Dear Kingsmead Community,
October is a month of celebration at Kingsmead. Despite the heavy cloud that hangs over the past six months, the month ahead is lifted with joy and bright hope. Join me as we pause for a brief moment and celebrate some significant milestones this month.
This week our matric students complete their final week at Kingsmead. We celebrate their great tenacity and resilience as they have overcome some of the greatest academic challenges as a result of Covid-19. I have no doubt that through their many losses, they have also gained a tremendous amount through self-discovery and courage. We wish our matrics the strength and focus they require to complete their final exams.
This week we also celebrate World Teachers Day (5 October). As quoted from the Unesco website:
“In 2020, World Teachers’ Day will celebrate teachers with the theme “Teachers: Leading in crisis, reimagining the future”. The day provides the occasion to celebrate the teaching profession worldwide, take stock of achievements, and draw attention to the voices of teachers, who are at the heart of efforts to attain the global education target of leaving no one behind.
The Covid-19 pandemic has significantly added to the challenges faced by already over-extended education systems throughout the world. It is no exaggeration to say that the world is at a crossroads and, now more than ever, we must work with teachers to protect the right to education and guide it into the unfolding landscape brought about by the pandemic.
The issue of teacher leadership in relation to crisis responses is not just timely, but critical in terms of the contributions teachers have made to provide remote learning, support vulnerable populations, re-open schools, and ensure that learning gaps have been mitigated.”
This year has without a doubt stretched our teachers not only in their profession but also with regard to building personal capacity and resilience. Thank you to our students and parents for celebrating our teachers on Monday 5 October. Your love and support is always appreciated.
I would like to personally thank each one of my teaching team for the remarkable way they have lifted each child and colleague this year. Despite personal sacrifice and uncertainty, I am confident that I have the gift of working with the most exceptional professionals each and every day. Your strength does not go unnoticed. 2020 is dedicated to you, the Kingsmead team!
This week we also celebrate Kingsmead’s Birthday!! Kingsmead celebrates 87 years this week. During our 87 years in history, Kingsmead has seen many young women walk through the gardens, corridors and classrooms. Our hope and dream is that each time we welcome a new child to our school, we strive to create a home for each individual to belong, where each story is written with good intention and significance. We look forward to finding some time to celebrate our birthday together this week. It is important at Kingsmead to share our birthday week with our community partners. Goodwill Day this year is celebrated as Goodwill Week. Thank you for assisting us in serving our community and making a positive difference in the lives of others.
And this is just the start of our October celebration month. It is good to have so much to look forward to.
“Celebration is a kind of food we all have in our lives, and each individual brings a special recipe or offering, so that together we will make a great feast. Celebration is a human need that we must not, and cannot, deny. It is richer and fuller when many work and then celebrate together” Corita Kent
Head: Junior School
Parental Influence on Student Math Anxiety and Self-Efficacy
Math anxiety—fear of making mistakes, of getting stuck, of not looking “smart”— can be crippling for a child. Our language as parents and (as studies cited below reveal) particularly math-anxious mothers, is crucial for laying the foundation for self-efficacy and for shifting the math-gender stereotyping for our daughters. Self-efficacy is the belief we have in our own abilities to succeed, specifically our ability to meet the challenges ahead of us and complete a task successfully (Akhtar, 2008).
At Kingsmead, we introduce students to STEM fields of study including information technology, engineering, geo-sciences, life sciences, mathematical sciences, physics and astronomy, social sciences, as they have the potential to make significant contributions one day to improving the future of our country and the world as a result of their developing passions and interests.
With this in mind, we need to encourage our daughters and students to engage with solving math problems and to value the productive struggle that often accompanies the process of working towards a solution. Jumping to the rescue in order to avoid the possible discomfort of grappling with something where the answer is not immediately apparent, teaches them to avoid working through challenging tasks that accompanies new learning.
While you and your daughter might feel that getting ‘stuck’ shows up her (and your?) inadequacies in math – possibly believing that she is not good at math, the opposite might just be true – that struggling shows she is developing her reasoning skills and strategies and is finding alternative ways to persevere while grappling with finding possible answers, or even just a way forward. These are powerful character and life-lessons about learning that are transferable to many other areas of our learning. ‘Persisting’ is one of the Habits of Mind for highly successful people: To stick to it! To persevere through a problem to completion, remaining focused and finding new ways to reach your goal – so as to become ‘unstuck’ and make progress over time.
Please take a moment to read this interesting comment on the emotional component of learning math and other STEM subjects. It includes valuable practical tips for parents wanting to support their child’s learning.
With love and Courage Always
Head: Academics and Innovation
Encouraging Students’ Independence in Math
Parent-child math anxiety and math-gender stereotypes predict adolescents’ math education outcomes https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01597/full
Math Anxiety: The Relationship Between Parenting Style and Math Self-Efficacy https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.01721/full
The Importance of Academic Courage
Courage exists in a mathematics lesson, as much as in riding a bicycle for the first time. Our students develop courage over time to tackle both academic and life challenges, when they discover or are taught strategies on how to achieve this.
While there’s a lot of talk in education about Growth Mindset and Grit, as necessary critical dispositions for successful learning, I want to take these ideas a step further and talk about ‘courage’. Some people have ‘diving-board’ courage but no ‘public-speaking’ courage. ‘Playing a new sport’ courage is different from ‘musical’ courage. We all have courage in certain realms and less in others and we can work on becoming more courageous in areas where we might need it.
So, what does academic courage even mean? It could mean that your daughter doesn’t ‘hide’ in class, pretending she understands things when she doesn’t. It means your daughter takes the risk to raise her hand to ask questions; to share her thinking with others; to take critique from her peers. It means having the courage to choose difficult problems and risk making mistakes. Learning requires us to make mistakes – they are the signposts for where to improve what we do.
In addition, academic courage includes acts such as trying out new skills and activities, or standing up and speaking in front of the classroom, all of which take courage and are examples of Taking Responsible Risks – one of our 16 Habits of Mind.
Learning to avoid perfection is another important aspect of courage. When students value failure as learning opportunities, they’ll be more willing to try new things and try things a second time after they have corrected their mistake. Correcting mistakes is how people achieve true success in life, according to University of Houston research professor and author Brené Brown.
We wish our students a ‘gritty’ term ahead.
Head of Student Affairs / Cognitive – Education
*Adapted from By Ron Berger, Edutopia, October 25, 2017
ARTS & MUSIC
Marimbas are back! Click here for MARIMBA FUN video!
The music department invites our whole community to end the year on a FUN note. PLEASE JOIN US!
2020 has taught us…
Kingsmead’s frog tradition comes with two stories:
The story about the frog who persisted, making butter of the milk
And the frogs from the famous Paul McCartney song, ‘We all stand together’
‘WE ALL STAND TOGETHER COMMUNITY VIDEO PROJECT’
PLEASE JOIN US! It is simple:
1. Listen to the original song by clicking on the Froggie.
2. Then, record yourself singing along with the track – follow the tune played by the violin on the track singing the words on the screen. To watch lyric video, click on the Froggie.
3. Record a video (with our without the audio) singing the song:
a. Without a mask
b. Smiling and having fun!
c. On your own/as a group of friends/as a family/with your class/sport team, be creative!
d. Record the video while singing along to the track provided (NOT the original YouTube video) so that the audio and visuals can be matched up
4. Send the audio and/or video track to email@example.com
5. Any questions or queries – contact Elsabé Fourie on firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
We look forward to receiving HUNDREDS of videos from all our Kingsmead families!
FINAL DATE for entries: Saturday 31 October
“We All Stand Together”
Win Or Lose, Sink Or Swim
One Thing Is Certain We’ll Never Give In
Side By Side, Hand In Hand
We All Stand Together
Play The Game, Fight The Fight
But What’s The Point On A Beautiful Night?
Arm In Arm, Hand In Hand
We All Stand Together
Keeping Us Warm In The Night
La La La La
Walk In The Night
You’ll Get It Right
Win Or Lose, Sink Or Swim
One Thing Is Certain We’ll Never Give In
Side By Side, Hand In Hand
We All Stand Together
The term ahead:
The Arts & Music dates planner is available on the App in the Arts & Music folder. All dates are subject to change and details of all the events will be shared closer to the time. We will have a few more ‘Concerts in the Lounge’ over the next month.
Sat 24 Oct Kingsmead Internal Examination 9h00 – 12h00 Beethoven Room
Wed 28 Oct Kingsmead Music Theory Examinations 14h30-17h30 Learning Centre
Wed 28 Oct Grade 0 & 1 Music Concert 17h30-18h30 Joel hall
Sat 31 Oct Kingsmead Internal Examination 9h00 – 12h00 Beethoven Room
Wed 4 Nov Grade 2 & 3 Music Concert 18h00-19h00 Joel hall
Sat 7 Nov Kingsmead Internal Examination 9h00 – 12h00 Beethoven Room
Wed 11 Nov Grade 6 & 7 Music Concert 18h00-19h00 Joel hall
Wed 18 Nov Grade 4 & 5 Music Concert 18h00-19h00 Joel hall
This year our Goodwill celebrations are extended to an entire week.
DONATE YOUR PREVIOUSLY LOVED CLOTHES AND BOOKS
Springclean your cupboards and shelves and support our Clothes To Good and Book Collection.
Be a fashion recycler and receive a 15% H&M discount voucher when you donate a bag of clothes. The Clothes To Good collection programme is an initiative that works to prevent unwanted clothes and textiles from going to landfills. Clothes To Good use recycled clothes to create value for as many people as possible by creating inclusive jobs and micro-businesses.
Donation bags and permission slips are available from Music Reception.
COURAGE VIRTUAL ARTS EXHIBITION
Participate in the Courage Virtual Arts Exhibition by painting and donating a canvas in support of Courage Child Protection.
Please find information attached or visit the following link http://www.showofcourage.com/ for details on how to enter, where the virtual exhibition will be, some inspiration from previous years and how to purchase the artwork.
Anyone (staff and students) is invited to participate or to support this initiative by purchasing an artwork. For every artwork sold, one Courage Child Protection kit will be donated.
SUPPORT OUR PARTNER ORGANISATIONS
Although we won’t have the opportunity to spend the day with our partner organisations, you can donate towards Rays of Hope, Bunny Hop Haven, Guild Cottage and Fight with Insight and celebrate Goodwill Week with them even while we are apart.
RISE AGAINST HUNGER PACKING EVENT
Bring the entire family and join us in packing 10 000 meals per hours for Rise Against Hunger.
SERVICE ACTIVITIES DURING GOODWILL WEEK
Grade 6-12 students are invited to participate in the various service activities on campus during Goodwill Week. Grade 000-5 can participate in Flower Crown Making and Clothes To Play (making toys from recycled clothing) at home. Please request a Flower Crown@Home or Clothes to Play@Home kit by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
WALK FOR GOOD
Walk for Good in your own neighbourhood with your family on Saturday, 10 October. Junior School students can start preparing their outfits as they will be walking in support of their partner organisations. Preschool and Senior School students will walk in flower crowns in celebration of Garden Day. Click the link to the Google Form here
CELEBRATE GARDEN DAY
Celebrate Garden Day by wearing a flower crown to school on Thursday (Senior School).
Director of Service
EVENING OF WONDERMENT AND AWE
Register for the webinar here