Dear Kingsmead Community,
I always look forward to welcoming prospective families to Kingsmead. To see our school through new eyes and from a new perspective always reminds me of how blessed we are to work in an environment like this every day. The school is a vibrant fusion of happy, busy children, parents, guardians, and staff. I am not sure if it is my imagination, but our children seem louder, more ‘present’ and happier than ever before. There is a tangible sense of gratitude that pulses through the school from early in the morning and throughout the day. We accept that school life is busy; we accept that we always have so much to learn; we accept that it is necessary to connect at every opportunity. We not only accept it – we embrace it – we love it!
I love this piece that Irene Ilsley (Deputy Head and Head of the Junior Primary), recently shared with me:
“It’s interesting to see when a kid walks in a room, your child or anybody else’s child, does your face light up? That’s what they’re looking for. When my children used to walk into the room when they were little, I looked at them to see if they had buckled their trousers or if their hair was combed or if their socks were up. And so you think that your affection and your deep love is on display ‘cause you’re caring for them. It’s not. When they see you, they see the critical face. What’s wrong now? But then, if you, as I tried from then on, to let your face speak what’s in your heart, your expression can say I’m so glad you are here.” (Toni Morrison, Nobel Laureate for Literature)
Our children need to be validated, to be seen, loved and appreciated. It is our role as parents and teachers to see, know and value our children. We need to pay close attention to their whole being and to know what’s in their heart. When our children feel that their most vulnerable self is loved unconditionally they learn how to accept and love themselves. When their presence lights us up and our eyes shine, they feel special for just being who they are. Our love is not dependent on a reward for good behaviour or academic or sporting achievements; it is an acknowledgement that they are enough, and they are loved! (Irene Ilsley)
When we enter our school gates, let us greet and welcome each person as a valued member of our community. Let us fully ‘see’ one another again. Let us acknowledge the gifts and value that each person brings to this thriving community. It is the people that make this school so incredibly special and successful.
During the past two weeks we have welcomed visiting schools back to our pools and tennis courts; we have shared exciting demonstrations from our external service providers; our Speech and Language therapists have presented some ideas and wisdom regarding early reading and literacy skills; our teachers have attended both virtual and in-person workshops and training to understand the growing need of emotion coaching in the classroom; parents and new families have engaged meaningfully during our Thinking Schools Orientation; we have welcomed interested families during Open Days and engaged with community partners at Dlala Nje. This, together with our dynamic and exciting curriculum, is the greatest way to enter into February.
The adjusted level 1 regulations shared during the course of last week have also brought some relief for our families and teachers. Although the Covid-19 cloud is slowly starting to lift, we are still very cognisant of protecting the health and well-being of our community.
Thank you for everything you do as our community to build courage and relationship. We look forward to some exciting events in the next two weeks. These include the Grade 7 Cake and Candy; Footloose Friday; MDC Golf Day; and PTA Rose Sales. Thank you for supporting these very worthwhile initiatives.
With Love and Courage Always,
Head: Kingsmead Junior School
Thinking-Feeling School Orientation Workshop
We were delighted at the turnout of new families, class and subject teachers, support teachers, interns and new students to our workshop on Saturday, 5 February 2022. The level of engagement of all involved created a sense of camaraderie between parents, as well as teachers and students. The Grade 7 NEST students (our Student Thinking Drive Team) shared their learning journeys with parents and teachers, and then assisted in teaching their fellow students about various thinking tools.
Reflecting on their learnings for the morning, some parents commented as follows:
- To be able to grow and think like this is a GIFT for a lifetime.
- The engagement was quite fantastic! Very informative for us new parents.
- My daughter will benefit from my new-found understanding and skills identified to address how I interact with her on her growth-journey.
- SO GRATEFUL that my daughter is exposed to this style of thinking from so young an age.
- The power of ‘yet’!
- The process of praising kids – for effective praise – need to praise the process and not the intelligence.
- I could use this in my own personal and professional space.
- Growth over time, the need for reflection and to grapple – a fabulous struggle.
- Teaching our girls that learning is challenging and that it should be.
- Correction of mistakes is part of the process of betterment.
We are so grateful to the team of passionate teachers and Grade 7s who invested their time in facilitating the teaching of the various aspects of our Thinking School for both the adults and students.
At Kingsmead Junior School we realise that success, failure and practice are all part of the same system = learning. We strive to create a culture where, as teachers, we are constantly conducting reflective practices and try to improve your daughter’s performance within the classroom and in her assessments. Our one goal is to develop students who are resilient and able to achieve their potential. You might ask, how can you assist us…
Employ a Growth Mindset – How YOU can help your daughter?
Talk about it
Talk daily to your daughter, but guide the discussion by asking questions like: did you make a mistake today? What did you learn from this mistake? What did you do today that was difficult? Challenged your learning? It is important to note, on its own, a mistake has no value. James Anderson, reminds us that the value and learning potential come not from the mistake itself, but from the way we act on it.
To achieve learning and extract value from a mistake, we must follow psychologist Anders Ericsson’s 3 Fs:
- Focus: To recognise a mistake as a learning opportunity.
- Feedback: To understand what the learning opportunity says we must learn.
- Fix It: Take action to correct the mistake.
Praise the Process of Learning
Instead of saying you are ‘so smart’, praise the effort, the persistence of getting through the difficult task, the deliverance, the effort. Learning is a process, not a destination.
The Brain can GROW
Remind your daughter that her intelligence can be stretched every day. It is not fixed. Remind her that when work is challenging/difficult, this is when her brain grows best, if she can persist through the challenge. Each time she learns something new, her brain is making new connections. She needs to know that this is possible.
Help her change her dialogue
The way your daughter talks to herself can have an impact on her mindset. If she says ‘This is too hard’, help her change this to ‘This is hard, and I just can’t do it yet – with repeated practice and deliberate effort, I will get there’. Give them the words to say when they are feeling defeated by modelling as parents/guardians.
Your daughter needs to realise that setbacks happen and that is okay. Remind her that each time they fail and try again, their brain is growing, stronger! Don’t step in to prevent your daughter’s failure – this is how she will learn to persevere in the face of challenges.
Deputy Head: Senior Primary
Grade 7 in the news
On Monday 31 January, the Grade 7s presented their leadership assembly. Following on from our ‘Rise 2022’ theme and drawing inspiration from Siya Kolisi’s book entitled ‘Rise’ the students unpacked their leadership principles for the year. They also shared their mission statement and Grade 7 song.
Self – Self is being selfless and not selfish. Self-love, -self-worth and self-respect all start with self. When your body tells you to stop, stop it is self-respect.
Positivity – Positivity is having an open mindset and being optimistic.
Resilience – Resilience is being courageous, persistent, bold and being able to cope in difficult situations. ‘life doesn’t get easier or more forgiving, we get stronger and more resilient’-Steve Maraboli.
Inclusivity – Inclusivity is being inclusive no matter your race, gender, age, and disability.
Natural – Natural is being true to yourself, going with the flow and being pure.
Genuine – Genuine is being authentic, natural and pure.
Brave – Bravery isn’t fear, it is moving forward despite fear. It is taking responsible risks and being courageous.
Objectives – Objective is knowing your goal, having an aim, and staying on track.
Knowledge – Knowledge is power, sharing what you know with others and remaining open to continuous learning.
Grade 7 Mission Statement: The harder we work, the higher we rise, the higher we rise, the better the prize, united together we rise as one, Sisters forever, Kingsmead we treasure.
It was truly a memorable assembly and has set the tone for an incredible year ahead. Well done Grade 7s of 2022.
Lauren Myburgh, Kathryn Raats and Ella de Goede
Arts & Music
We are so excited about the wonderful interest in music this year! A new piano teacher joins our team this week: Megan Cox is a pianist and vocalist experienced in both classical and contemporary music. We are very excited to welcome her to Kingsmead.
GROUP MUSIC MAKING
Music is the most fun when we play or sing together. All string and wind players should join the Foundation strings or Orchestra, we have a lot of fun! Refer to the extra-curricular folder for the schedules for rehearsal days and times.
It is imperative that our registers are up to date both to run our extra-curricular activities efficiently and to be able to communicate with parents whenever necessary. Please ensure that you have signed up for the various activities: registration details and sign-up links are available in the extra-curricular folder on the app.
MEET OUR MUSIC TEACHERS
Watch this video to meet the Kingsmead Music staff of 2022!
MEET your Music Teachers WEEK!
A partnership between parent, teacher and student ensures the best results in learning to play am instrument. Come and meet the music staff this week by popping into a lesson during this week.
SAVE the dates:
The Arts & Music dates for the term ahead can be found in the Arts & Music folder on the app. Diarise the dates that pertain to your daughter’s grade. More details will follow and will be communicate to the relevant parents.
|Monday 7 – Friday 11 February
|Meet your Music teacher week
|Saturday 19 February
|Grade 4-7 Orchestra Workshop
|Wednesday 9 March
|Junior School Singing Sistas
Choir Evening (Grade 4-7 Choir)
|Thursday 10 &
Friday 11 March
|Senior School Major Production
Midsummer Night’s Dream
|Saturday 12 March
|Senior School Major Production
Midsummer Night’s Dream
|Tuesday 15 March
|Grade 1-3 Music Concert
|Thursday 24 March
|Grade 4 & 5 Music Concert
|Thursday 31 March
|Grade 6 & 7 Music Concert
|Tuesday 5 April &
Wednesday 6 April
|Kingsmead Ensemble Festival
(Orchestra, Ensembles & Marimba bands
|Monday 11 April
|Junior & Senior School
Junior School Sport
What an amazing week it has been with the start of our Term 1 sport fixtures. The sports grounds have been buzzing with spirit and our students have been making us very proud. Before we get to the news for this week, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Sport Captains for 2022:
- Swimming: Robyn Herold
- Water Polo: Chloe Chapman & Emily Kennedy
- Diving: Grace Hefer
- Netball: Emma Gray
- Hockey: Jessica de Zeeuw
- Equestrian: Katherine Papadopoulos
- Athletics: Neo Mkwanazi
- Tennis: Ziyanah Mahomed
- Soccer: Brionny Grubb
I look forward to working beside you this year. “Leadership is not about a title or designation. It’s about impact, influence, and inspiration”. – Robin S. Sharma
We would like to congratulate the following players on making it through to the Southern Gauteng hockey trials which will take place on the 22nd of February 2022:
- Chloe Chapman
- Neo Mkwanazi
- Brionny Grubb
Our very first tennis fixture was played against St Mary’s at Kingsmead and the players were outstanding on the courts. It is so amazing to see the players back in the swing of things. Results were as follows:
SINGLES: 25 / 13 won
DOUBLES: 16 / 6 won
SINGLES: 14 / 19 lost
DOUBLES: 6 / 8 lost
Congratulations to all players.
Unfortunately, our first week of galas for the season was called off due to lightning. We were really looking forward to being back in the pool competing, however we are looking forward to the Night Gala which is taking place on Wednesday 9 February at St Mary’s and our next set of galas on Friday 11 February. We wish all swimmers the best of luck for their races this week.
Friday’s 11 February Galas:
A team at St Mary’s
B team at St Mary’s
C team at St Katharine’s
A few reminders for parents & guardians:
- Please send any sport achievements (school & non-school) to Mrs. Hanekom.
- A reminder to please download the Kingsmead App as this will be the direct method of communication to parents on sport fixture days.
- All team lists will be published on the App by no later than the Wednesday before the fixture.
- New addition to the Kingsmead College App – A reminder to refer to the week ahead document on the App in the Sport section.
- We remind parents that in line with the POPI Act we are not permitted to take pictures and videos of Kingsmead students or our opponents at sport fixtures and post these on social media without prior approval from the subjects.
Yours in sport
Head of Junior School Sport