Dear Kingsmead Community,
Our hearts are full. The large majority of our students have returned to campus, and I am reminded once again of what it means to be a teacher. It is a privilege and an honour to be in education at a time like this. We have the daily pleasure of creating spaces (both virtual and physical) of welcome and belonging. I am, however, so grateful to see and hear our students together once more.
The girls have been sharing virtual messages of hope since the start of lockdown. If you haven’t watched them yet, I encourage you to take the time to watch the little videos and experience the real wisdom of young minds – again a reminder of the privilege it is to be an educator.
As we begin to plan for the closure of the second term next week, I would like to extend my thanks and gratitude to the following people and stakeholders who have enabled our plans, dreams and purpose throughout this term.
- The Covid response team and in particular, Sister Monica, for your tireless and selfless support, communication, and investigation each and every day, including weekends and after hours.
- Our administration team for the persistent communications, quick responses, vaccination rollouts, financial management, admissions of new families, marketing innovation as well as all the administration that keeps you busy at this time.
- Geraldine Church and Cyril Mitchley and your incredibly loyal service staff team for the maintenance of our grounds, the caring manner in which you cared for our community, arranged transport and kept our school looking as beautiful as ever.
- The Class Representatives and PTA for your continued support, clarity communication and for keeping the spirit of community alive. The gratitude walk arranged this week was so appreciated and valued– thank you!
- The management team who grapple with big decisions in the spirit of wellness and with continued professionalism. Your support and engagement is unwavering.
- The teachers for reinventing your preparation, innovating and reaching the academic and pastoral needs of each and every child in your care – you are serious superheroes and I am honoured to lead such an exceptional group of people. Thank you for managing each and every expectation, while at the same time keeping your homes, families and self-care a priority.
- The parents for your patience and partnership in raising your daughters!
- Our dear girls. Thank you for your laughter, your perseverance, your courage. Thank you for your messages of hope through the Hope Project. I always knew you were the real soul and that the essence of Kingsmead rested in your hearts!
At the end of this week we will host a Gratitude Assembly where all of our stakeholders will be thanked once again by the Grade 7 students themselves.
“Gratitude is a powerful catalyst for happiness. It’s the spark that lights a fire of joy in your soul.” – Amy Collette
Wishing you all a happy week and a restorative winter holiday ahead.
With love and Courage Always,
Head: Kingsmead Junior School
Gift of Givers – Give their Time to our Grade 7’s
The founder of Gift of the Givers – Dr. I Sooliman took time out of his busy schedule amidst the ‘Covid Crisis’, to speak to our Grade 7 students during a recent Earth Science Zoom lesson. The context of our lesson was based on our learning intention for Term 2 in Earth Sciences – to create and instill a love for learning/curiosity about Natural Disasters and how we relate to them in different ways – all while having fun learning from home!
The Gift of the Givers foundation provide purely humanitarian and unconditional support to all members both nationally and internationally. The organisation is fully transparent, designed to assist in emergency situations, irrespective of race, religion, colour, class, political affiliation or geographic boundary – In line with the true spirit of Ubuntu. Gift of the givers are entirely neutral in their approach to those in need, are non-judgemental and have an open-minded approach to every situation.
Dr. Sooliman spoke to the girls about his journey and his initiation of the foundation. Which was truly fascinating and left many of us with goose bumps. As quoted the words of Dr. Sooliman in his reflection with us: ‘whatever you do, is done through you, not by you – and you have to have compassion’.
He reminded our Grade 7 girls that as a leader of an organisation of this scale, you have to learn to think on your feet and adapt to a situation. This allows our students to connect to the importance of developing the Habit of Mind – Thinking Flexibly.
The work that the Gift of the Givers Foundation do, allowed our students to reflect on one of our Kingsmead values, that we so enthusiastically embrace – Service. Our girls were eager to join on board Gift of the Givers, as Dr. Sooliman spoke, but due to them not being old enough nor qualified, yet…. Miss Makhene reminded our students that acts of Service can start on a small scale from home.
A student’s reflection: Thank you so much to Mrs McLaren and all the teachers for arranging that! That was so inspiring and amazing! I will always remember that!
Deputy Head: Senior Primary
At Kingsmead the Music never stops!
Last week Friday, in the Junior School Music assembly, the girls shared their thoughts about what Music means to them. The line that was repeated by most students, was ‘At Kingsmead the music never stops’. In a world that has been upside down and the wrong way around for more than a year, we have tried to make music a constant positive for our students and community; something to bring joy, to look forward to, to keep us going and give us hope. We certainly hope that this has been the case.
One of the members of our community wrote this beautiful poem that expresses the power of music so well:
The Senior School Head of Arts, Mokgethoa Tebeila recorded a beautiful rendition of our anthem. I am sure the images in the video will restore your pride and hope for the future in our beautiful country.
Concerts in the Lounge
WELL DONE to our musicians who performed in our Concerts in the Lounge over the last few weeks! Click on the links below to watch the concerts:
Click on the YouTube icon to go to the channel:
We have a few more concerts before the end of term so keep an eye on the App so that you don’t miss it!
|Wednesday 28 July: Junior School Concert
Monday 2 August: Senior School Concert
Wednesday 4 August: Junior & Senior Voice Concert
The Music department wishes the Kingsmead community a wonderful August break. We look forward to see you again in September!
Inter-House Virtual Challenge
Kingsmead families, staff and students have been amazing with participating in the Inter-House Virtual Challenge. They have shown incredible spirit and true Kingsmead courage. The teams have been very competitive and we wait to see who will take the cup at the end of the challenge. Here are the points so far:
The final results will be announced at the end of the term in the final assembly. We have had such a great response to the virtual challenge and have decided to extend it for another week. The challenge will now end on Friday 30 July at 18h00 so keep sending through your pictures and information to Mrs. Hanekom – email@example.com
Online Physical Education
Our students have continued with their weekly physical education classes, and I would like to acknowledge the great enthusiasm which is seen during these lessons. They have been having great fun and staying fit at the same time.
Extra-Curricular: Online Strength & Fitness
The extra-curricular timetable may have looked slightly different; however, the students have been very committed. They have participated in various classes which were instructed by the Sports department. These classes included abdominal workouts, Boxercise, high intensity interval training (HIIT), cardio, and flexibility.
Our final online strength and fitness session for this term will be on Thursday, 5 August. A reminder that these sessions are on a Monday and Thursday from 14h30-15h15. Students can also access this schedule on Microsoft Teams > Strength & Fitness > General > Files. Should you have any queries, please feel free to email Mrs Hanekom.
Physical Education Covid Rehabilitation Programme
As we return to school, we will be focusing on getting our students back into condition by implementing a programme during our physical education lessons, which will be focused on rehabilitation after being in lockdown. These sessions will start off at a very low intensity and gradually increase as the students become fitter and stronger.
We are staying positive with the hope of returning to our sport training sessions and fixtures in Term 3. Your child might, understandably, have some concerns about returning to sport as lockdown restrictions begin to ease and organised sport starts up again.
Some children might feel nervous about meeting and mixing with peers after so long away from social interactions. Others might be concerned about COVID-19 itself and might have worries about contracting the virus or how COVID secure sessions will or will not be.
There are lots of ways you can support your child and reassure them about why getting back into physical activity might be important to both them and their physical and mental wellbeing.
Ways to support your child
- listen to any worries and talk about any feelings they might have about going back. The NSPCC has guidance on how to talk to your child about coronavirus
- look into the COVID safety practices which your child’s sport has put in place, talk them through these safety measures to reassure your child of the kinds of behaviours and practices that can keep everyone safe in sport. These protocols include sanitising of hands and equipment, social distancing, and the wearing of masks as much as possible during these sessions. Masks will only be removed during high intensity training.
- talk through any concerns about your child’s return with coaches, and support staff and make sure you are happy that your child’s worries are being listened to.
- encourage your child and let them know why sport is so important.
Why going back to sport is so important for children
Children returning to a sport they enjoy can have many benefits to both their physical and mental health. Some of these benefits might include:
- staying healthy and active
- a sense of normality or routine after a turbulent year
- interacting with peers and developing life-long social skills
- being able to access support from other trusted adults in sport
- developing new skills and achieving goals, which can help build children’s confidence
- feeling part of a team, or a sense of belonging to help tackle feelings of isolation, which they may have experienced during the pandemic.
The sports department would like to wish you and your family a lovely winter break and we look forward to having all our students back on the sports field when we return.
Yours in sport
Mandela Day Collection for Hotel Hope
Mandela Day is a global call to action to give 67 minutes to impact your community and the world at large. Celebrated on the day of Nelson Mandela’s birthday and commemorating the 67 years that he has fought for social justice; we always heed the call to make a difference.
Due to the pandemic, the focus was shifted from giving 67 minutes of your time, to donating 6 or 7 items to Hotel Hope. Despite the troublesome week in our country leading up to Mandela Day, many parents and students made their way to an empty campus to donate and a sizeable donation was made to Hotel Hope.
Donation bins will be available at Music Reception until the end of the term.
Lockdown has paid off on the knitting front and 72 knitted/crocheted blankets were donated thus far, with another 10 blankets being sewn together by parent volunteers and more squares being donated daily. This has been a record number of blankets donated and the beneficiaries include Hotel Hope and Dlala Nje among others.
Dlala Nje has been struggling to continue activities in their community centre because of lockdown regulations impacting on the inner-city adventures and immersive experiences they offer to fund the community centres. The families at Dlala Nje were also severely impacted by the looting and protests that happened in the inner city of Johannesburg.
Please support a family at Dlala Nje by packing a Meal-in-a-Bag that will feed a family of four.
Create a Meal-in-a-Bag by adding the following ingredients in a ZipLock bag:
½ cup of rice
½ cup of soup mix or split peas
½ cup of lentils (you can double this is you like)
1 unwrapped stock cube
1 sachet/packet of soup powder
Add a label with the ingredients (very important information for dietary needs and/or requirements) and the following instructions:
Bring 2.5 litres of water to the boil
Add contents of bag
Boil for 35-40 minutes or until lentils & rice are soft
Serve and enjoy
Director of Service