Dear Kingsmead Community,
The Jacarandas are in full bloom and magnificent. We said goodbye to our Matrics at an emotional Valedictory Chapel, Assembly and Brunch and have started their Final Examinations. We know that they are exceptionally well-prepared for these exams and that they will do Kingsmead proud. I wish them all the best for the weeks ahead.
The new leaders have assumed their duties and they presented their well-thought through “2020 Vision” to the school at an assembly. I am looking forward to working closely with this group of strong leaders over the next weeks and in the new year.
I was part of a panel discussion recently at the Primary School Heads’ Breakfast where Heads of various high schools spoke about what the primary schools could do to better prepare their students for the transition into high school. Interestingly, the high schools are all looking for skills, rather than subject knowledge or content of subjects. Of primary importance are skills like adaptability, flexibility, independence and an ability to work in a group and collaborate with others. We also discussed the anxiety around entrance exams and scholarships. It was a most worthwhile discussion and one that I hope to take forward with the Heads of High Schools in the new year.
The armed robbery in the car park last week has left us all shaken. We are grateful to the security for acting as they did to ensure that no-one was harmed. An incident like this always makes us take stock and re-evaluate our processes and procedures. We are in discussions with the PTA and the Council to look at the renovation of the entrances – particularly the Tyrwhitt Avenue entrance. We have also had a security audit and risk assessment conducted on the property and will be acting on this report.
I hope that you have all had a restful half term and that you are ready for the final weeks of the year.
Head: Kingsmead College
CORNWALL HILL ORCHESTRA FESTIVAL
Well done to our Jazz and Wind bands who performed brilliantly at the recent Cornwall Hill Orchestra Festival. We are proud of our bands, who have developed beautifully this year, performing challenging and exciting music with flair and confidence!
BORN TO PERFORM
Congratulations to Zoé Pruthab who took part in the ‘Born to Perform’ event at The Teatro at Monte Casino. Zoé is part of Stageworx Performing Arts School and was given the opportunity to audition to join the cast for ‘Born to Perform’. What a wonderful experience and privilege, to perform on a world-class stage in a live show of this calibre, working alongside professionals in the industry. We are proud of you, Zoé.
GRADE 11 ONE-ACT PLAYS
The Grade 11 Drama students have been hard at work on their performances. This student-driven project forms part of the girls’ academic curriculum, and also provides a space for the students to create work that is relevant and meaningful to them. The performances were staged entirely by the Grade 11 Dramatic Arts class. The process is guided by the staff in the Drama Department, but all final decisions on what and how to perform the pieces is entirely up to the girls. From finding a play to casting, rehearsals to lighting design; it’s all about a learning process for them to discover the joys and challenges of putting on their own plays. This year’s plays were riveting pieces that were brilliantly staged.
Directed by Emily Van der Want was ‘Status Update’; a non-traditional, epic-style play that questions everything – why we are here, what we know, what we don’t know and more. Directed by Rochelle Coetser was ‘[Blank]’; a series of unrelated scenes about adults and children impacted by the criminal justice system, and about how life feels when adults feel absent from it.
Thank you to Frances Wilmot and Rangoato Phogole for guiding the students through this successful process. And very well done to our Drama students for their time and efforts to deliver work of the highest standard.
Director of Arts & Music
The 1st team recently took part in the Old Mutual Cup and won their first 2 matches. We look forward to their next round in January 2020.
The following girls have qualified to attend Nationals and we would like to wish them the best of luck.
Kingsmead recently participated in the Sun City Tournament involving schools from all over the country. We took both an A and B team, involving girls from Grade 8 to Matric. It was an excellent way for girls from different grades to get to know each other better and spend time together in a more interesting context. Jessica Bennet, Grade 9, managed to win every one of her singles matches, which is no small feat in such a competitive tournament and the Grade 8s who usually play in a lower team held up very well. The games were difficult and we were all very exhausted by the end of it, but it was the perfect way for the Matrics to end their tennis career and for the Grade 8s to become more integrated into the team.
At the recent Gauteng Championships, the following girls were selected for the following:
Ellis O’Mara and Katherine Jones were selected for the Development team.
Georgina Spalding is a reserve for the u14 team and Sarah Benning won her section and is selected for the u17/u18 Gauteng team.
At Nationals, Sarah Benning finished 1st in her age group.
Director of Sport
French exchange with the Lycée Français Jules Vernes
The journey to transformation goes hand in hand with exploring and connecting with other cultures. Kingsmead College embarked on this journey a few years ago and we believe that a language is a powerful tool to reach out and start communicating and exchanging with the different cultures surrounding us.
In Term 2, we had the opportunity to visit the French School in Morningside with our Grade 10 students and we immediately realised that the Lycée Français is a vibrant example of a small rainbow nation representing 72 nationalities.
What started as a simple visit became an adventure.
Our Kingsmead students quickly connected with the learners from the International Section of the Lycée Jules Verne and shared lessons, meals and laughter. They spent a wonderful day together and didn’t want the experience to stop there.
In Term 3, our school invited 18 French students, their Head of Pastoral and their maths teacher to join us for a day and experience our unique schooling system.
They were in for a mind-blowing day. They attended classes under the care of our Grade 10 learners and – from all teachers’ accounts – participated actively in every lesson.
The isiZulu period was transformed into a true cultural experience by Mama Mabaso, during which the Frenchies were not only treated to Tokoloshe salts and fatcakes, but also received beaded key rings for their effort in trying to say igama lami ngu …
Needless to say, the boys were the center of everybody’s attention and it was fantastic to see them try their best to sow a cushion under the watchful eye of our consumers students in Ms. Masetlwa’s class.
The 2 members of staff from Lycée Jules Verne were impressed by the atmosphere of mutual respect between students and teachers and by our academic standard as well as by the quality of teaching. It is interesting to note that our Grade 10 students had to assist their French peers who were struggling to follow the Physics lesson. Moreover, Cédric, the maths teacher, would like to visit us more often to engage with our excellent Mathematics Department. They also enjoyed that classes were taking place in our beautiful gardens and witnessed the creativity of the Grade 9s who were creating a model of the respiratory system with recycled bottles.
We would like to thank every member of the Kingsmead staff involved in this adventure for welcoming these boys and girls so kindly and generously.
So, our own journey into change seems to be leading us into new and exciting adventures. This exchange has inspired both them and us to try to collaborate in other spheres of the school, such as Sport (Basketball Team), Culture (Drama Project) and Service.
Let us dare to change and get more outside of our comfort zone. It can indeed be daunting but so rewarding.
Senior School French Teacher
GROWTH CURRICULUM – SCIENCE
“Education is not learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think” -Albert Einstein. This term the Grade 8s have been growing and exploring new information and skills in the Youth Club module. Consisting of art, science and life orientation, this module is teaching us about female artists and reproduction as well as exploring topics such as self-identity. Recently in science, we worked interdependently in groups to inquire and research a specific STI or female reproductive disorder. We then presented this to the class, exploring ways of eﬀectively collaborating and sharing information with the class in ways that make them excited about learning, using techniques such as making it visual, interactive, rewarding and fun. We are excited to continue learning and exploring this module with exciting projects to come such as painting a microscopic image in art, working with colour schemes and painting techniques and continuing to learn about and discuss the diﬀerent aspects of teen identity in life orientation. The teachers have created a collaborative and fun learning environment, where we develop skills that are applicable to our current and future lives, because of this we are thoroughly enjoying our Youth Club module this term and look forward to continued learning.
Grade 8 Student
GROWTH CURRICULUM – ELEMENTS OF EXISTENCE
This term, as Grade 9s, we have focused on exploring the respiratory system in the life sciences component of Elements of Existence. We have taken part in three major practical lessons that have been an exciting and enriching experience.
The first of these practicals was a dissection of a sheep’s lung. Some of us kept ourselves at a safe distance from the lump of flesh in front of us, however (inevitably) at least one person in every group had to pick up that scalpel. As surprised as we were, many of us ended up enjoying the experience thoroughly. And in the end it proved to be an eye-opening and extremely fascinating lesson. We experienced how we could apply what we had learned in previous lessons to a practical experience in order to learn better.
The second practical required us to simulate the process of breathing using a 2L plastic bottle, a balloon, some cling wrap, one straw, Prestik and elastic bands. Using these materials we created a “chest cavity” and set of “lungs”. We watched in amazement when we moved the cling wrap up and down and the balloon inflated and deflated, much like our lungs do when we breathe. This helped us to understand how our bodies use physics to their advantage in order to help us breathe effectively.
To secure our knowledge of the lungs even better, we took part in yet another interesting lesson. One which required a virtual reality app, called Curiscope, and quite an interesting t-shirt, called a Virtuali-Tee. One member of the group put on the t-shirt and another opened up the app and turned the camera towards the t-shirt. As the iPad’s camera picked up the QR code printed design on the garment, our screens lit up with the inside of a human and all their organs (exactly in the place of where our friend’s upper torso was shown. We used this to embark on a virtual tour of the respiratory system. The app even allowed us to explore inside an alveolus (a tiny air sac inside the lungs).
Overall, we have explored life sciences this term with wide eyes and looks of deep intrigue. It has been such an excitement-filled term and we are almost sad to see it coming to an end.
Grade 9 Student
2019 APPLE EXCELLENCE IN EDUCATION AWARDS – KINGFISHER
For the 2018 Kingfisher Advertising Awards, the Grade 9 students were given the task of creating an advertisement for one of the Kingsmead College values. We are proud to announce that the advertisement created for the Kingsmead value of ‘Sharing’, made by Akinyi Lester, Radiyyah Dadabhai, Fatima Mohomed and Caitlin McBean, won the Grade 8 – 9 Curriculum Challenge category in the 2019 Apple Excellence in Education Awards. The Awards hosted by iStore and Think Ahead Education Solutions took place on Wednesday 23 October at ‘The Venue’ at Melrose Arch. Well done to the team that created this award-winning advertisement!
2019 SACEE CREATIVE WRITING COMPETITION
The SACEE Creative Writing Competition is open to all secondary school students in South Africa and the adjudicator of the competition is the highly-respected South African novelist, Jane Fox.
We are proud to announce that Lucy Clegg received two awards in this year’s competition: a silver certificate in the Senior Poetry category and a gold certificate in the Senior Short Story category. Jane Fox was fascinated by Lucy’s story telling ability, commenting on her proficiency with language and the intriguing twist regarding the narrator’s ‘imaginary’ best friend. Fox made note of the cleverness of Lucy’s writing and subtle rhyme scheme and structure of her poem. Well done, Lucy!
I would like to extend a commendation to the other Kingsmead students who participated in this year’s competition. The English department encourages our young writers to continue to persevere and participate. The entries in this year’s competition were of an exceptionally high standard. 2020 will be another opportunity to delve into and develop our creativity and enthusiasm.
Senior School Art and English Teacher
Goodwill Day was a wonderful day of celebrating our community engagement partners and the school’s birthday. The day started with a Walk in Colour proudly sponsored by Nedbank and the rest of the programme was jam packed with exciting activities for the entire family. The PTA hosted a lovely brunch garden where parents could enjoy the rugby and live music.
With the entrance fee of gently worn clothes, the Kingsmead community donated 1.3 tons of clothing to Clothes To Good.
Visitors from Fight with Insight, Rays of Hope and Guild Cottage enjoyed complimentary meals, received sponsored wristbands for the activities on the day and participated in marimba workshops.
Thank you to everyone who supported our community partners by donating hair for A Few Grey Hairs, feeding bunnies from The Bunny Hop Haven, boxing with Fight with Insight, supporting the SANBS blood drive and enjoying the Courage arts exhibition. Other organisations that were represented on the day included Park Care, JAM, The Society for Animals in Distress, Dignity Dreams, Mina Foundation and Community Hours.
The Senior School students played an active part in Goodwill Day, with each grade taking responsibility for various activities. These activities included carnival games, a haunted house, stalls, a tea garden and hosting partner organisations and visitors on the day. All funds raised are donated to our community engagement partners.
Director of Service
On Saturday 19 October, 9 Senior School students and 2 staff participated in the annual Spruit Day. The team joined the well-organised clean-up near the Delta Café bridge. Despite the extreme heat, they managed to complete 3 community service hours and filled lots of bags with rubbish.
It was wonderful to see so many people helping to pick up rubbish and parents educating their small children about being responsible citizens.
Head of Green Team
Kingsmead’s 86th birthday celebration earlier this month at Goodwill Day was certainly one to remember. The day’s many successes included the Blood Drive. A record number of donors aided the cause on this occasion; a total of 51 people, excluding those who attempted to donate but were unfortunately diﬀered for medical reasons. Tickets for the Peer Promoter raﬄe were sold on the day, with the prize being an SANBS hamper valued at around R500. The question included in this year’s raﬄe was “How many litres of blood are there in the human body?” (The answer being 4,5 – 5,5 litres). Congratulations to our winner, Saartjie Venter. A huge thank you to the SANBS for donating the hamper, enabling all proceeds from the raﬄe to go towards the Peer Promoter Fund for future initiatives and Blood Drives. We would also like to extend our gratitude to all who participated and helped ensure the success of the day. We hope to see you again, along with many new faces, at our Blood Drives in 2020.
Grade 10 Peer Promoter