at the start of the year seems to have just been yesterday and yet when I reflect on what we have accomplished this year it has been immense.
There have been wonderful celebrations to mark the school’s 90th year and personal highlights include the opening of the museum and archives. This is just such a wonderful space and we have so enjoyed seeing alumnae come and take a trip down memory lane. As I drive through the Gates of Welcome and Belonging daily, I never get tired of the beautiful new entrance that has been created off Tyrwhitt Avenue. The party celebration and the assembly to unveil the sculpture to the school are definite stand-out events. Other gatherings like the Heritage Day Assembly and Goodwill Day and our annual Kingsmead Book Fair have just made this year so very special.
A lot of effort has gone into the renovation and refurbishment of our spaces and this will continue into next year. The gardens look wonderful and I thank all our service staff teams for their hard work and dedication this year.
Thank you to each of our academic and administrative staff for a wonderful year. We are so grateful for your incredible commitment to our school.
The following poem was written this year by Gillian Wilkinson to celebrate our 90th birthday:
Plucking at heart strings
of courage, creating deep
joy, unveiling strength,
enthusiasm and love,
the steady steel of a tree
shelters an unfolding vision,
guarding heart values
for years and years to come.
As time tightens, custodians
Guard the goodness of the days
Left in their care, carefully
passing the baton of greatness,
the staff of watchfulness
shining for ninety years.
And all the years to come.
Please watch the video to sum up our 90th birthday celebrations HERE.
We say farewell to the following staff members at the end of this year:
Raoudha Cherni (French Department)
Keenan van Rooyen (IT Department)
Happy Mdhluli (IT Department)
We thank them for their input in the school over the past year and particularly thank Mrs Cherni for her significant contribution to the French Department over the past nearly 10 years where she has made the language come alive and fostered a deep love of the language for many students.
We welcome Russell Stroud in the Finance Department as the new Business Manager at Kingsmead. Russell was the Bursar at Curro Limited, having been at Nedbank for a number of years. Russel’s experience within a school extends to having been the Business Manager at Bishop Bavin.
Russel is an excellent fit for Kingsmead, he enjoys good relationships with others, and is also driven to be detail-oriented and precise in his work. He is particularly looking forward to working on the various projects at Kingsmead.
We also look forward to welcoming Mrs Lee-Ann Paulsen as our Human Resources Manager from January 2024.
Lee-Ann Paulsen comes to us from St. Stithian’s College; her journey as an Executive Assistant and a member of the Executive Committee have equipped her with a comprehensive understanding of the education landscape, organisational dynamics, and the critical importance of efficient operations. In her role, she has been instrumental in orchestrating seamless administrative processes, enhancing communication and the full recruitment life cycle processes and supporting leadership in decision-making.
Lee-Ann looks forward to stepping into the role and working with our dynamic teams, to align strategies and to create an environment that empowers every member of staff to thrive and to enhance the overall effectiveness, efficiency and well-being of the school and its staff, and to continue to build on the existing positive working environment.
Final week of school: Please remember that we have a full programme for the final week of school and are able at this time to fit in many of our workshops and speakers that we aren’t able to fit in during the course of the term. I strongly encourage all our students to be present for the week’s activities.
Carol Service on Monday night is a compulsory event that has been published on our calendars since January so there can be no excuses for non-attendance. It is of vital importance to our ethos and to the culture of our school that this is part of our annual calendar.
As this is the final newsletter of the year, I would like to wish you and your families a most blessed festive season and a restful holiday. May the year ahead be a wonderful one for you and one that is filled with many joyous moments.
Executive Head: Kingsmead College
The Department endeavours to increase our students’ exposure to Geography in the Johannesburg context.
This year the Grade 12 students completed field studies of the Braamfontein Spruit and the Rosebank Precinct to better understand concepts and landforms associated with their river studies; and to explore the urban renewal process occurring in the Rosebank CBD.
“After what felt like being a tourist in my own city, I realised how much our cities evolve and why they are designed like this, ” Emma Proudfoot.
The Grade 10 and 11 students had the opportunity to engage with representatives of BTE Renewables, one of Africa’s leading renewable energy companies, gaining a better understanding of the opportunities and challenges of investing in wind and solar projects in South Africa and Kenya.
“I learnt more about loadshedding and how it is about not having enough money to develop the substations, and cables and not because there is a lack of coal. It was interesting learning about BTE renewables and what they do too, ” Kirsten Botha.
The Grade 10 and 11 students also travelled to Victoria Yards in Lorentzville, to visit the NGO Water for the Future and to learn about their project of creating an accessible, walkable, green corridor along the Jukskei waterway that enables a thriving ecosystem and improves the general health and well-being of Johannesburg’s citizens. The outing allowed the students to experience concepts such as river catchment management; inner-city community social development projects and how a individual through servant leadership can make a difference to changing a community.
“The various projects of Water for the Future along the Jukskei and in the surrounding community of Lorentzville are very impressive and have shown great improvements which were all very lovely to get to experience in person,” Amy Falcon.
The Grade 8 students’ exposure to Johannesburg was as part of the Growth Curriculum module Love Jozi. The grade hopped on the City Sightseeing Red Bus Tour and navigated the streets of Johannesburg and surrounding suburbs to learn more about their city and to see their settlement concepts first hand.
“Johannesburg is a city that we all think we know like the back of our hands but, there are so many hidden gems. I was amazed by just how little I knew about my city,” Inés Bregman.
Finally, during this year our students participated in both the Junior and Senior SANGO Geography Olympiad and Kingsmead had another successful year. Fatima-Zahraa Asvat placed in the top 1% achieving a platinum certificate. Amelia Granig achieved a gold certificate; Qaylah Choonara, Ariana Boyd and Rachael Drake achieved silver certificates; and Dayaanah Joosub and Pia Rowji achieved bronze certificates.
The ‘Kingfisher’ Grade 9 module has been one of my most enjoyed modules so far! Although working in a group can sometimes come with challenges, you will always find solutions to make it work. When we were told about the project we were super excited to start! My team and I were able to manage our time effectively and share ideas with one another well. This year the Grade 9s were given a quote by D.V. Thompson, where we then had to create an advertisement for Kingsmead using this quote. I thoroughly enjoyed working with my peers to put a beautiful advertisement together that truly reflected the value of having consideration for others at Kingsmead. It is quite remarkable how creative and inspiring one video can be. I think the Grade 9s worked extremely hard to make these advertisements. I think that the words of D.V. Thompson are very important because if you take time to reflect on these words, you could really change the way you go about and see the world. I am grateful for the opportunity the students have to take their creative skills and ideas to create an advertisement which reinforces our values and the ethos of our school.
Sienna Fry from the team “Consideration for others” including members Maxine Johnston, Liyana Patel and Milli Seekins
Grade 8 Adventure: A Memorable 5km Hike at Taroko Farm
In a refreshing break from examination stress, our Grade 8 students embarked on a delightful 5km hike at Taroko Farm in Modderfontein on 23 November. Surrounded by nature and in the company of friends, the hike provided a perfect conclusion to their first year in high school. The students embraced the outdoors, fostering camaraderie and making lasting memories.
Liezel van Lith
Grade 8 Co-ordinator
Arts & Music
We have had the most wonderful month of concerts and showcases for all age groups from Grade 0-12. Our instrumentalists and singers shared their hard work in a range of music concerts, while the Grade 11 drama students staged magnificent one act plays. It is an absolute joy and privilege to see our students grow and develop over the months and years.
We are grateful for a supportive and encouraging community of teachers, students and parents who attend our events and celebrate our students’ journey in the arts.
Thank you to our parents for making your daughters’ journey in the arts possible and for your ongoing encouragement.
Thank you to the management team and teaching staff for cheering our young performers on and for attending our events.
Huge thanks to our music, drama, and art teachers for igniting the passion in our students and for your guidance, passion and energy. You are inspiring.
The Arts is where a child finds their voice. The Arts is where a child realises that their unconventional thinking makes sense. The Arts is where a child discovers that they’re not alone. The Arts is where a child comes out of their shell. The Arts is where we find ourselves.
Vaughan Fleischfresser, Music Educator and Keynote speaker
IT’S BEGINNING TO LOOK A LOT LIKE CHRISTMAS!
We look forward to seeing you at our annual Carol Service on Monday 4 December 18h00-19h00 at Rosebank Union Church. This is always a wonderful event and a special way to end our year together. Please note that this is a compulsory event for all Grade 1-11 students to attend. Should your daughter not be able to attend this event, you need to excuse her, in writing, with Mrs Mclaren (Junior School) or Ms Palmer (Senior School).
All our Grade 1, 2, 3, 4-7 and Senior School Choirs, as well as Junior and Senior Orchestras are involved in this event. Family and friends are also welcome! The auditorium seats just more than 1000 people and there is ample safe parking available. All students must wear their summer school uniform for this event.
The arrangements are as follow:
16h00 Junior and Senior Orchestra members meet on stage
16h30 Grade 4-7 and Senior School Choirs meet on stage
17h00 All Grade 2 and 3 students to meet on stage
17h30 Grade 1s to meet at the stage
Tea, coffee and mince pies will be served in the foyer after the event.
The Arts & Music department wishes the Kingsmead community a wonderful holiday, blessed Christmas and festive season, and a happy and prosperous 2024!
Congratulations to the following students who have been selected as part of the Central and Eastern Gauteng to participate in the Interprovincial Water Polo tournament in Gqberha in December 2023.
Central Gauteng U16A:
Central Gauteng U16B:
Central Gauteng U15B:
Central Gauteng U14B:
Eastern Gauteng U19:
Eastern Gauteng U16:
This year we have really worked to align Service with two of the three charitable acts presented in the World Giving Index. The World Giving Index is an annual report published by the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF). CAF promote and facilitate effective giving, volunteering and social investment. CAF work to make giving and social investment a part of everyday life. Through our initiatives we work to engage our students to truly live Service and giving.
Throughout the year we offer various Service@Home activities, the items that we collect are distributed to our Service partners to meet their specific needs and requirements. In the third term our focus is on Spreading a little Festive Cheer. We intentionally request items that we know are on Christmas wish lists. We are deeply grateful to the Kingsmead Community for your generosity – the simple act of giving a bar of soap, a toothbrush and toothpaste, or deodorant, means the world to those who receive so little.
Thanks to your kindness, we have been able to support the following Service partners:
Dlala Nje: Dlala Nje host an annual camp. The children earn badges throughout the year for doing homework, acts of kindness, taking part in extra mural activities and other activities. We donated snack packs to the children for the bus trip, toiletry packs and a monetary donation towards the camp costs.
Siyakhana Gardens: Siyakhana Gardens are our Grade 2 Service partner. They requested coveralls, gum boots and gardening gloves. Our Grade 2s took much delight in carrying all of the items to class and packing the items for the team.
Fight with Insight: Fight with Insight are our Grade 4 Service Partner, this is the second year that we are sponsoring items for the children’s Christmas Party. This year the Service team will be at the Christmas Party volunteering. The Christmas Party is for 100 children, our contribution includes: the hire of a Jumping Castle, caps for all of the children, face paints, ice creams, candy floss and party packs.
We have partnered with the Student Council at UJ’s Chiropractic Department to support two Christmas parties that they are hosting. Ethembeni Children’s Home and St Mary’s Children’s Home.
Ethembeni Children’s Home: there are 40 children and 25 caregivers. Kingsmead have sponsored: party packs for the children and caregivers, colouring-in books and crayons, face cloths and soap, and baby clothes.
St Mary’s Children’s Home: there are 47 children and 25 caregivers. 13 of the children are teens and on their wish list was a scientific calculator for school, we are happy to have been able to purchase these calculators for the children. We have sponsored party packs, face cloths and soap, stationery packs and face paints.
Wastepreneurs: Wastepreneurs work to empower the informal waste collectors. We are gifting toiletry packs that include: face cloth and soap, deodorant, toothbrush and toothpaste, and sweets.
Park Care: we are gifting Park Care with toiletry packs (with the contents listed above) for the elderly.
Thank you to each and every family that has sent items for the toiletry packs, party packs, and stationery packs.
Thank you to our Admin staff who worked to package all of the items into gift packs – team work really does make the dream work and we had so much fun creating the gifts.
Transformation, Diversity and Inclusion
It was an honour and a privilege to witness the members of the School’s management teams flex their wings during the Grade 8 (2024), Grade 0 (2024 and 2025) and Grade 1 to 7 new parent (2024) orientations. Watching them speak competently about what they do best was a reminder of that old saying: ‘if you do what you love you will never work a day in your life.’ It was encouraging to see some of our current students standing up as ambassadors of the school and showing the new students around the campus. When everyone at every level of the school can welcome a visitor and tell them what we are about, you know you are doing something right.
These past few weeks have been about planning for 2024 and finalising the school calendar. I am grateful for all the staff that have been part of this process for many years as they make it seem so seamless and effortless, yet at the same time, everyone involved shows passion for not only their own department but the entire school. As we reach the end of the year, and we wonder how things are so busy, we forget it is us that put effort into the planning by creating a calendar that holds everything together. Every department is like a star in a galaxy, part of a tapestry that holds together a shining legacy.
How we welcome newcomers into our community plays an important role in their sense of belonging. We may sometimes forget just how busy our calendar is and how it may not be easy for newcomers to adapt. Let’s keep this in mind as we finalise this year and look forward to a much-deserved break.
Johannesburg Junior Council
Our time on the Johannesburg Junior Council (JJC) has unfortunately come to an end. I am aware that this is a common cliché for “time to fly”, but this is most certainly the case for this past year. Some of our highlights included: dancing with the elderly, playing hockey with disabled children, spending time with cats, knitting blankets, and the most memorable were all the great times that we spent with our fellow councillors. I could not be more grateful for our JJC teacher, Ms Hillowitz, who afforded us this opportunity of a lifetime. I have learnt more names in this one year than ever before, and every single member of our council from 2023 changed our experience for the better.
We are looking forward to attending our JJC Prom, which is on Saturday, 2 December and being able to celebrate all our achievements alongside the people who made this year special.
Although this past year is one we will forever cherish, it is time to move forward onto bigger and better dreams. We still intend to work closely with the service partners we have fostered relationships with throughout next year. We are also extremely excited to hand over our positions to Kirsten Lamb, who we know will continue our stellar legacy and relationship between Kingsmead College and the Johannesburg Junior Council.