Please refer to the live calendar on the Kingsmead APP for the week ahead
In 2013, Sheryl Sandberg, the Chief Operating Officer of Facebook, wrote a book directed at women leaders, entitled “Lean In”. Since that time, this concept has fascinated me, and at the beginning of 2019, I began reflecting on the concept of Leaning In, in a different sense, here at Kingsmead, and more specifically in our Senior Primary phase. At our recent Grade 4-7 Parent Information Evening I shared these reflections within the framework of the expectations that we hold for our Senior Primary here at Kingsmead, and in this week’s connection, I have chosen to share these reflections with you in writing, perhaps as part of your own reflections and goal-setting for the year.
What does ‘leaning in’ mean to me?
Leaning in means being actively engaged. It means being involved in class. Being a curious learner, who asks questions, reflects, perhaps investigates broader to find out more about a topic of interest.
Leaning in means knowing your strengths as a person and sharing these with those around you. Sharing your interests, your talents, your gifts that set you apart and make you different and special. It means contributing.
Leaning in means knowing where you need to develop strategies, work differently, establish new learning habits, and leaning in means having the courage to ask for help. Leaning in means growing.
Leaning in means recognizing when someone is feeling sad, lonely or left out, and inviting them in to a friendship or group, knowing that we are a community and we look out for each other. Leaning in means sisterhood.
Leaning in means respect. It means respect for who I am, my school and those around me. It is about how I wear my uniform, how I greet and acknowledge others. Leaning in means seeing others.
Leaning in also means taking responsibility. It means that I am developing independence and that I am growing in my ability to learn through consequence and relationship. Leaning in means accountability.
Leaning in means taking risks. It is asking, in the words of Sheryl Sandberg, what would you do if you weren’t afraid? It means putting yourself out there, it means getting involved. It means trying something different, a new sport, a different instrument, service to another person. Leaning in means courage.
Leaning in means flexibility. It means that as a student I know that change happens and that I am in a safe community where I can manage change and I will be given the tools to handle that change. Leaning in means I can adapt.
Leaning in means balance. It means being intentional about my commitments and honoring them, but honoring my wellbeing as well and knowing what I can manage healthily and what is too much for me. Leaning in means self-care.
Leaning in means assertiveness. It means being able to stand up for myself with confidence and clarity. It means being able to navigate really difficult social circumstances at times and finding my way through conflict which can be challenging. Leaning in means rising up.
Leaning in means developing a knowledge of who I am and a positive self-concept. It also means being part of a community in a capacity that accepts me for me. Leaning in means pride in myself.
Leaning in means developing the will to lead and stepping out and trying it. Leaning in means I am ready for the world.
Leaning in means so many things, but one thing is certain. Leaning in can be scary! It is hard work. Leaning in is ultimately, learning.
Up until this point, we, as adults, got to do the leaning! And that was probably quite comfortable. Because when we lean, we know that we have the skills and the ability to do so.
But leaning in must be learnt and supported.
Leaning in requires us as parents and teachers to be holding on just enough to provide safety, but letting go enough to allow our girls to be able to engage with the world independently. It is a balance that is tricky to establish, and sometimes it takes a community of people to work together, which is why our partnership is so vital.
To develop girls that can lean in, we need to develop girls who can be resilient. We need to be able to say that we know our girls are safe. We need to be able to say that we know that if they leave their lunch at home, they will problem-solve and that as a parent I don’t need to rescue them. We need to be able to recognize that developing strategies for learning sometimes comes after our daughter has not done well in a test. We need to be able to know that time management comes after homework was forgotten. We need to be able to know that sometimes we learn how to say sorry after a mistake.
To share my broader expectations for your daughters in the Senior Primary are as follows:
- Please help us by working with your daughter every morning in checking her uniform. Don’t let her come to school with the wrong jewellery on or without her blazer, or with the wrong socks.
- Talk to your daughter about her day at school. How did everything go? What did she most enjoy learning about? What was challenging today?
- Ensure that your daughter packs her bag for school. Help her to put a strategy in place, and check it with her after it is done. Do not disempower her by doing it for her or allowing someone else to.
- Check her homework, her diary, her tests. Ask to see her iPad and what she may have created on it in IBL or music for example.
- Encourage your daughter to participate at Kingsmead. In one sport and one cultural activity. This is vital for her social and emotional growth and balance. This will grow her circle of friends and teach her different lessons that are as important as those in the classroom.
- Expect mistakes. Your daughter is learning. Not every test will be good. Not every match will be won. Sometimes she will forget something important. Sometimes she will do the wrong thing. Know that in these times, we are, as we always are, a partnership, working together for your daughter’s learning and growth.
Please continue to lean in with us as parents. Please continue to help your daughter to learn and to lean in.
Marisa di Terlizzi (Head of Senior Primary)
Congratulations to our JS and SS swimmers who participated in the Summer Splash this weekend at St Mary’s. Our swimming team was placed 5th out of 10 schools, whilst our divers were placed 3rd. The girls are to be commended on this fine achievement. A special mention must be made of the grade 4 swimmers who were swimming the 50m pool for the very first time. What an awesome way to start the swimming season!
Sports Coffee morning
In our commitment to improving communication, I will be hosting a JS Sport Coffee morning twice a term. Our first coffee morning will take place on Wednesday 6 February 2019 at 07h30. Venue will be confirmed in due course. The purpose of this meeting is to create a platform where parents and the sports department can discuss their concerns and challenges as well as highlight the positive areas. I believe in feedback, both positive and constructive and welcome input from the parental body. The sports department can only be as strong as the support it receives from the parents.
Emmanuel Tennis Academy
Invites you to a complimentary squad training session:
- When: Monday 16h00 – 17h30 / Saturday 07h30 – 10h00
- Who: Grade 4-12
- Where: Kingsmead
- Please contact head coach Emmanuel on 079 427 7438 or at firstname.lastname@example.org to book your spot.
U13 District Hockey Trials
Cancelled: Trials to take place on Saturday 2/2/19
A/B vs St Theresa
C/D vs St Katherines
Jhb Country club, Auckland
14h30 – 16h30
14h30 – 16h30
Grade 6&7 only
14h30 – 18h00
Crawford College Lonehill
17h30 – 20h30
U13 Hockey Gauteng trials
Relevant girls have been notified.
Only the players on the ladder and those who played team Tennis last year to attend.
A+B vs St Katherines
C+D vs St Teresa’s
Jhb country Club, Auckland
14h30 – 16h30
14h30 – 17h30
14h30 – 17h30
14h30 – 17h30
Saints Festival Squad Netball Trials
08h00 – 10h30
08h00 – 11h00
Whole School approach
We are very excited to announce that the Service Department will follow a whole school approach from 2019. This will create more cohension between the Junior and Senior School and will address donor fatigue. We will be supporting the same organisations and collections and fundraisers will happen as a whole school. Fundraisers will be limited to one per term and collections to two per term.
Term 1 Service Fundraiser:
- Dance Marathon (11 April)
Term 1 Service Collections:
- Footloose Friday (8 March)
- Share What you Can (27 March – 10 April)
Grade 6 & 7 Service Excursions
Grade 6 and 7 girls are invited to join the Senior School Service excursions. Please note that other extra-curricular activities will take preference. The next Service Excrusion is on Friday 1 February and we will be visiting Impilo. Girls will leave at 14h30 from Cecil Avenue and will return at 17h00. All Service excursions are accompanied by staff. Please use the following to sign up to join the excursion:
Sandwiches for Service
All girls will be involved in making Sandwiches for Service. Parents will not be expected to provide sandwiches as in the past, as all sandwiches will be made at school with ingredients provided by the school.
We look forward to living our value of Service together as we give without expecting reward in 2019.
Jenny Venter (Director of Service)
ARTS AND MUSIC NEWS
We have had a record number of applications for music this year and we are trying our best to place everyone as quickly as possible. Please note the following about our Music offering at Kingsmead:
- Existing pupils do not need to complete the application form again. If your daughter did music lessons at Kingsmead last year, the teacher will automatically place her again.
- New applicants can use the online application form to apply. All the relevant information is on the introduction to the form. Lessons are charged at R218/hour this year. Click here for the application form: Music Application Form
- If you are a new applicant, please do not contact the teachers directly, we are working our way through the applications list and will place everyone.
- Music lessons are scheduled during school time, in lessons the girls have often. These include languages, mathematics and integrated learning. The music lesson times are arranged between the music and class teachers. We do not want girls to miss lessons they only have once/week, such as Physical Education, Social emotional learning, Class Music and Library. Chapel and Assemblies are important times to have all the girls together, discuss school projects and topical issues and we therefore do not place girls for music during these times.
Girls need to have a personal instrument for practice purposes. If you do not have an instrument, please look on the app under Arts & Music for more information. We do have some orchestral instruments at school to rent, please contact Ms Makae in Music reception or email her on email@example.com for information regarding renting an instrument from Kingsmead.
Group Music Activities
It is essential that our young musicians participate in group music. Refer to the extracurricular schedule for rehearsal times.
Please see on the app in the folder Arts & Music, a document labelled Junior School Music Sign up Information. The relevant information about each group (choirs, orchestra, ensembles and bands) can be found here as well as a link to sign up for these. Please complete sign ups this week, although the forms will remain open for girls who decide to join later in the term.
Information regarding Music Theory Classes can also be found on this document.
All our Grade 2-5 girls will have the opportunity to try out different instruments this year. Parents will receive a letter explaining which instrument their grade will be playing, via email.
Please see the extra-curricular schedule for all we have on offer. Contact details for all teachers in charge and external service providers are on the last page of the schedule. If you have any questions about a particular activity, please contact the relevant person.
ITALIAN AT KINGSMEAD with Dante Alighieri
Dante Alighieri has been teaching Italian in Johannesburg since 1927. With 90 years of experience, they still continue today. They teach Italian to children from the age of 3 to 18 years, as an extramural activity or curricular subject, in private courses and at different schools making sure that learning is a fun and memorable experience. Dante Alighieri has also taught and accompanied many students towards their Matric exams.
Italian tuition will continue at Kingsmead this year as an extra-mural activity.
Please contact Benedetta Coli on firstname.lastname@example.org should you be interested in Italian classes.
The lessons are on Monday afternoons in the Senior School in one of the Language classrooms:
- 14:00 – 14:45: Little Ones
- 14:45 – 15:30: Grade 0-2
- 15:30 – 16:15: Grade 3-5 advanced
- 16:15 – 17:00: Senior School
Siblings from neighbouring schools are welcome to attend as well.
Elsabé Fourie (Director of Arts & Music)