Dear Kingsmead Community,
On 11 October we celebrated the International Day of the Girl, initiated by Unicef as a recognition of women’s rights as human rights. This years’ theme, “My voice, our equal future” was a springboard for many recent classroom conversations. Our students are encouraged to step up and use their voices as responsible and equal contributors to society. Our students are learning that their voices need not be the loudest, most aggressive, or dominating voice to be a voice that is relevant and meaningful enough to be heard. Our students are learning that through effective listening, compassion, collaboration and assertive reasoning, their voice will have a profound impact that will last a long time into the future.
We endeavour to actively source role models for our students so that they too see women making a difference in the world and here in South Africa. We have invited women like Antoinette Sithole, Saray Khumalo and just this week, Adriana Marais to address and inspire our Kingsmead students. In Dr Marais’ own words stated in the webinar, “If you have a dream – you need to make this happen yourselves; it is up to you and nobody else”. Thank you to our parent body, students and staff who joined our webinar last week as an experience for Wonderment and Awe.
Thank you to our maintenance team for the professional completion of our Cecil Avenue walkway. Our students who are dropped at Cecil gate will soon be able to enter and leave the school along a covered, lightening-safe route to the Joel Hall where future Covid screening procedures will take place. Please drop your daughter at the walkway and allow them to proceed independently into the school grounds. A detailed procedure for drop off and pick up will be communicated as part of the revised lightening plans.
We will be hosting two Open Day afternoons this week Wednesday and Thursday for prospective parents. Limited places for these events are available. Please forward the invitation to families within your community who may be interested in becoming a part of the Kingsmead family.
I am so grateful that we reached the halfway mark of the final term happily and with few interruptions. We have less than 7 weeks left of our third term. I look forward to claiming more and more opportunities together as we close the term.
Head: Kingsmead Junior School
An Evening of Wonderment and Awe
Last Wednesday, 14 October 2020, we celebrated our annual event where we take time to explore and celebrate the Habit of Mind – Responding with Wonderment and Awe. This Habit of Mind reminds us to keep searching and finding the world awesome, mysterious and being intrigued by its wonder and beauty. It encourages us to have fun figuring it out; to be curious and to continually ask why?
We were blessed to have Dr Adriana Marais as a our guest speaker.
In stalking our guest’s presence on the web, there are common keywords that keep popping up: human, aspirations, dreams, resilience, collaboration – as well as science, biology, technology, Earth, Mars, resources and environment, all linked to challenges and opportunities – and fundamentally pointing to hope for humankind on so many levels.
Our hope is that each of our students become fascinated by the work shared with us, by our special guest and her teams of scientists from around the world. Our hope is that Dr Adriana Marias, continues to be inspired to learn so much more about our Earth, it’s humans and the planets beyond us.
Dr Adriana Marais is a theoretical physicist, technologist and aspiring extra-terrestrial.
Adriana is Founder of Proudly Human, a movement working towards a future in harmony with each other and the environment, whatever planet we are on.
She recently visited the Antarctic interior and the Oman desert, searching for sites for Proudly Human’s Off-World Project. The Project is a series of off-world settlement experiments, demonstrating off-grid capabilities from life-support to communication systems, as well as community spirit, in the most extreme environments on Earth.
Adriana is a Director at the Foundation for Space Development, which includes an initiative with Africa’s first mission to the Moon, to positively impact lives in Africa through space technology.
She is also a member of the South African Government Ministerial Task Team on the 4th Industrial Revolution
But that’s not all – she was also an astronaut candidate with the Mars One Project.
Adriana holds an MSc in quantum cryptography and a PhD in quantum biology.
Her award-winning postdoctoral research focused on quantum effects in photosynthesis as well as the origins of life. She is currently working on developing a new economic system for extreme and resource-constrained environments towards a second PhD.
We welcomed Adriana back to Kingsmead and to our audience of aspiring, passionate young scientists who joined us. These are the people who might well take this work into the future and make the world a better place for us all.
Her talk was awe-inspiring and intriguing. She touched on topics like ‘on and off-world’ problems and possible solutions, preparing for living life in Space and on Mars. Most importantly, she offered us hope for humanity and our Earth as she reminded us of the value of dreaming big, and owning and following our dreams, no matter how challenging the journey might be.
We closed the event by celebrating a quote of hope and prosperity from the Proudly Human Twitter feed, March 2020, “It’s not just about Mars, whether in times of coronavirus, quarantine, informal settlements, overcrowded cities or on Mars, human needs remain the same. Let’s take to reimaging our world, towards living in harmony with each other & our environment. Whatever planet we are on…”
Head of Student Affairs / Cognitive Education Coordinator / NS Teacher
30 Day Inclusion Challenge
A number of our teachers are working through the #30DayInclusionChallenge during October. The insights gained though this well-scaffolded course help to develop the language needed for deepening our introspection in order to build and heal relationships with each other. The first week’s powerful unit of learning was on Race and Ethnicity. Some of the topics explored are about the Culture of Privilege and the fundamental importance of understanding our country’s history in order to build trust. I also learnt tools for Interrupting Bias to shift hurtful behaviour in a manner that is inclusive and mindful of the other. For this introspective process to occur, we need to be open to interrogate how we think, which underpins what we believe and ultimately feel.
Daniel Kim has an interesting model for what makes for ‘successful’ organisations – schools being one of them:
Great quality results are enabled by great quality actions and behaviours – which in turn are underpinned by great quality thinking – which are fundamentally based on great quality relationships… this speaks directly to our philosophy of nurturing a Feeling-Thinking school where we invest our energies first in building our relationships with each of our students and colleagues. Through this deliberate work we develop ‘trust’ that leads to greater social cohesion… ultimately achieving greater results in learning for every student.
If you are interested in joining us on our journey, please follow the link here:
30 Day Inclusion Challenge
With love and Courage Always,
Head Academics and Innovation
Goodwill Week 2020
Thank you to everyone for their participation in Goodwill Week.
Goodwill Week highlights included:
- A Conscious Fashion Virtual Exhibition raised awareness for sustainable, conscious and ethical fashion habits;
- 1.4 tons of clothing donated to Clothes To Good;
- 530 toys were made from recycled clothing for the Clothes to Play programme (these toys will be donated to ECD centres in Diepsloot);
- 78 flower crowns and packets of vegetable seeds were donated to Sefokeng Primary school;
- 52 books were creatively adapted into sensory books for Adapt-a-Book and donated to Sunshine Association;
- 42 000 meals were packed at the Rise Against Hunger meal packing event;
- 108 people participated in Walk for Good and R12550 was raised for the Kingsmead Trust;
- 46 units of blood were donated at the SANBS Goodwill Blood Drive;
- 17 paintings were sold in the Show of Courage Virtual Arts Exhibition in support of Courage Child Protection;
- The Grade 12s donated 3 trees, many succulents and beautiful stepping stones with their names on to the Kingsmead gardens.
A special thank you to every student and every family member who participated and gave generously of their time, creativity and resources to make a difference in our community.
Director of Service
We are pleased to at last be open for business, all be it with limited options for now. No “sharing” items such as crisps and Mentos are available at the moment. For health and safety reasons we will be completely cashless. This means students will only be permitted to make purchases using their tuck shop cards/bands. Due to changes in the timetable and capacity of the tuck shop, visits during school hours will be a Grade 7 privilege at the moment. Younger grades may visit the tuck shop after school.
For any account queries and assistance please see the ALLXS guide under the Tuck Shop icon on the App or contact their technical department on 011 201 2025. Any requests for replacement bands and cards (from Grade 7 upwards) should be emailed to GChurch@Kingsmead.co.za , a R50 replacement charge is applicable.