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Our Connection: Issue 2

Alison TreslingJunior School Leave a Comment

Dear Kingsmead Community

I hope the start of the year has brought a sense of optimism and renewed energy. I continue to pinch myself and realise it is already February … the year is in full swing… what possibilities are we embracing?

As you may well be aware, lots of exciting things are taking place at our school, from rose and biscuit sales, matric dance, Footloose Friday, cake and candy, galas etc. to name a few. Amidst all the excitement and busy, I want to pause and reflect …

Picture1 Kingsmead College

All girl’s education is particularly important in this moment in time because of the challenges that exist in our world, and I am convinced that the answers could lie within their minds, hearts, and hands of the young women we are educating now.

At Kingsmead learning is real, authentic, fun, and both staff and students are full of ambition. Students are very supportive of each other and staff alike. It is a school community where teachers work collaboratively to ensure that the students achieve their potential, recognising the wise words of our founder, Miss. D.V Thompson in the year 1938: “Our duty is to train the whole personality”.

Schools are about giving students a passion for learning and tools to be lifelong learners, remaining open to continuous learning. It is our responsibility as a school to create a learning community where everybody is involved in a continuous cycle of learning, review, reflection and improving.

When I look to the future of our school, I see a world of possibility for all who visit and attend this special place. I look forward to watching this extraordinary school continue to flourish as a school that builds on its strong history of excellence and leadership in all girl’s education.

We must continue to take a forward-thinking approach to best prepare our students to be the leaders and citizens that our world needs.

A girl that graduates from an all-girls environment will have experience and know that she has a voice, that her voice is heard, valued and that her contributions can have an impact on her community; and the message that she is leaving our school with, is that she is within a world where she belongs – in a world where HER actions matter.

I firmly believe that a day at Kingsmead includes the joy of learning, inquiry and discovery, as well as, acting with courage, integrity and leadership in the face of challenge and change.

This was further reiterated in the mission statement led by our Grade 7 class of 2024:

We, at Kingsmead, thrive together
We’ll always be sisters forever and ever

Unlocking our potential together we unite
To create a future that’s colourful and bright

We paint our dreams with green and gold
And tell stories that are yet to be told

We believe that the sky isn’t our limit
No one will stop us; we’ll always keep our spirit

Embracing possibility through every door
We are the Grade 7s of 2024!

#Thriving in Possibility
Tarryn McLaren
Junior School Head

Resources for Parents – Connecting with your Daughter
We trust that you have enjoyed our bi-weekly parent slot… This week, I’d like to share a a local author and resource for the development of girls. Last week we were lucky to host Naomi Holdt, an Educational Psychologist from Kwa-Zulu Natal.

With her extensive knowledge of the workings of the brain, mental well-being, and the environments required for success, Naomi’s presentations have helped thousands of people to gain insight and reach their potential. Her speaking style is engaging and informative and delivers complex concepts in a manner that everyone can understand and relate to.

Some takeaways from her talk include:

  • Parents are everything.
  • Consistency is important.
  • Prioritise yourself as a parent.
  • Connect with your child and play.
  • It’s okay to say sorry.
  • Focus on values and not rules.

Her book, Bounce: How to Raise Resilient Kids and Teens is an easy-to-read, effective guide that can make an immediate difference to your parenting approach and your relationship with your children. Based on years of experience as a parent and a parenting expert, it provides accessible information and advice, thought-provoking exercises and proven techniques

Thinking-Feeling School Orientation Workshop
Our annual Thinking/Feeling Orientation saw new families, class and subject teachers, support teachers, interns and new students gathering on Saturday, 3 February 2024. The level of engagement of all involved created a sense of camaraderie between parents, as well as teachers and students. Our teachers shared their learning journeys with parents and new staff, and then assisted in teaching our new students about various thinking tools

Picture1hj Kingsmead College

Reflecting on their learnings for the morning, some parents commented as follows:

  • What are your expectations for your daughter? “To be fulfilled, happy and a humble human being, ready to contribute, to be loved, to have a sense of her identity.”; “Out the box thinking, to be prepared for a world she doesn’t know; creative thinking and able to problem solve”.
  • I used to think that being part of a Thinking School meant that a Growth Mindset and Thinking Tools are only applicable to academics; its far more than that! It’s about my daughter’s development as a whole.
  • I used to think that giving praise was enough, but now I know I need to be more deliberate with my words.
  • I used to think that success is measured by good marks, now I know that success looks different for every individual.
  • I now know that this is the best learning environment for my daughter!
  • I am so grateful that my child is at Kingsmead and has this opportunity.
  • The power of ‘yet’!
  • Learning is continuous.
  • Even I, as a parent, can learn new things!
  • The process of praising kids – for effective praise – need to praise the process and not the intelligence.
  • Growth over time – its about the journey.
  • Learning can and will be fun. And it’s okay if it appears messy.

We are so grateful to the team of passionate teachers 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 on how we can improve your daughter’s performance within the classroom and 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…

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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 process. 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 ‘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.

Encourage Failure/Setbacks
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.

Screenshot 2024 02 13 102843 1 Kingsmead College

Tarryn McLaren
Junior School Head

Sjaneen Pretorius
Deputy Head: Academics and Innovation

Read Write Inc.
We are so excited about our new literacy programme that has been implemented this year from Grade 0-4. Our literacy review panel (consisting of staff across the Junior School) put together a comprehensive investigation to find the best literacy programme that would be most beneficial for our Kingsmead students. After extensive research, the decision was made to implement the Read Write Inc programme.

Picture1hhnhbhbnh Kingsmead College

Read Write Inc. Phonics was first created by Ruth Miskin in 2002. Her belief is that ‘every child can, and must, learn to read, is at the heart of the Read Write Inc. programme.’
In the Read Write Inc. phonics lessons, children learn to read with accuracy and fluently with good comprehension. They learn to form each letter, spell and compose their own ideas when writing.

Children learn +- 150 graphemes that represent the 44 sounds of the English language. For example: the sound s (sssssssss- slither down the snake) can be represented by s, ss, c, ce, se. The children rapidly learn the sounds and the letter or groups of letters (graphemes) that represent them. This is done in a systematic order across Set 1, 2 and 3, as well as additional sounds. During each lesson the children will also be taught a range of high frequency words that we call our ‘Red Words’. These words are not phonetically regular and are known as tricky or sight words.
Simple and enjoyable mnemonics help the children to quickly grasp the letter-sound correspondence.

Picture2gdrgtrgdg Kingsmead College

The Read Write Inc lessons are differentiated across the grades but the same lesson format and vocabulary is used across the school. This leads to whole school language and consistency across classes and grades.

The lessons from Grade 1 up will include a sound element, reading and writing activities. The reading focuses on accuracy, fluency and comprehension and the writing consists of transcription and comprehension. Not only do children learn to read and write with confidence, they also develop co-operative behaviour and build confidence to articulate their ideas and understanding.

This is just a brief summary of the Read Write Inc programme being implemented at Kingsmead. Please join us on Thursday, 15 February at 07h40 in the Joel Hall for a more detailed ‘coffee morning’ about our exciting new literacy programme.

Looking forward to seeing you there..

Lauren Baines-Fourie
Learning Support Specialist
Read Write Inc Reading Leader

Art & Music

This year’s Senior School Major Production, UBUNYE is a joyful celebration of the South African spirit and 30 years of freedom. It tells the story of our people, with South African music and dance woven through the stories and poetry. The script was written for Kingsmead by well-known theatre maker Daniel Geddes and further developed by the cast and creative team. Unity in our diversity is what makes South Africans such a resilient and colourful nation. UBUNYE is a feel good, family show.

Tickets will become available this week: keep an eye on the App, click on the banner on the Alerts page and get your tickets from Quicket.

Monday 11 & Tuesday 12 March: Family Shows @17h00
Wednesday 13 & Thursday 14 March: Evening Shows @19h00
Adults: R120 Children: R90

Don’t miss out!
The PTA will sell food, snacks, and drinks from 45 min before each event starts.

Poster for newsletters Kingsmead College

🥳 Congratulations!
Congratulations to Nina Fourie, Lisakanya Tshabalala and Malaika Sibanda on their appointment as our music captains for 2024. We have every confidence that you will excel in guiding our Choir, Orchestra and Marimba bands with grace and integrity. Best wishes for a successful and fulfilling year ahead!

🎶JP Masicule Sonke Choir Festival
Our annual Kingsmead Junior Primary Masicule Sonke Choir Festival for Grade 1-3 students will take place on Tuesday 19 March at Rosebank Union Church, Sandton. All Kingsmead Grade 2s and 3s will be performing at this exciting event. This festival promises to be a wonderful display of the joy of making music together. There are no tickets or entrance fees, and everyone is encouraged to come and support our young musicians. A letter with more information about this event can be found on the App in the Arts & Music folder.

JP Masicule Sonke Choir Festival Poster 2024 Kingsmead College

🎶Singing Sistas Choir Festival
The Grade 4-7 Choir will be performing at the annual Singing Sistas Choir concert on Thursday 14 March at St Mary’s. We are excited to perform with our neighbouring schools at this wonderful event. A letter with more information can be found on the App in the Arts & Music folder as well as on the Grade 4-7 Choir WhatsApp group. If you have not yet joined this WhatsApp group, please reach out to the teacher in charge to be added.

There is a compulsory Choir workshop on Friday, 16 February 13h30-16h00 in the Joel Hall. Email Ms. Meerkotter (emeerkotter@kingsmead.co.za) if your daughter is unable to attend the workshop, but please make every effort for her to be there, as it is essential that we are thoroughly prepared for our upcoming performances.

🎻Upcoming Music Concerts:

Saturday 16 March 08h30-12h00 Grade 1-3 Music Concert
Tuesday 26 March 18h00-19h00 Grade 6 & 7 Music Concert
Wednesday 27 March 18h00-19h00 Grade 4 & 5 Music Concert

The Music department offers a range of music concerts during the year for all students who take individual music lessons. These concerts cannot include every music student in our school but provide a performance opportunity for those students who have a piece ready to perform at the time of the concert.

If your daughter does not have a piece that is performance ready at the time of the concert, she has not missed her chance. We also have class concerts, assembly performances and many more concerts during the year. Your daughter’s instrumental/voice teacher will let you know if your daughter is ready to perform in the concert.

Should your daughter take lessons privately, outside of Kingsmead, and would like to participate in any of these concerts, please contact Mia Loock via email: mloock@kingsmead.co.za

Students must wear their summer school uniform for these concerts and be at the Joel Hall at least 15 minutes before the start of the concert, or earlier, as requested by the teacher. We expect students to stay until the end of the concert.

Elsabé Fourie
Director of Arts & Music

Kingsmead Arts & Music

Mia Loock
Head of Junior School Music


We are thrilled to announce the new sport captains for 2024! These students have been selected to lead their teams with enthusiasm, dedication, and sportsmanship.
Congratulations to our new captains:

  • Swimming: Madison Botha
  • Diving: Olona Mbele
  • Tennis: Leah Schoeman
  • Netball: Reneilwe Ramutla
  • Hockey: Georgie Dalling
  • Soccer: Milan Williams
  • Athletics: Kylie Dugmore
  • Water Polo & Equestrian: Lucy Berry

We have no doubt that these students will inspire their teammates to strive for excellence on and off the field. Let’s rally behind our captains and cheer them on as they lead their teams to victory in the coming year.

Here’s to a successful sporting year ahead!

2024 sport captains Kingsmead College

Our weekly swimming fixture saw a great turn out from our A, B and C teams at various venues.

Kingsmead Grade 3 – 7 swimmers gave it their all, with many swimmers pushing themselves to new limits and showing great enthusiasm for the sport. It’s clear that our swimming teams are full of potential, and we’re excited to see how they progress in the coming weeks.

Overall, it was a fantastic week of swimming for all of our teams, and we couldn’t be prouder of the hard work and dedication shown by our athletes. Here’s to another successful week of competition ahead!

We would like to take a moment to acknowledge the incredible achievements of our Grade 4 – 7 tennis players who participated in the recent tennis festivals.

Our students displayed excellent sportsmanship and skill on the courts, representing our school with pride and perseverance. They competed against some of the most talented youth tennis players in the region and left a lasting impression with their dedication and passion for the sport.

Water Polo
On 31 January, our Grade 7 water polo team kicked off the season with an impressive performance against St Mary’s, winning 11-3. The girls showed remarkable skills in the pool and teamwork, setting a promising tone for the rest of the season.

In conclusion to the 2023 year, we had a few U12 and U13 hockey players attend the first round of D9 hockey trials. The following players attended these trials:

Vuyo Mkwanazi
Taylor Palmer
Jasmine Lovemore
Scarlett Larsen
Thakagalo Semenya
Vera Collocott
Sinekazimulo Mthembu


Lucy Berry
Malaika Sibanda
Madison Botha
Olona Mbele
Georgie Dalling
Yusairah Hoosen
Kylie Dugmore

With the following players making it through to the second round of D9 trials:

Vuyo Mkwanazi
Thakagalo Semenya
Sinekazimulo Mthembu

Yusairah Hoosen
Lucy Berry
Olona Mbele
Malaika Sibanda

At the end of January, the following talented players attended their trials and the following players have been selected to advance onto their final round of D9 Phoenix (U12) and Southern Gauteng (U13) where they will showcase their skills and determination on the field:

U12 Phoenix trials:

Vuyo Mkwanazi
Sinekazimulo Mthembu

Lucy Berry
Olona Mbele

We wish them all the best of luck!

The recent South African National Equestrian Schools Association (SANESA) qualifier held at Kyalami Park was a thrilling showcase of equestrian talent. The event saw top schools and riders come together to compete across various equestrian disciplines.

The competition featured dressage, show jumping, equitation, and working riding classes. The Kingsmead riders demonstrated exceptional skill and dedication in their performances, with judges commending the high standard of riding and horse management shown by all participants. The following students placed within the top 5 of their class:

Ava Jansen van Rensburg – Showjumping 1st place & 4th place
Isabel Munro – Dressage 1st place
Sophie Rohrs – Showjumping 5th place
Anvita Nunna – Equitation 1st place, Prix Caprilli 1st place, Showjumping 3rd & 5th place
Lucy Berry – Showjumping 2nd place & Equitation 4th place

Congratulations to all riders who participated and best of luck for the next qualifying round.

Outside Sport
Midmar Mile

Congratulations to Anna Herb, Grace Cornish-Bowden and the Renshaw family for completing the Midmar Mile this weekend. This swim takes a lot of courage and determination, and we are incredibly proud of each one of you who took on the challenge.

Congratulations to Yakira Ravjee for being awarded Gymnast of the Year at the end of last year with an impressive scorecard at the Gymnastics Prize Giving. Yakira will now be entering the pre-competition phase and then she will be moving onto level 1. Well done, Yakira!

Screenshot 2024 02 13 112532 Kingsmead College

Upcoming Events

Thursday, 15 February – Grade 4 – 7 Tennis vs St Stithians & St Teresa’s
– A/B play at Kingsmead, C/D play at St Teresa’s
There will be a bus departing at 14h00. All players are to please travel to the fixture on the bus. Parents may collect students at the venue after the fixture.

Saturday, 17 February – Grade 3 – 7 Gala
– A team at St Andrew’s, B team at Kingsmead, C team at Roedean
Please note that there will be no transport provided for this fixture. Students are to please meet at the venue by 07h30.

Thursday, 22 February – Grade 3 – 7 Inter-House Gala
Parents/guardians are welcome to support.
(Teams are to be confirmed on the app by a Tuesday for Thursday fixtures, and by Wednesday for Friday/Saturday fixtures.)

A few reminders for parents & guardians:
1. Please send any sports achievements (school & non-school) to Mrs Hanekom.
2. A reminder to please download the Kingsmead app as this will be the direct method of communication to parents on sports fixture days.
3. All team lists will be published on the app by no later than Tuesday for a Thursday fixture and the Wednesday before the Friday fixture.

Yours in sport
Shavaun Hanekom
Head of Junior School Sport

14172 KM Sports Logo RGB 02 HS 20220919 01 Kingsmead College

Transformation, Diversity and Inclusion

The Grade 7 leadership assembly was a special event that reminded us all of the characteristics of great leadership. These include: inspiration, caring, courage, dedication and humility. All of these were on display as the Grade 7 leaders put on an event that reminded everyone in attendance about the values this community holds so dear. Happiness, another of our values, was apparent not only in the audience but on the stage where the Grade 7s conducted themselves with a high standard of delivery.

The Transformation, Diversity and Inclusion (TDI) committee, made up of Grade 7s, was announced. They are:

Isabella Cattich
Aaliyah Mussa
Emma Renshaw
Zamajobe Sithole
Owethu Tyibilika
Emaan Vally
Lungisile Mchunu

We are proud of them and look forward to the journey of promoting Kingsmead’s proud heritage and making the environment inclusive for everyone.

Onke Mazibuko
Director of TDI

13186 KM TDI campaign Logo FA White background Kingsmead College

Footloose Friday

WA Footloose Friday 16th feb Kingsmead College

Grade 7 Cake and Candy

Cake and Candy advert Kingsmead College

Functional Pencil Grasp
You might have heard the term “functional grasp” before. This is way more important than your perfect tripod grasp when it comes to handwriting.

A “functional grasp” means the child can hold the pencil, write with legible handwriting (possibly with poor letter formation, size or placement) and does not have joints that are hyperextended or otherwise inefficient joint positioning. Fatigue and endurance play a part in a functional pencil grasp.

Functional grasp also means the child can perform the strokes that make up the letters and numbers without pain, low endurance, misaligned joints or with proximal motions of the arm.

As your child’s body matures and strengthens so the way your child grasps a crayon or pencil will develop and mature. Usually, given normal play and development opportunities by the time a child is 5-6 years old he/she should have the correct pencil grip needed for handwriting. However, if we force the “correct grip” before the muscles are developmentally ready to control the pencil in that way, we run the risk of awkward pencil grasps emerging.

How can you help your child?
Believe it or not but pencil-and-paper activities are NOT the best way to help your child develop a good pencil grasp.

Learning to hold and use a pencil or crayon does not develop in isolation from other fine motor skills. There are several underlying functions that can help your child develop good fine motor skills.

If you make sure that your child is developing important foundation skills (postural stability, tactile perception, hand function and bilateral co-ordination) then you are helping him/her have a good chance at developing a functional, efficient pencil grasp.

We have included activities to do with your child to improve pencil grasp. These activities should be done with a tripod grip. Please see images below.

Ways to improve Pencil Grasp with these Household Items:

Picture5 Kingsmead College
  1. Push toothpicks into an empty spice container
  2. Poke dry spaghetti into the holes of a colander
  3. Tear pieces of paper into small pieces and use the torn pieces in an art project!
  4. Drop dry beans into play dough
  5. “Paint” with water using small squares of cut-up kitchen sponges
  6. Press push pins into a foam board or recycled boxes
  7. Poke toothpicks into a shoe box or empty cereal box
  8. Press board game pieces into play dough
  9. Use tweezers to place small balls of tissue paper into a container

Tarryn Kulber and Gillian Greyling
Occupational Therapists

Conversational Starter
We hope that you enjoyed the last conversation starter…as we know, one of the signs of a healthy family is open and meaningful conversation/communication. But often finding the time or the points to speak to, don’t always come easily. We thought we would share some prompts to facilitate this process, which are ideal to share around the table, on a trip – anytime, anywhere.

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