Dear Kingsmead Community,
There is always a reason to celebrate!
We closed our first academic semester on Friday and hope your half-term break has started well. I have reflected on all that we have to celebrate while reading academic reports last week. Thank you to our teaching staff, parents and guardians for walking the path of learning with our girls. I am so incredibly proud of all they have achieved in these short 6 months of the year. I do hope that you took the opportunity during the Student-Led Conferences and the parent interviews to celebrate and find joy in effort, determination and courage.
On 16 June we were fortunate enough to celebrate Youth Day. It is important at this time to commemorate a time in history where our youth, our South African students, had the courage to stand up for what they believed to be the answer to a better education for all; an education which would be more accessible for all; an education that would give equal opportunity for all. I am hopeful that while we took time to enjoy this public holiday, we also reflected on the opportunities given to our community and the possibility that lies ahead. It is our calling as educators to serve the future through our youth. It is our responsibility as adults, to plant the seed of hope and courage within the minds and hearts of the children we are here for daily. Perhaps through this, they too will find the courage to make a difference. May we seek each day to inspire the youth; for these children are the future of our nation.
Thank you too to our dads, granddads, uncles and familiar father figures who make a difference each day for our children. You play an integral role in the lives of our children and we are grateful for all you do to show up and lean in. I hope that you too were celebrated this Fathers’ Day!
Please take the time to read the newsletter this week. It is a bumper addition, filled with so much valuable information.
With love and Courage Always,
Head: Kingsmead Junior School
The Power of Authentic Praise: Fostering Growth Mindset and Engagement in Learning
There is a long-held belief, both within the home and classroom, that praising a child boosts self-esteem and automatically leads to greater engagement with learning.
More recent research, however, has revealed that praise per se does not always have the anticipated effects and, under certain circumstances, can be detrimental to a long-term association with learning. For renowned educational psychologist and author, Carol Dweck, the crucial elements of effective praise are what is praised and how praise is given.
In their research with over 400 students ranging from pre-school to university, Dweck and her team discovered that commending ability is more likely to lead to the development of a fixed mindset, where the belief is that intelligence is a fixed and restricted commodity. You have what you have and that’s it. So what should we be praising our children for?
Dweck found that the most effective praise was specific and directly linked to effort and strategies. Those applauded for effort are more likely to take a risk which will challenge them. They are not afraid of making mistakes and are undaunted by their intelligence and how ‘smart’ they may, or may not, look to others. Furthermore, praising effort is more likely to foster a Growth Mindset, where people understand that their abilities and potential can change and grow with determination and perseverance. Research findings suggest that praising effort leads to greater engagement in learning where children perceive challenges and making mistakes as opportunities, fostering strategies for success. However, those praised for their ability to set performance goals focused solely on an end product. In addition, those praised for effort continued to enjoy and persist when challenged, which in turn improved their performance. In contrast enjoyment, persistence, performance and intrinsic motivation decreased in those praised for ability.
Here are some tips from Carol Dweck on how to effectively give praise authentically and successfully:
Avoid giving vague praise, such as ‘well done’, ‘good job’, without attaching some idea of what you are praising or why. Instead give specific feedback: what is it about the piece of work or the way they have approached a task? “You came up with some really interesting strategies to solve that Mathematics problem, well done.”
Avoid associating praise or criticism to personal traits such as ‘clever girl’. Young children, in particular, quickly equate being ‘good’ with being ‘clever’. Therefore, when faced with a challenge or an obstacle, the perception is that they are ‘dumb’ so therefore they must be ‘bad’. Instead, give specific praise about what they have accomplished even when they have only managed to carry out a partial instruction. The effort is important so look for, acknowledge and value it.
Avoid praising intelligence to acknowledge success. This communicates to a child that they are primarily valued for their intellect and, instead of progressing in their learning, children focus upon maintaining their self-esteem by always looking and feeling intelligent. Consequently, they stick to tasks that ensure success. Effort is viewed as a weakness and challenging tasks, which are considered a risk to their perceived ability, are rather avoided. Instead, place equal emphasis on the process. If they have done well in a test or particular task, acknowledge it and focus, for example, on their study skills, perseverance, concentration or determination.
Avoid boasting about only finished work or work that is ‘perfect’ and worthy of display. Instead, be prepared to display work in progress or work that is finished as far as the child is concerned. This values both progress and process.
Avoid focusing on task completion or the end product as the most important success criteria for giving praise. Children who doubt that they can complete a task or believe their work will be judged as ‘not good enough’ are likely to avoid these tasks. Instead, acknowledge the effort and attempt. Measure success by the effort involved in the work/task and the strategies/skills employed, regardless of where they are in terms of completion.
Avoid giving praise followed by a “you’ve done well but you could have done better if…”. This type of conversation contradicts any positive feedback and produces a sense that no matter how much effort is invested, it’s never going to be enough.
Parents, I invite you to support our efforts within the classroom by reinforcing authentic praise at home. Encourage your daughters to view mistakes as opportunities to grow, and emphasise the value of perseverance and effort. Together, let us instil in our children the belief that their journey is unique and that personal growth is the ultimate measure of success. By focusing on effort, process, strategies, and improvement, we will unlock the full potential of our children and witness them soar to new heights. We want our children to be brave enough to question, challenge, try again and come up with new ideas and creations.
I leave you with words from Albert Einstein, “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new”. Let our children’s learning journey, with setbacks, triumphs and all, be part of what leads them to discovering a new tomorrow!
Deputy Head: Head of Academics and Innovation
Support at Kingsmead – Differentiation and Learning
Differentiation and Learning at Kingsmead Junior School consists of an experienced team of professionals who endeavour to offer academic, social and emotional support for our students. The roles and responsibilities are collaborative in nature, and supports the learning opportunities of all of our students in our environment.
In line with our school ethos that the “individual matters first and foremost,” we aspire to provide a differentiated curriculum to address all needs. In order to achieve this initiative, we have a Learning Specialist within the Junior Primary and Senior Primary, who collaborate with the teachers to ensure differentiated learning is taking place within the classrooms. These specialists attend various lessons and work closely alongside our individual students, meeting the students where they are at. They too, scaffold and enhance her learning journey with more individualized techniques and methods.
Sometimes our students may require specialised support in order to develop holistically and an ISP (Individual Support Plan) may be put in place. Although, students who experience difficulties will be supported in the classroom; we also have a team of external therapists to meet their specific needs.
As part of the schools offering, our Learning Specialists and Educational Psychologist will provide support for both the students and teachers. We are fortunate to have a team of specialists who work in private practice onsite, alongside our School Based Support Team. However, if you as parents/guardians would like to refer to external therapists/support offsite, we welcome this too. The professional team consists of Occupational, Speech and Remedial Therapists. If we feel that there are certain aspects of your daughter’s development that may require specialised attention the teacher will arrange a meeting with you, to collaborate and find solutions and alternatives. Through this process our aim is to identify and develop all our students’ strengths.
Support in the Junior Primary
Mornington Grade 000 – 0
This is led and managed by Carmen Renshaw and Deputy Head, Saadia Ebrahim. Carmen is timetabled to work in each class during the week. She works closely with the class teachers in Mornington to develop expressive and receptive language skills as well as perceptual skills. She is also timetabled to provide Mathematics support in Grade 0 and Saadia assists with the phonics and pre-reading skills. Learning support takes place in small groups, individual sessions or in class support.
Support Grade 1 – 3
This is led and managed by Lauren Baines-Fourie and Deputy Head, Saadia Ebrahim. Lauren is timetabled to work in each class during the week. She works closely with the class teachers to provide consolidation and enrichment in all learning areas for our students. Saadia assists with the phonics and reading skills in Grade 2. Learning support takes place in small groups, individual sessions or in class support.
Support in the Senior Primary
This is led and managed by Ntombizodwa Manyike and Deputy Head, Tarryn McLaren. Ntombizodwa works closely with the Mathematics and English departments to work on developing foundational skills within these core subjects. She offers extra lessons where necessary as well as organisation and study skills with the senior years.
Our SELF within the Senior Primary is timetabled and allows for in-classroom support and stretch for an hour a week, from Grades 5 – 7. These lessons allow the students to ask their teacher for assistance to clarify and consolidate any content or skills. Furthermore, while some students seek being challenged by taking their learning beyond what was done in within the lesson.
Yours in Support,
Deputy Head: Junior Primary
Deputy Head: Senior Primary
It takes a village to raise a child
“It takes a village to raise a child.” The meaning of this adage was once again brought to mind during Child Protection Week (CPW) which took place from 29 May to 5 June this year. CPW has been an important fixture on the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) calender since 1997.
The aim of the CPW was to raise awareness about the rights, needs and vulnerabilities of children, as well as an opportunity to educate and remind us of the crucial role we all play in safeguarding children’s well-being. This year’s theme was ‘Let us Protect Children during Covid-19 and Beyond’.
Much has been discussed, debated and written about Covid-19, and the impact thereof on our lives in ways we never thought possible. As mentioned in a previous newsletter article, research indicates, that when compared to adults, children are more vulnerable to the emotional impact of traumatic events which disrupt their daily lives.
As a school, Kingsmead College is very aware of the role educators play in the emotional well-being of our students, and to this effect the Junior School staff recently underwent training on safeguarding schools. We were each required to deeply reflect on our role in the lives of your daughters, as well as the role of various role-players within a child’s system. It was highlighted that, in fact, the role of teachers is not unlike that of a parent.
In his book, Family First, Dr Phillip McGraw dedicates a chapter to the five factors for a phenomenal family, in which he explains how each family member is a star in their own right. Dr McGraw describes a phenomenal family as a healthy family, in which each person’s well-being is advanced and protected for the benefit of the entire family. One of the five factors for a phenomenal famiy is being active in communication. According to Dr McGraw the greatest gift we can give children are our ears and voice – active communication; meaningful dialogue which considers a child’s need for acceptance, self-respect, encouragement and security, as part of our daily practice.
Dr McGraw encourages us to ‘talk about the little things that don’t matter’ – to talk about the ‘little’ things, such as what happens in a child’s day. Practising speaking about little things helps to form stronger bonds and keeps the lines of communication open, for when we need to speak about the things that do matter. He also encourages us to tune into a child’s world – it’s not the ‘what’ that we necessarily need to seek to understand, but rather, what should be important to us as adults, is that it’s important to them as a child. Tuning in helps us to know what is going on in a child’s life, heart and mind.
Embracing these values and working together as “a village”, Kingsmead Junior School and parents continue to create an experience for our children of being loved, nurtured, valued and given everything they need to go out into the world as capable, healthy and self-confident individuals.
• McGraw, P. (2004). Family First. Free Press, NY.
Youth Day in South Africa: Honoring the Past, Empowering the Future
Youth Day is celebrated every year, on 16 June. It is a time to remember the bravery and sacrifice of those who fought for the rights of South African youth. It serves as a reminder of the importance of education, equal opportunities, and the empowerment of young people in shaping the future of the nation. Youth Day in South Africa is not only a remembrance of the past but also a celebration of the potential and power of the country’s youth in building a brighter and more inclusive future.
Rise, Youth of South Africa
Rise, youth of South Africa, with hearts ablaze,
On this hallowed day, let your voices raise.
In Soweto’s streets, history did unfold,
A spark of courage, a story to be told.
June 16, a day of both pain and pride,
When you took a stand, side by side.
Against oppression’s chains, you dared to fight,
For education’s freedom, shining so bright.
From the classrooms filled with hope and dreams,
You emerged as heroes with powerful screams.
With placards raised and voices strong,
You marched together, united, against all wrong.
In the face of injustice, you stood tall,
Defying the odds, breaking apartheid’s wall.
The world watched in awe as you took a stand,
Inspiring a nation, igniting a demand.
Today, we honour your sacrifice and strife,
Your bravery, resilience, and boundless life.
For you are the architects of a better land,
Guiding us towards a future so grand.
On this Youth Day, let us remember the past,
And the lessons learned, forever to last.
Let us build on the dreams of those who came before,
Creating a South Africa we can all adore.
Rise, youth of South Africa, embrace your might,
With passion and purpose, shining so bright.
Together we shall forge a nation so true,
Where equality and justice forever renew.
So let your voices echo through the years,
A symphony of change, dispelling all fears.
For on this Youth Day, we celebrate your worth,
The champions of progress, the hope of rebirth.
In unity, we shall march forward as one,
A future filled with promise, yet to be won.
Rise, youth of South Africa, let your spirits soar,
For the dreams of tomorrow are yours to explore.
Arts & Music
🪘Kingsmead & Pridwin African Music Evening
At the start of this year, Kingsmead started our own African Music Ensemble, which had their inaugural performance at our annual African Music Evening held in collaboration with Pridwin. The event showcased a variety of African music genres, presented by our choirs and ensembles, including the Grade 4-7 Marimba bands, Junior School Orchestra, Glee and Choir. The evening concluded on a high note with a wonderful mass item.
🎵 Masicule Sonke Choir Festival
We were delighted to host our annual Masicule Sonke Choir Festival over two evenings last week, which proved to be a memorable occasion. Besides Kingsmead, seven other schools participated in this wonderful celebration of choir singing. Kingsmead’s performance was fantastic, and we are so proud of our Choir girls. To get a glimpse into the highlights of this event, click on the link below.
🎞️ Click here to watch
📆 Save the Date!
One strange night, an extraordinary event unfolded as a celestial body descended from the heavens. The remarkable Kingsmead star captivated the attention of all who witnessed its descent. Embark on a thrilling journey alongside the Grade 7s of 2023 as they unveil a remarkable truth—that courage resides within each and every one of us, regardless of our individual identities.
The Grade 7 students will have three performances from 11 – 13 July 2023.
Tuesday, 11 July: 15h00 – 16h00 ~ Matinee Performance
Wednesday, 12 July: 18h30-19h30 ~ Opening Night
Thursday 13 July: 18h30-19h30 ~ Gala Evening
Click link below to buy your tickets.
🎟️Book your tickets
R100 for Adults & R50 for students.
Tickets will also be available at the doors before all three shows.
All performances will take place in the Joel Hall.
🍔The PTA will sell food, snacks and drinks before the start of each event.
Don’t miss this special event!
The 2nd part of the term is always an exciting one with all our concerts ahead. Music concerts provide an opportunity for individual music students who have a piece ready to perform for their friends and families. Please note the following:
- If your daughter will be participating in a concert, her music teacher will notify you.
- Students will only perform if they have a piece ready to play in front of an audience at the time of the concert. It can be scary to play for a big group of people, so we only include students who are absolutely ready. It can be devastating to a young person if their performance does not go well. Please trust your daughter’s music teacher when they decide not to enter your daughter. There are always more opportunities:
o We plan to have a concert for each grade next term to make it possible for every music student in our department to perform this year.
o Class concerts provide a chance for students to perform for their class friends in a music lesson.
o We also have individual performances at some assemblies.
- Should your daughter take lessons outside of Kingsmead and would like to participate in a school concert, please contact Mia Loock via email: email@example.com
- Students must wear their school uniform for these concerts and look smart.
- Performers should be at the Joel Hall at least 15 minutes before the start of the concert, or as indicated by their teacher so that we can settle the girls, tune instruments and seat them in the order of the programme.
- It is important that we teach our students concert etiquette, so please encourage younger siblings to sit quietly with you during the concert.
- Coffee and tea will be available in the foyer before the start of the concerts but not during concerts. Please help us to create an atmosphere that helps our performers to concentrate while playing and show respect for the hard work they have invested in their music studies.
- The programme will be available on the day of the concert on the app in the Arts & Music folder.
Upcoming Concerts to diarise:
Grade 2 & 3 Music Concert Tuesday 18 July at 18h00
Grade 4 & 5 Music Concert Thursday 20 July at 18h00
Grade 6 & 7 Music Concert Thursday 27 July at 18h00
Grade 0 & 1 Music Concert Monday 31 July at 17h30
Junior School Voice Concert Wednesday 2 August at 18h00
All the concerts are in the Joel hall. We look forward to seeing you there!
Congratulations to all the squash players on an amazing season! Your hard work and dedication has paid off, and your skills on the court have impressed us all. We applaud your sportsmanship, tenacity, and commitment to excellence. Your passion for the game is truly inspiring, and we can’t wait to see what you’ll achieve in the seasons to come. Well done and keep up the great work!
Please see below the results from the last 2 fixtures:
1 JUNE 2023
|Vs St Mary’s 1
|Vs Roedean G7.2
|Vs Roedean G6.2
|Vs Roedean G6.1
8 JUNE 2023
|St Stithian’s 1
|Roedean Grade 7
|St Stithian’s 3
On 9 June 2023, our Grade 4-7 hockey players had their first hockey fixtures. The Grade 4 and 5 players went to St Peter’s and the Grade 6 and 7 players stayed at Kingsmead College. There was some amazing hockey played and the players fought hard, showing off their skills.
We would like to thank all the parents and coaches for a great afternoon of coaching and support. We look forward to the remainder of the season.
4A – lost 3-0
4B – won 3-0
4C – won 2-1
4D – lost 3-0
4E – won 3-0
5A – lost 6-0
5B – lost 5-0
5C – drew 1-1
5D – drew 1-1
6A – lost 5-1
6B – lost 3-0
7A – won 1-0
7B – won 1-0
Congratulations to Milisuthando Mabusela for receiving her Junior Half colours as a level 3 gymnast. In addition, she scored a near-perfect score in the vault, which was the highest for the day and tied for the highest score on her floor routine. As a result of her outstanding performance, she has now progressed to be a level 4 gymnast and is set to compete at the District Level Championships on the 18 & 19 of August. We wish you all the best, Milisuthando!
5 – 8 July: Grade 5-7 Hockey Camp – Camp Discovery
8 July: Grade 4-7 Hockey Fixture vs Rodean (Grade 4 & 5 – Roedean, Grade 6 & 7 – Kingsmead)
14 July: Grade 4-7 Hockey Fixture vs St Stithian’s (Grade 4 & 5 – St Stithian’s, Grade 6 & 7 – Kingsmead)
Please make sure that your daughter has a gum guard for all hockey practises & physical education hockey lessons.
Match kit: Green sports kit with yellow socks. Please ensure that your daughter has shin pads and a gum guard. Players will not be permitted to play without these items.
A few reminders for parents & guardians:
1. Please send any sports achievements (school & non-school) to Mrs Hanekom.
2. A reminder to please download the Kingsmead App as this will be the direct method of communication to parents on sport fixture days.
3. All team lists will be published on the app by no later than Tuesday for a Thursday fixture and the Wednesday before the Friday/Saturday fixture. Please ensure that you let the coaches know if your daughter is not able to attend a fixture.
Yours in sport
Head of Junior School Sport
We hope that you enjoyed the last conversation starter…as we know, one of the signs of a healthy family is open and meaningful conversation/communication. But often finding the time or the points to speak to, don’t always come easily. We thought we would share some prompts to facilitate this process, which are ideal to share around the table, on a trip – anytime, anywhere.
Mornington Open Day