Oh no! Class lists!
Are you one of those parents who dread that day when the class lists are announced? Or do you look forward to the day like a child waiting to unwrap a gift, but not quite certain what lies in store?
It is quite normal to experience some sense of anticipation and even anxiety when considering class placement for the upcoming year. Research indicates that the social and emotional experience of girls at school is important and when our daughters are unhappy, it feels quite natural to want to make things right and more comfortable.
The class lists will be announced on 29 November 2019 and so it is important to use this non-emotive time to consider how class lists are put together and how you can best support your daughter and her learning, through this process.
The class lists at Kingsmead are thoroughly analysed weeks before this date by your daughter’s class or LEAD teacher. They consider factors such as academics (we believe a fair spread of ability is healthy and important in a differentiated classroom), social and emotional factors, transformation as well as any individual needs your daughter has. This is to ensure that each class is balanced and receives equal attention throughout the year on all aspects. Once the teachers have considered the lists, our Support Team (academic and counselling) go through them again to give new perspective, to consider any confidential information that may need to be integrated into the decisions (such as a social difficulty between two students) and then it is given to the Deputy Heads of each phase and our Head of School.
As a result, we believe that we have a sound process in place which considers your daughter as a whole person and what would best serve her interests in the following year. What is really critical to consider is that while we want your daughter to feel safe and secure socially, we also believe that exposing her to new personalities and friendships is healthy as well as important. We frequently state that we teach beyond the curriculum at Kingsmead and prepare our girls for life outside of school. Part of that education is developing skills and strategies to be able to integrate with different people and make new friends, which we will assist your daughter to do, through specific, scaffolded steps.
As a parent, you can help your daughter to prepare for receiving her class list by doing the following at home:
- Talk up the process. Even if you are feeling anxious, don’t share that with your child. Feel free to come and see one of us for a cup of coffee if you need to talk.
- Talk up the teachers and her peer group. Present the possibility before her. This is a real opportunity to learn about others, broaden her social network and explore different friendships.
- If your daughter feels disappointed, explore what exactly it is that is making her feel this way. What would help her to move forward more positively? Do not present the solution of moving classes as the way out. How else can we address this challenge, what are the small steps along the way?
- Ask your daughter to go through the class list with you and explore the relationships she has with each student. Sometimes saying “I have no friends” in the class is the same as saying “I am the only one” not going to the party, and may require a deeper look.
- If you have genuine concerns, make an appointment with your daughter’s LEAD or class teacher to discuss these.
As part of our philosophy of learning, we do not move children out of classes as a solution. We will of course consider this if we believe that there is a legitimate reason to do so, however, in our experience, this fundamentally teaches children that they don’t have the skill set to face the challenge before them. Usually, we will work with children individually to set small goals with dates and steps attached, with regular meetings to see how they are doing. This gives us both the opportunity to help her to learn and grow as well as to keep a close eye on the situation. This has proved to be very successful in teaching children not only how to learn new skills and ways to socialize which increases their friendship network, but also shows them that they have courage and that we believe in them and has had great results in developing self-confidence too.
So please mark off the 29 November as a day of celebration in your home, to welcome the new opportunities of 2020.
Dr Marisa Di Terlizzi
Deputy Head: Head of Senior Primary
Preparing our Grade 7 students for the Senior School’s Growth Curriculum
I asked Bronwyn Bocher, Co-Ordinator of the Senior School Growth Curriculum, for her reflections on how well our 2018 Gr 7s were prepared for the growth curriculum this year. I want to understand how the Junior School might improve its pedagogy and curriculum offering, as well as gain insight into what we do well by identifying our strengths. Her response was as follows:
I must say that the Grade 8s that came up from the Junior School took to the Growth Curriculum beautifully. Grade 8 is a huge adjustment for anyone but with the added dynamic of a new curriculum, I know we set the bar quite high. The Growth Curriculum demands strong adaptability, curiosity and collaboration skills. In this regard I believe your previous Grade 7s were exceptionally well equipped. They were also able to adjust to the Senior School’s expectations for independence and proactiveness far quicker than girls that had come from systems where they had clearly been spoon fed by their teachers, or schools where teachers are the unquestioned authority. I think that the age-appropriately rigorous IBL in the Junior School lays a solid foundation for the jump to the Growth Curriculum.
Bronwyn Bocher, Growth Curriculum Co-Ordinator
Bronwyn and a number of the Junior School IBL teachers, have collaborated extensively over the past years. We have learnt so much from each other as we strive to become increasingly effective as teachers and to embrace best-practice based on local and global research in education. We thank Bronwyn for her passion for developing interested, curious, and well-directed students, as well as for her tireless and insightful support of our teaching initiatives in the Junior School.
Deputy Head: Head Academics and Innovation
Christmas Market at Kingsmead
We look forward to seeing our Kingsmead family at the Christmas market on Thursday 21 November. Due to the Christmas Market at Kingsmead the Junior Primary students will finish their academic day at 12:30 and the Senior Primary students will finish at their normal time at 13:15. All Students are to be collected from the Tottenham main car park as the field parking will be closed for the afternoon for the market set-up.
Goodwill Day was a wonderful day of celebrating our community engagement partners and the school’s birthday. The day started with a Walk in Colour proudly sponsored by Nedbank and the rest of the programme was jam packed with exciting activities for the entire family. The PTA hosted a lovely brunch garden where parents could enjoy the rugby and live music.
With the entrance fee of gently worn clothes, the Kingsmead community donated 1.3 tons of clothing to Clothes To Good.
Visitors from Fight with Insight, Rays of Hope and Guild Cottage enjoyed complimentary meals, received sponsored wristbands for the activities on the day and participated in marimba workshops.
Thank you to everyone who supported our community partners by donating hair for A Few Grey Hairs, feeding bunnies from The Bunny Hop Haven, boxing with Fight with Insight, supporting the SANBS blood drive and enjoying the Courage arts exhibition. Other organisations that were represented on the day included Park Care, JAM, The Society for Animals in Distress, Dignity Dreams, Mina Foundation and Community Hours.
The Senior School students played an active part in Goodwill Day, with each grade taking responsibility for various activities. These activities included carnival games, a haunted house, stalls, a tea garden and hosting partner organisations and visitors on the day. All funds raised are donated to our community engagement partners.
Director of Service
ARTS & MUSIC
Well done to all our musicians who played so beautifully in the recent Grade 0 & 1 and Grade 2 & 3 Music Concerts. It was wonderful to see the excitement to perform and the sense of accomplishment once they had finished playing. The close relationships our music teachers develop with their students was also wonderful to witness. We are privileged as teachers to be on this special musical journey with the girls and it is an absolute pleasure to see them develop into confident musicians who love to share their music with an audience.
We look forward to the Grade 4 & 5 and 6 & 7 concerts next week. Your daughter’s teacher will notify you if she is on the programme to perform. The programme will be posted on the live calendar on the day of the concert. Girls are to wear summer school uniform. Please note that the concerts start at 18h00 and are in the Joel hall.
|Tue 19 Nov||Grade 4 & 5 Music Concert||18h00-19h00|
|Wed 20 Nov||Grade 6 & 7 Music Concert||18h00-19h00|
Dance & Drama Acknowledgments
On Monday 2 December during the assembly, we will be acknowledging all our students doing Dance or Drama at Kingsmead or at other private studios. Please send the names of students who have participated in festivals/examinations/assessments or any other special mentions or awards to Thato Makae by Wednesday 27 November. The girls who are involved in Ballet with Denise, Modern Dance with Dance Mouse or Drama with Creative Ant at Kingsmead will be included so you do not need to send these names to us; only girls who have achieved in these areas outside of Kingsmead. We will not showcase any performances or hand out certificates because of the number of girls involved, but would like to acknowledge and applaud them at school.
Should you have any questions or queries about Arts & Music at Kingsmead, please don’t hesitate to contact me via email. firstname.lastname@example.org
Director of Arts & Music
From the Sports Desk
Term 3B cycle will wind up our busy year of sporting events. We have chosen to give students an opportunity to play soccer and basketball. This term we will focus on skill acquisition and internal mini friendly games. Next year will hopefully see the introduction of friendly external matches.
Grade 1-3 APPS gala
Grade 1-3 APPS gala will take place on Wednesday 13 November. Our JP swimmers are very excited and we look forward to a sunny morning filled with great sportsmanship. Certificates will be presented at our final EC Assembly.
Our season ended with Kingsmead participating in the annual prestige meeting held at St Stithians. We were placed 6th out of 9 schools. The team achieved 3 x 1st placings; 6 x 2nd placings and 6 x 3rd placings. Certificates will be presented at our final EC Assembly.
Water Polo – Gauteng Schools
Congratulations to the following students who have been selected for the final Gauteng Schools water polo teams.
Reserve: Emma Keast
EC Final Assembly
Our JS EC final assembly will take place on Tuesday 3 December. We invite the parents to come and share our sport celebrations with us.
Junior School Head of Sports