OKA Newsletter: June 2019

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A note from Kirsten Legg

Head of the OKA

As I write to you today I’m so grateful for the past 5 and a half years of leading the OKA.  I have met the most amazing, dynamic and successful old girls in every sphere of life. I had the privilege of hosting 15 events and which have brought in so much needed funds to support old girls’ children within the school as well as other pupils needing financial support already attending Kingsmead.

The most special “Night @ the Oscars” event on the 2ndof March was a magnificent connection of parents and their daughters who danced the night away, whilst winning Oscars and dining whilst being surrounded by Oscars and gold décor.

 

The Bridge Drive in the second term on the 6thof August will be a wonderful time for present parents of Kingsmead and the OKA body to connect around bridge tables.  Looking forward to seeing as many of you there as possible.

The Old Girls luncheon will take place on the 14thof September in the spectacular gardens of Kingsmead from 12h30. Please round up your class for an afternoon of continuous chatter and reflection.

The new OKA Constitution will be presented here, a document that ensures the beliefs, values and ethos of Kingsmead are maintained in years to come.

I had the privilege of going to the Ed Sheeran concert in March. Some of his songs gave me an idea about the journey of life that I would like to share with you in closing.

During the past year your council has been “Thinking out loud”. A tremendous amount of time has been spent on a transformation and diversity document of intent.  Kingsmead is very aware of the need to address these areas of change that are necessary.  A very well thought out OKA Constitution and transformation document has been drawn up too, thanks to Advocate Lara Grenfell SC.  Then the song title “Photograph” made me think back of our days at Kingsmead. One of the only physical memories we have are our school photographs especially for those living abroad.  We thought we were quite cool with our light green shirts, our bottle green rolled skirts and brown shoes and socks, crazy fringes over one eye and pill box hats.

I wish I could go back in life to various dates and times in my life.  I think we would all have enjoyed school years even more if we could have known the future.

Kingsmead is like “A castle on a hill” to me. It stands out in every way.  Academic excellence, service to the community, spiritual values and ethos, sporting achievements and culture performances in a league of their own.

In closing the song “Perfect” reminded me that we must always give of our best in everything we are doing, be it at work, parenting, grand-parenting, caring or in our marriages, life will never be perfect but as long as we see life as a gift and make the most of every day, then I think we can say we have achieved a lot.  “Be a nuisance where it counts” – continue to fight for what you hold dear and believe in.

I have great pleasure in introducing Caroline Berry and Lara Buttifant-Sewel to you, your new OKA chairladies.

 

 

Caroline Berry –

I matriculated in 1990 from Kingsmead College and went to do a Cordon Bleu cookery course for a year, during that time I started helping at the old TMI children’s hospital helping at the visually impaired and Autistic Centre which took me in the direction of teaching, I did a Montessori teachers course through London and started teaching special needs children.  I started Caroline in the Kitchen Catering which has grown into a lovely business. I am married with two girls at Kingsmead.  Emma in Grade 5 and Lucy in Grade 2. I loved my years at Kingsmead and so special to be back and part of the Kingsmead community and seeing how Kingsmead has continued to grow over the years into the beautiful nurturing school it still is today.

 

Lara Buttifant Sewel –

I matriculated in 1989 from Kingsmead College and went on to do A levels which included Business Economics.

My husband and I have a Kitchen and Cabinetry Manufacturing Company and have three children, 2 boys and a daughter in Grade 10 at Kingsmead.

I have served on the SGB at Casa Do Sol School for Special Needs for 9 years, whilst my son has been a learner there.I am delighted to be playing a role in the Kingsmead OKA as for me it is a place of happy memories and friendships that have spanned some 40 years.

 

“Of all the things that I hear most often said about Kingsmead – is that it is such a happy place.  There is a spirit of comradeship among staff and girls, which impresses itself upon people as soon as they come here.  That is a priceless treasure and it does not come, nor does it stay, without effort – that effort to give and take, that effort to see that newcomers are welcomed and made to feel at home, that realisation that everyone of us is in the same boat and that everyone of us, from the highest to the lowest is responsible for keeping the ship sailing smoothly and strongly. D V Thompson”

God bless you all.

Kirsten Legg

OKA Chairlady

A note from Kim Lowman

Head of the Junior School

 

Finding the Common Thread in Education from the Past to the Present and then the Future.

It is an interesting time to be in education. Educational offerings in South Africa are incredibly diverse and often a ‘hot topic’ of conversation. It is possibly time for us to look deeper into the purpose of education, the possibility of real influence and impact we as schools can have for the future of our society.

Schools are a microcosm of society; and that we know is certainly complex. Students are actively engaged in so many webs of information, debate and constructive dialogue. From a young age, young people are learning to identify truth and possibility. Our children have many teachers: Their parents, caregivers and guardians; their siblings; online virtual communities; friends; media and of course schools. This leads to extraordinary opportunities for diverse interaction, opinion and perspective. Imagine seeking truth as a child with so many diverse, contrasting perspectives. This is the world we live in; rich in opinion and debate.

How is it that we can find a common thread in education, within classrooms and homes, for our students so that we can continue to raise children who contribute meaningfully to society?

How is it that we can all encourage our children to value difference and find a way to know that opinion is not seen without substantiation, interrogation and fact. To illustrate this let me use an example: 20 years ago, our teachers would tell us to turn to page 22 of the textbook and read the paragraph on “healthy eating”. I can still see the food pyramid and a few facts on nutrition. Today when this topic is raised in a classroom it is fully debated. Input from the latest health trends and fitness philosophies appear in social media feeds, visual media, the internet, fitness centers, health shops, granny’s opinion, etc. Our girls explore options, listen to professionals, design menus, and test hypotheses. Fact no longer exists in one or two sources. This is the gift in learning today.

We call for parents, staff and past students to be active contributors to the education of our children. It’s not okay anymore to ‘drop and go’ and hope that education begins and ends in a classroom. It’s a certainty that the education afforded to our children at Kingsmead is exceptional, progressive and relevant. We teach children to ask good questions, look for alternatives and justify their standpoint from an early age. I have no doubt that our girls take this approach to learning, home too.

I interact daily with some of our “Old Kingsmeadians” and am so grateful for their insight and their stories. My wish is that we would take the time to share more of these stories of success as we build a community of strong, influential women. We need women to stand up and be the voice for our children, to encourage girls that there is always possibility and hope as we seek the truth. It is common knowledge that education has changed over time and needs to change. John Dewey writes that, “if we teach today’s students as we taught yesterday’s, we rob them of tomorrow”. Change in education is expected and necessary. The influence of our “Old Girls” is not then about what you know but in about how it helped you grow.

And so the common thread, that exists within our community for the education of our children, is notwith the educational changes and trends but in something that lies far deeper.

The common thread from the past to the present and then to the future, I believe, must be firmly grounded in the valuesshared and practiced within the Kingsmead community.

Values transcend classrooms, homes and the workplace and ensure that the holistic, values-based education offered today will be the hope for tomorrow. Our values: Purpose, Possibility, Service, Responsibility, Happiness and Courage, raised girls of influence in the past and will continue to raise girls in the same way for our future. Thank you to our community for investing in these values- our common thread of influence.

Kingsmead girls, past and present are encouraged to find purpose, for which you accept responsibility. Search for possibility to serve your community and invest in the happiness of our Kingsmead family.

Kim Lowman

(Head: Kingsmead Junior School)

 

Congratulations to the Matric Class of 2018!

The 2019 Leaders

Saartjie Venter (Deputy Headmistress), Laura Hudson (Deputy Headgirl), Lisa Kaplan (Headmistress), Tuana Güler (Headgirl), Sharekha Banwa (Deputy Headmistress), Eryn La Fleur (Deputy Headgirl).

 

Bronwen Roberts (Timlin House), Sarah Storey (Timlin House), Tracey Minnie (Grade Coordinator), Natalya Meyerowitz (Kruger House), John Allen (Kruger House ), Hannah Blunden (Baker House) Renee Viviers (Baker House).

 

Back Row: Elsabè Fourie (Director of Arts and Music), Robert Pullen (Director of Sports), Jenny Venter (Director of Service)

Front Row: Alexandra Whittaker (Head of Music), Ntsoaki Masinga (Head of Sports), Katlego Kgomari (Head of Service)

Sue-Ann Mabaso (Head of TDI), Ranyah Patel (Head of TDI), Sharekha Banwa (Director of TDI)

 

Kingsmead Book fair 2019

Read and Rise at Kingsmead Book Fair

The annual Kingsmead Book Fair was held on 25 May 2019. The rich and diverse programme included more than 140 authors participating in over 50 sessions throughout the day in an adult, young adult and children’s programme. The theme for this year was ‘Read and Rise’, a fitting theme for an event that coincided with Africa Day.

 

The event would not have been possible without the support of our incredible sponsors, namely 702, Porcupine Ridge, Timberland, and Standard Bank Wealth and Investment, we are hugely grateful for their commitment to the Book Fair.

 

One of the aims of the Kingsmead Book Fair’s Outreach programme is to offer entrance and session tickets to various organisations and reading groups that otherwise might not have had the means to attend. Some of the beneficiaries of the programme this year included St Vincent’s School for the Deaf, Bukho Bami, the Sizanani Mentorship Programme, Rays of Hope and the Alexandra Education Committee.

 

In addition to literary appetites being satiated there was lots on offer in terms of food and drink stalls as well as the Exclusive Books pop-up store where you were able to buy all the visiting authors’ books and have them signed. The feedback received has been overwhelmingly positive, making it clear that the day was a resounding success.

Visit our website for some interviews with visitors and a video with the highlights of the day.

 

https://kingsmead.co.za/bookfair/our-favourite-things-2019/

https://kingsmead.co.za/bookfair/gallery-2/kingsmead-book-fair-2019/

Alex Bouche

Director of Marketing

 

Upcoming Events

Bridge Drive

 

OKA Lunch

 

Dear Kingsmead alumni,

We would love to receive news and updates from the Kingsmead Old Girls the world over. Please could you email kingsmeadOKA@gmail.com with:

Full name

Maiden name

Year of matriculation

Contact details

Any news you may have of your own or news of other old girls that you would like to share.

Please pass this mail on to anyone you may know who may not be on our database. We look forward to hearing from you and sharing your news.

 

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