Valentines gala 1 Kingsmead College

Our Connection: Issue 3

Alex BoucheJunior School Leave a Comment

Dear Kingsmead Community,

We are back already from our first half term break for 2024 and trusting that it was restful. As we move into our 2nd part of the first term, I reflect on a busy but awesome start to the year. Kingsmead staff and students – you are incredible and I am in awe of the hard work and gifts that abound in our community!

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Thank you for your generosity and care thus far. We thank you for the shoe donations, the rose and biscuit sales, the attendance to events and the participation in parent coffee mornings. Valentine’s Week was the perfect opportunity to pause and show our family and friends how much we love and care for them. I remind all parents and guardians to check our App daily for the calendarised events and details.

The increasing responsibility in raising children today can be daunting. It seems that there is an ever-growing list of things to consider in the parenting world. Our children are exposed to many contrasting truths via the internet; conflict and ethical dilemmas are openly shared on radio stations and tv programmes; adult conversations revolve around load shedding, petrol prices, connectivity and politics. We are invited into spaces as parents to discuss emotional regulation, free-range parenting, the impact of social media, the escalation in teenage vaping, identity, anxiety and now even AI. It is no surprise that parents and teachers are feeling somewhat exhausted and overwhelmed by the responsibility of raising healthy, happy, kind, independent children.

Where do you even start? I believe it starts with Kindness, and more importantly why you shouldn’t confuse kindness and good manners. While politeness adheres to societal rules and norms, regardless of how superficial they may seem, kindness is rooted in genuine care and compassion. A word that echoes here in the background, is that of civility, a disposition of respect, arising internally from your own heart. Kingsmead is a space for human flourishing, and it is with kindness that our students can face the world by leaning on each other to get ahead.

Here’s the thing, when you bring joy, laughter, or gratitude to someone’s life, your body responds in kind. Kindness triggers the release of oxytocin, serotonin, endorphins, and dopamine—chemicals that foster social bonds and trust. And guess what? The receiver of your kindness will feel it too. Research proves that kind school environments/communities have stronger cultures, lower turnover rates, and higher productivity from both staff and students.

Our Kingsmead values provide us with a good reminder of how kindness can propel us forward:
Possibility – Teach our daughters to use their God-given talents wisely. Our children should be seeking possibility to learn and grow in every experience, both at home and at school. Teach them to look up and see the beauty and wonder the world has to offer.

Responsibility – Let us teach them to take care of themselves, others and their environment. Encourage chores from an early age. Your daughter is a contributing member of your family. She is not a guest. Allow her to help around the house and at school to feel a sense of worth and accomplishment.

Happiness – This is not handed to us on a platter, but rather earned through hard work and commitment. Teach her to stick to her goals and persevere. Teach her about winning and losing. Teach her about helping others find their joy too. It is through this that she will find her own sense of happiness.

Purpose – There is magic in knowing that you have a reason for waking up each day. Ask your daughter what she looks forward to, what she aims to complete; what her purpose is for the day.

Service -To give without expecting a reward. Teaching our children about kindness and gratitude starts with first understanding the importance of giving generously of her time and energy. Encourage an act of service weekly in your homes. This might even mean smiling, greeting and engaging in meaningful conversation with someone they don’t ordinarily spend time with.

Courage – This looks different for different children. Start with small moments of encouragement. If our daughters feel that they can achieve something today that they couldn’t yesterday, then this is a win. Excellence lies in witnessing progress from one point to another. Courageously stepping up and leaning in, will encourage the type of leadership so necessary in the world today.

Despite what the world is busy doing, let us stay grounded in our values and raise children who have a sense of worth embedded in kindness. Children, who can consider the needs of others and make decisions in a safe space where respect for others and self is central, are children who will one day not only contribute to the whirlwind of change, but who will make sense of it.

I am excited for the possibilities which lie ahead for all of us for the remainder of the first term.

#Thriving in Possibility
Tarryn McLaren
Junior School Head

Staffing
It gives me great pleasure to announce that Bronwyn, Glenn and Shay’s family will be growing during the latter part of this year, as they expect their new baby. We wish Mrs. Cahill well during her pregnancy. She will be on maternity leave for Term 3. Her PE lessons will be covered by the PE department, Earth Sciences by a qualified Science locum teacher, and her LEAD class, Grade 5X1, will be overseen and supported by the Deputy Head of Senior Primary, Kendall Phillips.

Lightening Procedure
Our summer thunderstorms continue to ‘strike’ within the afternoons, often around pick up time and sporting fixtures. As mentioned earlier this year, we have changed the lightning warning system used by the school. This system measures strikes that are cloud to ground and hence reduces the lightning alarm going off unnecessarily. This however does mean that once the alarm is activated it should be taken seriously, immediately, as strikes are then within a 7km radius of the school. We request that parents refer to the App for the lightning policy and the procedures for drop-off and collection of students in the case of the alarm being activated. (Resources for Parents, Whole School Resources, Policies)

Students and staff cannot be asked to walk in any open areas, to music lessons or sporting activities during this time due to their own personal safety.

Parents on campus
A reminder that parents are still not permitted to walk around the gardens and school buildings without a previously arranged appointment. Should you need to drop off an item, please report to our Junior School Reception. We would like to avoid parents dropping off or picking up at the classes during the school day. If there is a specific need to do so, please alert the class/LEAD teacher so that security can be alerted. JP parents and guardians are to collect their daughters from extra-curricular activities. Grade 4-7 students to be fetched from collection points.

Uniform (Grade 1-7)
Students may arrive to school in PE kit on days when they have PE during the school day. Blazers for Grade 3-7 are a compulsory school item for arriving in, and departing from school, as well as our Friday assembly.

Hats
Please remind your daughter to pack a school hat. Our children spend so much time outdoors during the day. If students do not have a hat when outdoors, they are required to sit in the shade and undercover for the duration of break or outdoor classes.

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 the work of Margarett Wilson ‘ Raising Emotionally Strong Girls’ aligned with my heads message this week. Her one chapter speaks about a ‘safe place to land’. Everyday your daughters step into a world that is unknown. They have tremendous social, emotional, and intellectual challenges while also physically changing and growing every day. At the end of each day they need you in a haven.

While strengthening your bond with your daughter, empower her to be her ally and champion for herself…When faced with puberty’s obstacles, complicated social dynamics, and external demands, it’s all too usual for young girls to feel overwhelmed. This can result in worry, self-doubt, dread, and other negative emotions, making the world appear frightening.

Thank you for your support and understanding.

Arts & Music

♟️Junior School Chess League
We are excited to announce our first official Kingsmead Chess teams who will be participating in the ‘Go for Chess’ League this year. Their first matches took place on 20 February. The Senior and Junior Primary teams won two of their matches. Both teams demonstrated resilience resulting in an overall draw. The members of the teams are Kayla Wong, Tamishka Patha, Nandi Jack, Neve Simpson, Nondumiso Mabuza, Amahle Mbele, Bokang Phiri, Clara Scheurmaier and reserve players Zoë Mwanza and Alia Dada.

We wish our Chess teams all the best for the rest of the league matches.

Music Quotes Kingsmead College

Elsabé Fourie
efourie@kingsmead.co.za

Kingsmead Arts & Music

Mia Loock
mloock@kingsmead.co.za

Sport

As we return after a restful half term break, I would like to remind parents of the changeover of the extra-curricular sports schedule on Monday 4 March. Our priority sports for Term 1B are netball, tennis (Top 10 on the ladder) & squash as we prepare for the upcoming seasons/tours.

Netball – All students are welcome to attend the netball sessions as well as trials which will take place on Monday 4 March as we prepare for the upcoming season.

Tennis – We will continue with tennis for the top 10 players on the ladder. These players will continue with practise in preparation for the St Stithian’s Sports Festival as well as the very exciting Tennis Tour later on this year.

Squash – There is an additional team squash session for the players who will be preparing for the St Stithian’s Sports Festival as well as the weekly fixtures which will take place in Term 2. Please refer to the App for the list of students required to attend this session.

We encourage students to participate in at least 1 summer sport as well as 1 winter sport and we would love to have parents behind us encouraging your daughters to participate.

If you have any queries, please feel free to email me shanekom@kingsmead.co.za

Swimming
On Tuesday, 13 February, our swimmers participated in the Valentine’s Night Gala which took place at St Stithian’s. We looked amazing both on the stands and in the pool. The swimmers’ spirits were high, and they were hungry for 1st place in each race. Congratulations to the swimmers who participated.

As we near the conclusion of the swimming season, we extend our best wishes to all our swimmers for the upcoming inter-school galas scheduled for Saturday. We encourage our parents to show their support by wearing something green and cheering on our swimmers from the stands. Let’s make it a memorable and spirited event!

Tennis
As we near the last match of Term 1, we want to extend our congratulations to our players for the progress they have shown in recent weeks. Our tennis players have put in great effort, and the outcomes demonstrate their dedication. Our players have made significant strides, and we take pride in their achievements as evidenced by the results.

Outside Sport
Hockey

A few of our students have already kicked off their hockey season. We send our best wishes to Rafaella Karasavvidis, Emma Abdo, Isolam Sithebe, and Amelia Kohler as they continue to compete in the JHL Tournament for the Mzanzi Hawks team. They have had a great start to the tournament winning 2 out of 3 games so far.

Upcoming Events
Thursday 29 February – Grade 4 – 7 Tennis
– A/B play at Marks Park, C/D play at Kingsmead
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 2 March – Grade 3 – 7 Inter-Schools Gala
– A team at St Mary’s, B team at Brescia, C team at Kingsmead
Please note that there will be no transport provided for this fixture. Students are to please meet at the venues by 07h30.
Monday 4 March – Grade 4 – 7 Netball Trials (During practise)
– All students are welcome.
Friday 8 March – Sunday 10 March – Grade 5, 6 & 7 Netball Camp
– Camp Discovery
(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/Saturday fixture.

Yours in sport
Shavaun Hanekom
Head of Junior School Sport

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TIP OF THE WEEK from the Support Department

Tip of the week 1 Kingsmead College

Anna Evlambiou BA Hons (Speech & Hearing Therapy)

The Kids Lit Quiz
On Monday, 12 February, 8 students from Kingsmead participated in the Kids’ Lit Quiz at St John’s. This annual competition involves over 30 teams of students from schools all over Johannesburg, competing against each other. Each team consisted of four students from Grades 5, 6 and 7. The competitors are quizzed on their knowledge of books and the questions are challenging, to say the least! Questions were grouped into categories such as armies, contests and forests to name but a few. We really had to use teamwork and apply past knowledge to understand and tackle all the questions. It was such a fun experience and I learnt a lot.
By Leah Schoeman

Thank you to the following girls who participated in this competition.

Grade 7:

Leah Schoeman
Clara van der Want

Grade 6:
Vera Collocott
Francesca Pardini

Grade 5:
Mahdiya Cassim
Olivia Paul
Grace Cornish-Bowden
Mieke Pretorius

Celebrating Women and Girls in Science at Kingsmead Junior School
Saturday, February 11th, marked the International Day of Women and Girls in Science—a day to celebrate the invaluable contributions of women to the field of science and to inspire the next generation of female scientists. At Kingsmead Junior School, we proudly join in this celebration by recognising the vital role that women and girls play in shaping the future of scientific exploration and discovery.

In commemoration of this important day, we embarked on a week-long celebration of science, filled with engaging experiments and hands-on activities. Our aim was not only to showcase the excitement of scientific inquiry, but also to highlight the significance of Discovery (in the Junior Primary) and Earth Sciences (in the Senior Primary) in our curriculum.

Throughout the week, our students delved into a variety of experiments designed to ignite their curiosity and deepen their understanding of the world around them. Here’s a glimpse of what each grade from Grade 0 to Grade 7 explored:

Grade 0 began a journey of discovery through captivating experiments, from observing melting ice to exploring pepper and soap interactions. Their excitement peaked as they witnessed a ‘growing’ dinosaur, sparking discussions about absorption and material transformations.

Grade 1 investigated the fascinating properties of Oobleck, a substance resembling quicksand but much more fun! They discovered its dual nature as both a solid and a liquid, experimenting with its viscosity and enjoying the playful exploration of its unique characteristics.

Grade 2 probed into a delightful exploration of the transformative nature of matter by making jelly. Through hands-on experimentation, they explored the concepts of liquids adapting to container shapes and solids maintaining their form, sparking a sense of wonder and understanding about the properties of materials.

Grade 3 ventured into the captivating world of acids and bases, using lemons and bicarbonate of soda to ignite colourful reactions. They were thrilled by the vibrant froth created by these dynamic substances and eagerly engaged in discussions about the science behind the fizzing excitement.

Grade 4 experienced an exhilarating inquiry of scientific phenomena, witnessing the magic of floating dry erase markers, the wonder of walking water through capillary action, and the mesmerising separation of oil and water.

Grade 5 kicked off their scientific journey with a burst of colour, conducting an exciting Skittle experiment. Through this sweet exploration, they laid the foundation for a week filled with curiosity and discovery in the realm of science.

Grade 6 embarked on a thrilling journey of discovery, exploring the mysteries of invisible ink, creating mesmerising dry-erase hearts, and witnessing the magical growth of foam capsules.

Grade 7 delved into an exhilarating analysis of chemistry, using yeast to inflate balloons with various sugars and exploring the colourful world of chromatography.

These experiments not only provided our students with valuable scientific knowledge but also fostered essential skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, and teamwork. By engaging in hands-on exploration, our students were able to see first-hand how science applies to the world around them, sparking their curiosity and inspiring a passion for discovery.

At Kingsmead Junior School, Earth Sciences hold a special significance, reflecting our commitment to providing a comprehensive education that encompasses both scientific and geographical understanding. South Africa boasts a wealth of natural wonders and diverse ecosystems, making it an ideal setting for scientific exploration. By instilling a deep appreciation for our environment and its interconnected systems, we empower our students to become stewards of the Earth, driving positive change within their communities and beyond.

The importance of Earth Sciences cannot be overstated, particularly in the face of global challenges such as climate change, resource depletion, and environmental degradation. As we confront these pressing issues, it is imperative that we equip our students with the knowledge and skills to address them effectively. By fostering Earth Science literacy, we empower future generations to innovate, problem-solve, and create sustainable solutions for a better world.

As we celebrate the achievements of women and girls in science, let us also reaffirm our commitment to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in STEM fields. By breaking down barriers and challenging stereotypes, we pave the way for more women to pursue careers in science and make meaningful contributions to society.

Thank you for your continued support in fostering a culture of wonder, intrigue and scientific excellence.

Nicole Fernandes
Subject Developer – Earth Sciences

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