Our Connection: Issue 12 2020

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Dear Kingsmead Community,

“The individual matters first and foremost” D.V. Thompson

These words have always been exceptionally important at Kingsmead. For 86 years, teachers, parents and students have held onto the promise that each person is seen. Each person brings possibility and purpose in their own unique way. While we acknowledge the individual we are also acutely aware of the manner in which these individual attributes weave the tapestry of a diverse, united community.

Now, as we launch into a new era of education, presenting itself at the forefront of a pandemic, we begin to see the importance of the individual once again. Some of our students have reached the stage of acceptance and are keen to rise to the new challenges on offer. It is also a time where standardization and the perception of one option suits all, does not serve our community well.

We are seeing more time for individual feedback, more energy devoted to individual support and extension needs, more focus on individuals as part of a family unit, more desire for individual interpretation of idea creation and presentation, more need for individual commitment to developing resilience and compassion, more comfort in individual service to the community.

The gift of our present situation has been to allow space for individual growth as humans, which in turn has deepened our empathy and understanding for each other. May we all continue to find our individual strengths and learn to ‘know’ ourselves during this time of distancing so that as we begin to reunite we do so with thoughtful anticipation that we continue to be seen as individuals and strive to see others as individuals. Once we realise this, I have no doubt that we will rise as a community in unity.

“Our uniqueness, our individuality and our life experience mold us into fascinating beings. I pray we may all challenge ourselves to delve into the deepest resources of our hearts to cultivate an atmosphere of understanding, acceptance, tolerance and compassion. We are all in this together” Linda Thompson

Wishing you grace and compassion for the week ahead.

Kim Lowman
Head: Junior School

Working during distance learning

Not many of us like to sit at a desk for hours on end. Yet we ask just that of our students every day during distance learning. Please follow the advice from a physiotherapist to assist our students with their posture during this time of learning.

Alternatively, as a parent, you don’t need to have your daughter sit and do her work at a desk if that isn’t comfortable or if she is have trouble sitting still. Let her read while riding an exercise bike or turned upside-down on the couch or sitting in a tree. Let her skateboard down the driveway and back after every three math problems, if that works for her. Another idea is to let her watch the video lesson standing up.

Tarryn McLaren
Head of Student Affairs

COVID-19: choosing a mask for your child

Masks may help prevent the transmission of COVID-19 by stopping the spread of respiratory droplets when people talk, sneeze or cough.
Following directives from the Department of Health we all must wear cloth masks as a barrier device to minimize the spreading of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19.

Mask etiquette and principles

The fit of the mask is more important than the material.
A mask should fit comfortably so that the child does not constantly feel the need to readjust the mask on her face.
Masks should cover the mouth and the nose fitting snugly under the chin and along the sides of the face.
If masks are tied too tightly it can hinder breathing, but if tied loosely it becomes ineffective.

Wearing a mask is uncomfortable. Period.
Helping to get your child used to wearing a mask may take a bit of time. Start by practicing together indoors.
Adults are the role models. For the child who is hesitant or anxious, it is important to demonstrate your willingness to wear a mask without hesitance or negativity. It is okay to admit that you find wearing a mask uncomfortable too.
If you allow your child to choose a fun design to wear at home or when you must go out, it may motivate her to wear the mask.
Take family pictures and have fun whist getting used to the new normal of wearing masks. If you are going to make the mask, allow them to choose the material. You can recycle and use material from a favourite garment that they have outgrown to make the mask.

Playdates are on! Because she is wearing a mask.

Unfortunately playdates are not advised during this time, even when your child wears a mask. Wearing a mask adds to, but do not replace, basic infection prevention and control measures including hand hygiene, safe handling of potentially contaminated equipment or surfaces, cough and sneeze etiquette, not touching one’s face and social distancing.

Proper hand hygiene, social distancing, and not touching one’s face is still the main behaviour that will minimise the risk of spreading the virus

Do’s and Don’ts
There are a few principles to keep in mind with regards to masks. If we stick to these infection control and prevention principals, there is room for freedom to consider the child’s personality, likes/dislikes and preferences when choosing a mask.

  • According to the CDC, children under 2 years old should not wear face masks, nor should people who have difficulty breathing or those who cannot remove the mask without help.
  • We do not disregard the anxious child’s feelings of claustrophobia when wearing a mask, but keeping the seriousness of spreading of the SARS CoV-2 virus in mind, the circumstances should be discussed with your doctor or psychologist, and other designs or options for a mouth and nose cover should be explored.
  • When it comes to preventing the spread of COVID-19, a mask’s material isn’t as important as how tightly it’s woven. The more compact the fabric threading, the more protective the mask. Cotton tends to be more tightly woven than other materials.
  • Wearing a T-shirting buff is not an acceptable substitute for a mask, as the single layer T-shirt cotton material does not serve as an efficient barrier against exhaled moisture.
  • A cloth mask should consist of at least 3 layers. The middle layer acts as a filter and if you are going to make the mask yourself, choose a non-woven spun bound fabric which is moisture repellent for this layer.
  • The mask must be comfortable to wear. Material should be soft.
  • Elastic straps around the ears are easier for a child to manage than ties. Elastic should be measured so that it is not to lose or too thight to prevent shafting.
  • If your daughter does not like the feel of elastic around her ears, try this clever idea: Sew two buttons on the sides of a stretchy head band, and hook the elastic around the buttons behind the ears.

  • Teach your child to sanitize or wash her hands before putting on a face mask, and again after she has removed the mask. This should also be done after touching or adjusting the mask.
  • To put on the mask, place it over the nose and mouth first, secure it under the chin, and then secure the elastic loops behind the ears or tie the ties securely at the back of the head.
  • Handle the mask by ear loops or ties to take off the mask.
  • Cloth masks should be washed daily with mild detergent and water, dried completely in a tumble dryer, or hung outside in the sun for at least an hour, and then stored in a clean container or bag.
  • Masks should not be touched when they’re on, so you may have to remind your child not to touch her face while wearing her mask.
  • Wear a clean mask every day

When wearing the mask:

  • Do not touch your face
  • Do not fiddle with the mask
  • Do not touch the mask with your hands
  • Remove the mask if it is damp or wet and replace with a dry mask
  • When removing the mask, only touch the straps to remove the mask away from your face
  • Put the mask in a container until you wash it or wash it immediately.

Compiled by Sr. Monica Loubser
May 2020
https://www.nytimes.com/article/coronavirus-homemade-mask-material-DIY-face-mask-ppe.html
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html
https://www.inquirer.com/family/kids-masks-facemask-coronavirus-covid19-mask-size-20200428.html
https://www.insider.com/cloth-face-masks-for-kids#cubcoats-1

SERVICE

Service@Home

As winter approaches, we invite the entire Kingsmead community to keep on knitting (or to get started) and support our blanket drive to make the winter slightly warmer for Hotel Hope. Squares are sewn into blankets and all blankets and knitted toys will be donated to Hotel Hope.

Squares should be 20cm x 20cm and blanket sizes are:

Large/Adult blankets 140 x 180 cm
Medium/Child blankets 120 x 160 cm
Small/Baby blankets 100 x 120 cm

You can also be creative and transform your knitted square into a bunny. Find a tutorial here

Dignity Dreams Covid-19 masks

Support our partner organisation Dignity Dreams by purchasing a COVID-19 face mask from them at R35 per mask, or R100 for three masks. Masks are available in turquoise, black or multi-coloured in sizes for children, medium and large. Email info@dignitydreams.com to place an order.

Jenny Venter
Director of Service

ARTS & MUSIC

Individual music lessons are continuing successfully online – if you haven’t started with online lessons, please contact your daughter’s teacher. Meeting with our music groups on Zoom have been absolutely brilliant. This term our concerts will take place on line!

• Subscribe to our Kingsmead Arts & Music YouTube Channel to follow our events!

All the best from the Music Department.

Elsabé Fourie                                                                   Mia Loock
Director of Arts & Music                                               Head of Junior School Music
efourie@kingsmead.co.za                                            mloock@kingsmead.co.za

 

 

 

 

 

 

SPORTS

As a sport and physical wellness enthusiast, as well as a mother of two teenage boys, I have personally felt the loss of our PE and sport practice and competitions.

The week leading up to, what would have been, my sons’ biggest and most important derby of the year, I watched them struggle to focus on their online lessons. This week would have seen the boys putting in extra time into their war cries and perfecting their most famous “SPELL”. They were glued to social media, watching the head boy’s speech and the many stories from alumni sharing their story of this big day. This year saw the cancellation of the derby for the 1st time in over 100 years.

Such is the common thread throughout our country and beyond. We have seen the cancellation of large events such as the Comrades; world marathons; Durban July and who would have thought, the Olympics?! So, what does this mean for school sport and competitions in the future? It is so unsure.

So, whilst we await our “normal”, our next task is figuring out how we continue to ensure that our students remain active. How do we ensure our PE programmes remain relevant to students who will now be required to spend more time on screens as they proceed with their education online? The novelty of online PE lessons might wear off. Onsite PE provides a space where students can interact socially with their peers; they work in different environments (pool, tennis courts, hall, squash courts); feedback from the teacher is instant and targets must be met before the class ends.

I found an article written by Alan Dunstan, a PE, Health and Wellbeing Curriculum Leader at the British School in Manila, that resonated with me. Here follows an excerpt.

Joe Wicks (below) has become a household name during lockdown. He is now a record holder in the Guinness Book of World Records. His live PE session on YouTube on 24 March 2020 was watched by 955 158 people.

“If you were to ask a 6-year-old what they wanted to be when they grew up, they might say ‘Spiderman’ or ‘Wonder Woman’. They want to be a superhero who can save the world. The book ‘Natural Born Heroes’ by Christopher McDougal talks extensively about “Être fort pour être utile” (“Being strong to be useful”). If we want our students to be true global citizens capable of making a difference in the world (being superheroes) how can we teach them the skills, they need? In the event of a natural disaster we want citizens who climb over obstacles quickly, solve problems in the moment, carry the wounded to safety, swim long distances to safety, save lives using first aid skills, be creative to make shelter and collaborate with fellow survivors. These skills (and many others) and positive character strengths can be developed in a PE environment with a positive role model facilitating the learning.

The lack of direct interaction during the Covid-19 crisis has significantly emphasised how valuable this connection is. Getting to know every child, making them feel safe, valued and achieving success at their own level is an extremely powerful learning tool. As PE teachers we have an amazing opportunity and responsibility to create the new generation of superheroes, providing them with their toolkit of weapons (‘useful’ transferable skills) that can be utilised across a range of situations. Can online PE lessons deliver this? No, but if we don’t up our game, Joe Wicks might be taking our place…”
https://medium.com/@alanrjdunstan/the-future-of-physical-education-after-covid-19-ab602f0d0579

Our work as PE teachers has never been more important. In this digital age where cyber bullying is rife and mental health disorders are on the rise in young people, it is important that our lessons are relevant and meaningful. We embrace this opportunity and strive to find creative ways to foster social interaction lost by onsite lessons as well as increase grit and resilience in our youth. We hope that our students are enjoying the curriculum that we have put together and look forward to connecting with them on the sport fields, as soon as we are able.

Sheillah Muchauraya
Junior  School Head of Sports

 

Social Distancing by Juan Felipe Herrera
Design by Anthony Cody
“The solar circle poem can be read in any direction, or simultaneously with various voices at a ‘distance,’ or it can be cut out and spun like a wheel. You choose where to begin and end.”
—Juan Felipe Herrera

Sheillah Muchauraya
Junior School Head of Sports & Head of Transformation, Diversity and Inclusion

MAGICAL LEARNING MOMENTS

Corona Classroom by Ilhaam Adam

Grade 7 Distance Learning Moments

Creative Writing:

Flowers by Xiluva Ngahu

A poem by Rachael Fifield

Grade 5 Distance Learning Moments

Our students have deeply reflected on our values and how this prepares us for a world that has changed overnight. In this project, the students were asked to draw a Coat of Arms for Kingsmead, as we face the challenges of COVID-19:

 

 

 

Grade 3T Distance Learning Moments

Grade 2D Distance Learning Moments

The Grade 2’s creating their own bar graph and sorting the data.

Bella, Isabella,Julia and Naledi. 

 

Mila Ferreira using her sewing machine to sew a quilt. We taught our students about quilts as they were doing the “qu” sound picture.

Grade 1A Distance Learning Moments

Aafreen Tayob sings her welcome song in IsiZulu I can hear a song.

Akhani Mahlake practises her counting in IsiZulu

Morgan Chen-Heyneke practising Afrikaans Hoe oud is jy?

 

Buttercups Distance Learning Moments

Zara and her little sister Jamie are practicing to shave like dad. Our theme was families and we learned about different family members…
Madison constructed shapes using toothpicks and jelly tots !

Sophie is using jelly babies to make shapes, she dresses like mom learning about families and enjoy doing art at home.

PE Distance Learning Moments

Git up Dance Challenge:

Kasey and Laura Cochrane

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