Dear Kingsmead Community
I have been giving much thought as to how to support our girls in a time that is fraught with changes and in a society that does not seem to place much emphasis on real values. I came across the following articles lately that spoke to what we are doing at Kingsmead for our girls.
In a letter from the President of the National Coalition of Girls’ Schools Board of Trustees, Martha Perry writes the following:
“It is a complex time for girls and young women as they work to make sense of the world around them. As a result, it is an important time for our girls’ schools to support students as they learn and grow – particularly as we work to foster their independence, confidence and compassion.”
Dr Beverly Daniel Tatum, President Emerita of Spelman College and author of “Why are all the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? And Other Conversations About Race” reminds us of the following:
“the importance of speaking up and ensuring that from our youngest girls to oldest, they are supported and guided as they notice and learn about difference such that we are fostering environments that are equitable and inclusive.”
Dr Lisa Damour has challenged us to stop being critical of our girls’ use of language so that we can be more curious about it. She says: “Voice is not, and should not be, a unifying thing. [We must] aim to recognize all voices in a community and all of the voices in each girl,” such that they are able to challenge traditional structures in a way that best suits them and the situation.
I spent the half-term at the ISASA/SAHISA Conference and was inspired and motivated by many of the speakers:
Professor Lara Ragpot from UJ, challenged us to teach differently because of the way that children’s brains are wired. Her topic was “Are we educating children for the 4th industrial revolution?”
David Grier inspired us with his journeys running marathons across the world, for the Leadingsmile for Africa Foundation.
The breakaway sessions covered Community Involvement and Sustainability; Going Green; Managing the Media; Transformation and Diversity and School Based Community Hubs.
Professor Cheryl de la Rey – the Vice Chancellor and Principal of the University of Pretoria spoke to us about her journey at the university through “Transformation, Diversity and Social Cohesion.”
Finally, Justice Leona Theron (Judge of the Constitutional Court of South Africa) shared her personal journey in “Education: The Great Equaliser.” This was a most moving presentation in which Leona spoke of how her education had shaped her life.
I am delighted that I have been elected to represent the Heads of High Schools on the South African Heads’ Association (SAHISA) nationally. I am looking forward to making a contribution to the Independent Schools Association (ISASA) Council meetings in this role over the next four years.
I wish all our girls who are writing exams or are preparing for their exams, all the best over this time.
Head: Kingsmead College
The Importance of Exercise During Exams
Examinations are a stressful time for both parents and child. As a parent you may feel like your daughter should be spending every waking hour revising for their exams. However; in order for them to achieve great results and fulfill their potential from both a health and an academic perspective, they need to do more than sit behind a desk all day.
Movement triggers the release of hormones that have an important effect on the brain’s function. Below are a list of these hormones and their effects:
- Serotonin – boosts one’s mood and sleeping patterns
- Dopamine – aids learning and increases attention span
- Nor-epinephrine – increases motivation and mental stimulation.
When we exercise, the increased blood flow to the brain combined with the cocktail of these hormones improves the cognitive function and the ability to focus for longer periods of time. Research has also shown that regular exercise increases the size of the hippo-campus (memory retention).
So as a parent how can you assist your daughter to fit exercise into their busy schedule:
- Be flexible and find what works for them
Early morning session – increases their focus for the rest of the day
Lunch time workout – helps to break monotony of studying
Evening workout – helps to distress before bed time
- Short and intense workouts are more beneficial than long drawn out sessions
- Keep exercises simple – walk around the block; skipping; stretches in the garden or good old house hold chores.
Finally; that their mental performance is also determined by what they eat. Aim for plenty of nutrient dense fruits and veggies and don’t forget the omega-3 rich nuts and seeds.
Head of Sport – Junior School
Transformation, Diversity and Inclusion
This is my first Newsletter Article on Transformation and I am so excited about all that is happening with the different stakeholders of the school. We have a Parent Drive Team who are committed to walking this path with us and I thank them and encourage all parents to participate in our workshops and proposed meetings.
What has been happening thus far?
• After running a very thorough process we have TDI pupil reps in both schools and the representative in the Senior School sits on the Pupil Executive.
• Workshops with Central Transformation Committee members and the executive staff of the school have been held about setting a Transformation Charter in place.
• It was found that Service staff were being greeted by their first names and, while some Service staff do prefer that, this can be seen as unacceptable. Thus we started the conversation about what a greeting really is: it is about “seeing the other person” and acknowledging their presence. We do not heighten our greeting based on status, colour, age, importance or any other diversity marker. We greet and see the other person because they are human. The entire Campus is involved with the “Hello” Campaign which will be an ongoing campaign about valuing the other person’s presence, void of titles for now, but making connections with each other.
• We have looked at updating resources in the Library to include diverse literature, which will expose our girls to being open and prepared to discuss many areas of diversity.
• Girls have been in ongoing focus discussions throughout the year, and our Grade 11 Leaders had a most inspirational workshop with Obanewa Amponsah about how girls can facilitate conversations about Diversity and Inclusion.
• Staff are becoming more aware of Unconscious Bias and their role in the classroom where we have mindful images pasted up in staffrooms:
I encourage you to be mindful of the words by Dr.Seuss:
“ Why fit in when you were born to stand out?” and be conscious of this as we slowly pick up momentum in this important strategic initiative in the school.
Director of Transformation Diversity Inclusion
Grade 11 One-Act Plays
Since returning to school this term, the Grade 11 Drama class has been working furiously for their performances for the Grade 11 One-Act Plays, which took place on Wednesday, 17 October. The three plays – DNA by Dennis Kellly, The Most Massive Woman Wins by Madeleine George and No Exit by Jean-Paul Sartre – tackled topics such as bullying, body shaming and other issues that are prevalent within our society today. Long nights, weekends and public holidays were spent in rehearsal trying to make these plays as successful as possible. Time and thought went into the costume, set, lighting and sound. A big thank you must be given to some of the Grade 10 Drama students who helped with backstage and filled in roles, as well as Hannah Blunden for supporting one of the groups with tech. Although a lot of the weight of the work lay on the girls’ shoulders, Ms Cummins and Ms Phogole were always there to advise and support everyone. The night of the plays was a hit and with a sold-out audience, we have raised money for the Drama Department. It was a lengthy process that proved very tiring for everyone involved, but it all paid off thanks to all the support we received. Finally, a big thank you to the rest of the Drama class. Although we were in separate groups, everyone still remained supportive and respectful throughout the process. This was very successful and we have learnt so much from this student-driven project.
Tayla Schwegmann & Jessica Sureal-Lucas in The Most Massive Woman Wins
Natalya Meyerowitz in No Exit
Left to right – Mpanga Kheswa, Chloë Buchel, Kyra Burnett, Sara Feldman, Georgina Kelly & Rachel McKay in DNA
Head of Drama 2019
On Wednesday, 24 October, the Grade 10 Drama students left school to go to the Joburg Theatre and watch a production of Lara Foot’s Tshepang: The Third Testament, a play that tells the story of the horrible facts of poverty and the rape of children in South Africa. Although overwhelming and horrifying, the production was incredibly moving and powerful. There were only two characters on stage for the entire production, one of whom did not speak at all, yet both managed to keep the energy up and there was never a dull moment. After the play, the class stayed behind to ask the cast about the incredible performance they had put on. Both actors were down to earth and spoke from their hearts when talking about the brutality of the subjects dealt with in the piece. Overall, it was an incredible production that told a harrowing yet important story about the world we live in.
The Grade 10 Drama class having a photo moment in the foyer of the Joburg Theatre before the performance.
The Grade 10 Drama class meeting with actors Mncedisi Shabangu and Nonceba Constance Didi after the performance.
Emily van der Want
Grade 10 Student
We are so proud of our Grade 3 Choir who sang beautifully at the recent Choir Evening, ‘The Sound of Children’ and our Junior School Orchestra who performed brilliantly at the St Mary’s Ensemble Evening. Our Senior School Orchestra also performed successfully at the Cornwall Hill Orchestra Festival.
An enormous THANK YOU to all our parents who supported the Music Department this term and year. We appreciate your enthusiastic attendance at our events, encouragement and positive feedback
Director of Arts & Music
Congratulations to the following girls who have been selected to play in Provincial Water Polo teams:
Meghan Eddison (U14B); Caitlin Stott (U14A); Kimberley Sheridan (U16B); Gabriella Du Preez (U16B); Catherine Du Toit (U15B); Gabriella Staples (U15B); Nicola Gace (U16A); Jessica Bennett (U14B); Sophia Camacaro (U14B); Hannah Schleicher (U15A); Kate Galloway (U15A); Sarah Minnie (U16B); and Georgia Dodd (U15)
St Stithians 1st Team Tournament:
The 1st team competed at the St Stithians Stayer’s tournament which is the first tournament without all of the matrics. They managed to finish 3rd in their very tough group and progress to a play-off game for a potential quarter-final berth. The 1st team beat St Peter’s 4-3 in a tightly contest match and made it to the quarter-final where they unfortunately lost to St Stithians. They finished 8th overall which is a fantastic achievement for such a young team.
Roedean U14 Tournament:
The Kingsmead U14 team started off with a few tightly contested matches and finished 4th in their group. After a long weekend of water polo they narrowly lost (5-4) against St Mary’s to finish 14th out of 24 schools from around the country.
St Stithian’s U13 Tournament:
The Kingsmead U13 team showed great promise in the group stage of the tournament. They managed to defeat some traditional powerhouses and finished 2nd in their pool which included St Stithian’s, St Mary’s, Durban Girl’s College and others. They then beat St Mary’s Kloof in a quarter final 7-5 and progressed to the semi-final against Reddam Constantia. Unfortunately the team lost to Reddam and finished 4th in the tournament.
The Tennis leagues have been continuing in the third term as per normal and the Kingsmead teams have been playing very well. The AB team has not lost a fixture this term, and are currently leading their league. The CD team are also undefeated in their league. Both teams have one more league fixture to play. The girls are also very excited for the Junior Inter-High which involves the top 4 Grade 8/9 players. We have an A and a B team entered and wish them the best of luck.
Kingsmead College was fortunate enough to enter eighteen girls in the 2018 Gauteng Schools trials spanning across five championship age groups and a development age group. Ten of the divers placed in the top ten of their respective age categories and there were three girls who qualified for the Gauteng Schools team and two girls who were selected as reserves.
Mitali Lalla (Development Year 2)
Sarah Benning (Championship 15&16 Years)
Olivia Von Vollenhoven (Championship 17&18 Years)
Morgan Easter (reserve: Championship 11 Years)
Elis O’Mara (reserve: development Year 2)
The South African Schools competition brought together provincial schools teams from Gauteng and Kwazulu Natal. The Kingsmead girls represented their school fantastically, with all three placing in the medalist positions. Mitali Lalla, placed second and will be progressing to the championship division in 2019, Sarah Benning placed third and will be moving up an age group next year and Olivia Von Vollenhoven placed first by over 30 points
Kingsmead competed at the recent Inter High finishing 4th out of 8 schools. Here are some of the highlights:
Lauren Paton in 400m Open
Open relay team( Lauren Paton, Natalya Meyerowitz, Palesa Malebana, Jamie Lee Clogg )
Lauren Paton in 200m
Isabella Cockeran in 1500m
Shivani Vishwakarma in senior high jump
Cailin Otto in junior high jump and hurdles
Lara Gush in u14 long jump
Kelsey Cloete in u16 Hurdles, and 400m
Palesa Malebana in 200m
Sarah Benning in 400m
Emma Gouws in u15 long jump
Kelsey Cloete in u16 200m
Vutomi Mageza in open hurdles
Natalya Meyerowitz in 400m
Akini Lester in 100m
Abigail Behr in 100m
Tamryn Osler in hurdles
Director of Sport
GOODWILL DAY 2018
Goodwill Day 2018 epitomized the words of our founder DV Thompson: “Willing well, as against just wishing well, has an idea in it of doing something active for the welfare of another. Goodwill also means being willing to do everything in one’s power to bring good to other people, not only to those we love most and know best.”
The entrance donation was previously loved clothes in support of Clothes2Good, who buys and recycles second-hand clothing and sells it to microbusinesses. R5/kg will go towards Kingsmead College Service and R2/kg will be donated to Life Link 24/7 Cares. The Kingsmead community donated 1300kg of clothing.
Walk in Colour
The community participated in a 5-kilometer fun walk, sponsored by Nedbank, in aid of the Junior School Bursary fund. Thank you to the PTA who organised the Walk in Colour with such enthusiasm.
The Games area was once again a highlight of the day and nearly 1000 wrist bands were sold. Grade 8 and 9 students hosted carnival games as part of an EMS project.
Grade 10-12 students were all involved in various activities in aid of charity. This included hosting the tea garden and the haunted house, washing wind screens of cars as the visitors arrived and parked their cars, painting henna tattoos and doing face painting, selling cold drinks, books and flower crowns and assisting at A Few Grey Hairs.
Hosting visitors from Rays of Hope, Fight with Insight and Guild Cottage
It was a privilege to invite the reading buddies from Rays of Hope, the boxers from Fight with Insight and the girls from Guild Cottage to enjoy the day with us. The Kingsmead students hosted our visitors with wonderful hospitality and care. All visitors participated in marimba workshops, received a complimentary Games and Walk in Colour wristband as well as complimentary snacks and meals donated by vendors and the community. Fight with Insight was once again a force to be reckoned with in the boxing ring; not only did they demonstrate their boxing skills, they invited the community to join them in the boxing ring.
Thank you to all the parents, Indianapolis Spur and Purple Plate Catering who assisted in sponsoring meals to our visitors.
85th Birthday Celebration
Kingsmead’s 85th birthday was celebrated with a beautiful birthday cake shared with the visitors from Fight with Insight, Rays of Hope and Guild Cottage.
A Few Grey Hairs
One of the highlights of the day was the hair harvesting done for A Few Grey Hairs. 1286 ponytails were donated on Goodwill Day, which will enable A Few Grey Hairs to make 12 wigs for beneficiaries who have lost their hair due to cancer or other diseases.
Courage Arts Exhibition
Grade 8 and Art Club students participated in the Hearts of Courage Arts exhibition to raise funds for Courage partners. 85 paintings were created inspired by quotations on courage. Students donated the paintings to Courage and each 20x20cm painting represents a Courage Toolkit that will be donated to a child protection organisation to help them in their child protection efforts.
Bread Tags and Bottle Tops
Bread tags and bottle tops were weighed on Goodwill Day and we reached the target to donate the 10th wheelchair to a suitable beneficiary.
The following organisations were also invited to join us on Goodwill Day:
Paws R Us
SERVICE EXCURSION TO DLALA NJE
Thank you to everyone who supported the Book Drive earlier this year and the book stall at Goodwill Day to enable us to contribute to a library at the Dlala Nje community centre. We also enjoyed the beautiful view of Johannesburg from the 52nd floor of the Ponte Towers while visiting.
Director of Service
The President’s Award
We are thrilled to announce that President Cyril Ramaphosa accepted the role as Patron in Chief of The President’s Award for Youth Empowerment. The President’s Award office is in the process of moderating the backlog of submitted portfolios. Participants who completed a level of the programme will receive their certificates in the final awards assembly this year.
Upcoming Adventurous Journey: Outeniqua trail
The next Adventurous Journey (silver/gold) for The President’s Award is from 11-14 January 2019. We will be hiking the Outeniqua trail (located close to the Garden Route town of George) in the Eastern Cape.
Visit http://www.gardenrouteadventureguide.com/outeniqua-hiking-trail.html for more information. Please contact Jenny Venter for more information (firstname.lastname@example.org).
There are still places available to join the World Challenge expedition to Morocco in August 2019. For more information, please follow the link:
The President’s Award Leader
NATIONAL MARINE WEEK
The Green Team have embodied their passion for our oceans by celebrating National Marine Week in October.
They constructed an interesting display outside the Lange Hall, using blue string spun between two pillars, intricate handmade wire fish and interesting facts about the ocean and marine life. The project exemplified the team’s understanding of the sea and the creatures that dwell in it.
We look forward to the upcoming year in which the Green Team will be exploring more topics which relate to the environment and in using our creativity we will express our concerns and create an ongoing awareness in our school. So let us all learn from National Marine Week and be mindful of the ever-present footprint we leave on the environment.
Head of Green Team 2019