Dear Kingsmead Community,
It is an exciting week as we begin to welcome more students back to school in a staggered approach. I am hopeful that most of our students will get the opportunity to interact with their teachers and peers during the remainder of this term. A reminder to please keep your daughters at home if they are not well or if they exhibit any predetermined Covid-19 symptoms. The next few weeks are going to be challenging in many ways. Please keep us informed of any concerns you may have with regard to your daughter’s health as well as her emotional well-being. We have a team of professionals who are ready and open to assist you as we join together in the raising of your daughters. Thank you for your care and consideration for our teachers and teaching teams during this time. Thank you for your love, generosity and time you are devoting to your girls. The road ahead might feel like a bit of a steep climb at the moment; imagine the great sense of united victory we will experience when we reach the other side.
Due to the impact of Covid-19, I would like to communicate some staffing changes that will take place for the remainder of the second term. Communication regarding the third term will take place when we have further clarity.
Faye Hastings-Brown will be taking extended leave from the 26 June-31 July and will not be available in her current capacity. Arrangements have been made with regard to her LEAD, teaching and management portfolio commitments. Should you need any assistance with IT requirements, please contact Shamila Chiman.
Denise Schefferman and Karen Goddard will not be available for onsite teaching for the remainder of the term but will continue all teaching responsibilities online. Both teachers remain the teachers responsible for their Grade 0 and 2 classes respectively.
Dianne Reeves will not be managing the aftercare until further notice. Further information regarding the Mornington aftercare will be communicated in this regard.
Denise Griffiths will no longer be able to teach movement classes in the Junior Primary and is not able to teach ballet until further notice. Further information will be communicated in this regard.
Shavaun Hanekom will not be teaching onsite Physical Education classes until further notice but will continue assisting our online teaching team.
Keep warm, keep safe. I do hope to see you all soon.
Head: Junior School
This week we are delighted to be sharing an article prepared by Ariella Meyerowitz from Sunny Road Optometrist about the impact of blue light and the amount of screen time your daughters are experiencing during the Distance Learning Programme.
Is Your Child Feeling Blue?
In this series of 3 articles Ariella Meyerowitz, a Johannesburg optometrist, with a special interest in children, discusses the damaging effects of Blue Light on our children, as well as other negative results, due to the massive increase of near screen time since the advent of corona – and gives tips on how to ameliorate them.
Have you noticed that your daughter has found the lockdown more of a challenge than you would have expected? It is hard to understand why this should be, when life today is a child’s dream – no going to school combined with virtually unlimited screen time!
As we all know, students (and their teachers and parents!) are spending a large part of the day glued to their screens as they attend virtual lessons via Zoom and other platforms. And – not coincidentally – we are seeing a dramatic rise in visual discomfort and other complications.
In a normal classroom situation children can look around the room, chat to other students and interact with the teacher. Now their only point of contact is the screen itself.
Screens transmit blue light into the eyes of the viewer.
The Surprising Link between Screens and Depression and Anxiety
What now is regarded as everyday and totally normal, only a few short months ago would have been regarded as excessive screen time.
Researchers have been quick to comment on an upsurge in depression and anxiety in children (and their parents!) who are spending significant periods of time on screens.
There are many reasons for this upsurge.
The most common is that lack of face-to-face socialisation that occurs when people spend excessive amounts of time on a screen. This can lead to feelings of being totally secluded and alone and separate from the world.
What is less commonly known is that the blue light wavelengths emanating from a screen, particularly during extreme viewing periods, can put us under even more discomfort.
Children are happy to spend hours unchecked on a screen, no matter what discomfort it is causing. We need to be on the lookout for any type of strain and enforce viewing breaks regularly.
Step out of the Blue
If discomfort as a result of being on the screen for so long is originating from the blue light aspect, this is very easy to address:
- One of the simplest steps is to activate the night mode option on your iPad, iPhone or other device. This simple move will substantially eliminate the blue light and replace it with orange, and in this way there is very little blue light coming from the device.
- Now there are also blue-control glasses which are designed to allow all light through except for the damaging blue light wavelengths. The lenses of these glasses are clear and they look like normal glasses, but they have a special coating. If they are worn while on a screen, the viewer is protected.
Next week Ariella will discuss eye strain and headaches caused by the blue light effect.
Go to www.sunnyroad.co.za for a wider view on this topic.
COPYRIGHT 2020 Ariella Meyerowitz – Sunny Road Optometrist
Head of Student Affairs
Rays of Hope: The heart of Alexandra
Many of you are familiar with the children who are part of the Buddy Reading programme at Kingsmead College. The buddies are children who come from Alexandra who are assisted in various ways by an organisation called Rays of Hope. Rays of Hope is currently running a campaign called #WarmupAlex. You can help #WarmupAlex by donating blankets, scarves, gloves, socks and non-perishable food items. Donation boxes have been placed outside the Music Reception in which items can be placed. Please make sure that your items are in a sealed plastic bag before dropping them into the donation boxes.
Alternatively, if you would like to make a donation towards a food parcel for the children from our Buddy Reading programme, the following items are purchased to help assist these families during these difficult times. You can either purchase the items listed below or make a donation via EFT. The food parcel consists of the following:
3x tinned fish
3x baked beans
2x mixed vegetables
2x soup packets
5kg maize meal
2lt cooking oil
2 bath soap
1 pack dried beans
1x box facial tissues
750ml dish washing liquid
Banking details are as follows:
Rays of Hope
Nedbank, Hyde Park
1972 126 903
Branch Code: 197205
Swift Code: NEDS ZA JJ
All cash donations are eligible for Section 18A certificates and can be requested with a proof of payment from Sandy@RaysOfHope.co.za. Please reference Buddy Reading food parcels for EFT payments.
Thank you in advance for your generous donations and support of those in need.
JS Head of Service
ARTS & MUSIC
The Music department has been busy!
Our Grade 4-7 Wind band recorded a beautiful video. They are performing a traditional Sotho song called Kyrie. Click the link to watch on YouTube: Grade 4-7 Wind Band on YouTube
Please see below the concert links for the past few week’s CONCERTS in the LOUNGE!
Concert in the Lounge 4 June: https://youtu.be/CAnmpcsN60Y
This weeks’ concerts will be available on Thursday evening 18 June.
If your daughter wants to be part of a CONCERT IN THE LOUNGE please send your videos by Tuesday every week. Please note the following:
- Take video in landscape, making sure viewers can see you and your instrument
- Tune your instrument before you record; set the accompaniment/backtrack so it balances with your instrument (you may have to do a test run before the final recording)
- Send it email@example.com – WeTransfer/maildrop work well, although smaller files can be sent via email. NOT WhatsApp please.
- Don’t add your name/name of the piece/other details to the video – email me these details on email.
- Keyboards should be on the loudest setting when recording
All the best from the Music Department.
MAGICAL LEARNING MOMENTS
From Top Left: Kim Sutherland (press ups), Rebecca Comline (press ups), Amy Wilson (Zoo HIIT lesson) and Anna Hawes (Acrosport)
Advika Lunawat in Bluebells made a beautiful unicorn. She tied knots to make her gorgeous mane.
Madison Paul in Bluebells is learning how to count by playing a Unicorn board game.
Madison and Olivia Paul are improving their aim with this unicorn game and hoops. Can you catch a unicorn?