Dear Kingsmead Community,
We have arrived! The end of the term brings with it great congratulations, relief and sincere happiness. Thank you to all who have contributed to making his term a true success! At the start of 2020 we were filled with enthusiasm, expectations and strategic plans. I held onto the vision of strengthening our community bonds and deeply embedding our intent to become a united community open to dialogue and collaboration.
Mid-March, many of our plans shifted and we found ourselves within a storm of change and upheaval. At the start of the Covid storm, I asked the teachers to imagine that we were all on a boat in the sea, navigating a massive storm. Our boats are all different, the winds will rise and they will fall. I described the weathering of the storm as our greatest challenge. I described the shore on which we land as determined by the choices we make during the storm. If we chose to fight, give up or give in – we would surely not have made it to the other side. If we chose to cope, to persevere and try to do what we have always done in a different way we would have arrived on the same shore as before tired and depleted. If we chose to innovate, care, and find new ways of pulling it all together, we would land on a shore of great promise and recovery.
The storm brought with it some quiet, joyful reprieve at times – teaching us great lessons of gratitude – it also brought with it moments of deep sorrow. It was during these deep lows that we needed to pull all our strength to avoid sinking. Our Kingsmead Community, our parent body, would glide in with grace and kindness and really help us rise back to a place of stability. It is at this point that we have understood now more than ever, the importance of community, our Kingsmead Family.
We now stand on an island to rest. We still have choices to make as we begin to navigate the next part of the storm in 2021, but the choices we have made so far have been courageous, responsible, and filled with possibility. It has not been easy to make choices like these, but we did. We made the choice to rethink, reimagine and reinvent our gatherings, our teaching, our learning. Now as we stand at the end of the year, I can confidently and proudly say that we have not only survived, we have thrived.
In the opening speech when Ms DV Thompson founded this school in 1933, her words were relevant then; they are also incredibly relevant today.
“ This school we see before and around us – the bricks and mortar, so well and truly built. It is the girls who will learn and the staff who will teach. Yes this is the body, the framework; these are the dry bones. But something more is required, something to make these dry bones live. A spirit behind them, a purpose towards which to strive, something to breathe, a soul and spirit so that Kingsmead may not just be a building, not just an attractive garden, not just a collection of staff and girls going through a daily routine, but that it may have a soul, a personality of its own, that it may become a life-giving force, an active power in the land”. These words are ever true today. Thank you for breathing life and soul into our community this year.
Next year we welcome the Grade 0 group of students and parents who will celebrate the schools centenary at the time of their final matric exams. Let us make choices together that move our school forward, where social justice is prioritized, where innovation becomes the norm and where we remember that love is central to all our decisions.
I would like to thank some very special people this year who have held this beautiful school together during a torrential storm. Thank you to Ms Palmer for her unwavering strength and leadership as she held the sails of our ship firmly in place. Thank you to the whole school executive team, the members of the PTA and our class representatives for your continued drive to pull our community together. Thank you to the members of Council who have met more this year than in the last four years put together. Thank you to the management team for your ethical and courageous decision making. To Ms Hastings-Brown, Mrs Loock, Mrs O’Maker and Mrs Petzer for leading our tech innovation team. To Mrs Beekhuizen, Dr Dit and Mrs Ilsley for the many hours of rebuilding our school to where it is today. Your strength and leadership as the deputies of this school is the reason I stand strong today. Thank you to the staff who ensure that our school buildings and gardens are loved and cared for with every bit of heart you share. Finally I want to thank our teachers. Our teachers have worked harder than ever before because they truly love our school, you and their Kingsmead community.
School closes for the JP on Wednesday 2 December and for the SP on Thursday 3 December. The JS reception area will be closed on Thursday from 13:00 for the year end staff function. The JS admin team will be available on Friday from 08:00-13:00 for any queries. Please take the time to rest and recover as we prepare for 2021.
School reopens on Wednesday 13th January 2021.
Earlier in the year I shared my thoughts below with the Junior Primary staff. At the end of a complex year, which challenged personal relationships, I thought it might inspire you to self-reflect.
When completing my master’s degree in social work I was introduced to Gestalt psychology, which had a profound impact on the way I work with children. Briefly, the Gestalt concept is an entity or whole of which the total is more than its component parts, which has a certain degree of structure and which remains recognisable as a whole, as long as the relationship between the parts remain.
In Gestalt psychology when an aspect of your life is left hanging it is called unfinished business. I think many of us may currently feel as though various aspects of our lives have been left hanging – we may be experiencing unfulfilled needs, unexpressed feelings or incomplete situations. This is unfinished business.
Unfinished business impacts on our present functioning, affecting the quality of our relationships and how we see the world. It takes courage to confront and process unfinished business, to help us feel whole. Unfinished business doesn’t simply disappear, it simmers below the surface. I therefore encourage you to pick one unfulfilled need, unexpressed feeling or uncompleted situation, to begin processing to help you feel whole – to authentically feel as though you’re in a place to connect with people, your projects and that which is important to you.
Wishing you and your loved ones a blessed 2021.
The Grade 0 and Grade 6 students have been able to make a wonderful contribution to the Early Childhood Centres, Little Stars and Moseko. The Grade 0 funds that were raised from the Dance Marathon were used to purchase grocery hampers for the 80 students at the above mentioned schools, in Diepsloot. Due to COVID-19 our Grade 6 students were unable to visit these ECD centres this year, however, they made a host of wonderful, interactive games for the children to play. The Grade 6s also decorated the grocery buckets in a festive way. We know that these grocery hampers will go a long way in helping feed these children over the December holidays whilst they are not at school. Thank you to the Grade 6 students for giving of their time to help the children at the two preschools that we support.
ARTS & MUSIC
THANK YOU to the Kingsmead community for your support of the Arts & Music Department throughout this year. It has been wonderful to see our students during lockdown in online lessons and rehearsals and since our return to campus, at school. It has been a privilege to continue teaching and working with our musicians this year with all the obstacles we have faced.
CONCERTS & EVENTS
We were delighted to have ‘live’ concerts at school this term. Well done to our young musicians for the diligence, persistence and determination. Watch all our Concerts and last term’s Concerts in the Lounge on our YouTube channel:
Visit the Kingsmead Arts & Music YouTube
The Arts & Music Department wishes everyone on our Kingsmead community a blessed Christmas, wonderful December holiday and healthy, happy 2021.
The Junior School Equestrian Team is looking forward to competing at Sanesa Inter-schools next year.