Our Connection: Issue 38 2018

Kingsmead Junior School Leave a Comment

Junior School Curriculum Innovation for 2019

In-line with Kingsmead’s strategic academic intention of creating a growth-centred and happy learning environment, we are excited to be developing a timetable structure that aims to:

  • meet the demands of a progressive, relevant CAPS-skills-based curriculum that provides authentic learning experiences for students
  • employ rigorous assessment practices to inform an effective teaching pedagogy
  • provide differentiated opportunities for individual choice that inspires and supports students to develop their interests, learning characteristics and work habits.
  • Continue to provide whole school community opportunities to connect in assemblies, chapel and hymn singing.

Our day begins at…

  • Grades 1 – 7                Daily start times: 07:30
  • Grade 000, 00 and 0   Daily start times: 08:00

Junior Primary Grades 000 – 3

Closing times for the Junior Primary Academic Day

  • Gr 000 and 00 ends at 12:30 daily
  • Gr 0 ends at 13:00 daily
  • Gr 1, 2, 3 ends as follows:
    • Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday at 13:15
    • Thursday and Friday ends at 13:00
    • Additional extra-mural offerings are published termly in the extra-curricular timetable.

Core Curriculum

The core curriculum remains as before and includes Literacy, Numeracy, Discovery Learning – learning through play and STEAM activities, Additional Languages – isiZulu and Afrikaans, and Physical Education.

Integrated Day

  • To ensure that all students have the opportunity to experience and learn skills that we consider necessary for the holistic development of each of our girls, we have structed an Integrated Day that includes the following:
    • Music, Art and Drama termly modules Gr 1 – 3
    • Ballet for Gr 000 – 0
    • Sport termly modules
  • Algorithmic thinking skills will be introduced to develop the pre-coding reasoning skills required for development of Coding as a language.
  • A Digital-Learning skills lesson in the Computer Lab will continue as before, but will be extended and integrated into the classroom with the support of an ed-tech specialist.
  • Philosophy lessons based on story books held regularly to develop the love of reading and discussions, based on posing questions and encouraging student voice and opinions.

Senior Primary Grades 4 – 7

Deepening learning

The timetable consists of 50-minute lessons in the Senior Primary in an attempt to slow down the pace of changing classes and to allow for deeper student engagement in each lesson, as opposed to the previous 30-minute lessons, with more frequent changes.

Core Curriculum

The core curriculum subjects remain as English, Mathematics, isiZulu, Afrikaans, Science, History, Geography, Performing and Visual Arts, and Physical Education.

SELF Lessons

It has also provided opportunities to include a daily 25-minute lesson for Support, Extension, LEAD and Flexi-time –  named ‘SELF’. This time is for concept consolidation by subject teachers; extension activities beyond the classroom e.g. Chess, Dance, Robotics and Coding, among others; dedicated pastoral time in LEAD; and at the request of the students’ Kingsmead Representative Council, a weekly flexi-time for prep.

The 2019 timetable allows time and space for the following initiatives:

  • SELF lessons and Snacks: Students may enjoy their tea-snacks while participating in SELF activities as described above
  • Tea Break – a further 20 minutes
  • 50-minute Performance and Visual Arts lessons respectively
  • 50-minute Social-emotional and wellness/leadership lessons called SEL
  • Gr 5 – 7 English integrated with History modules
  • Gr 5 – 7 Reading and Current Affairs lessons
  • Math and Science with some integrated modules in Gr 5
  • Math classes will have a Differentiated and Learning specialist to support and extend students according to their needs for at least 1 lesson per week
  • Coding modules will integrated with parts of the Gr 6 Math curriculum
  • Financial Math modules integrated into parts of the Gr 7 Math curriculum
  • Science with Technology modules
  • Inquiry-based-learning continues as the vehicle to explore ‘big questions’ and practice inter-disciplinary concepts and skills, focusing on developing creative Design Thinking and process skills
  • Research, Digital-Learning and Comprehension – RDC, an integrated approach to teaching students to research effectively and critically using digital technology, while focusing on strengthening their comprehension skills
  • Gr 4 students continue to be taught in their home-classrooms and spend the majority of the day with their class teacher. They will follow the Senior Primary timetable that includes SELF and RDC lessons.

Closing times for the Senior Primary Academic Day

  • Gr 4 and 5 academic day ends at:
    • Mondays and Tuesdays close at 14:30
    • Wednesday, Thursday and Fridays close early at 13:15
  • Gr 6 and 7 academic days end at:
    • Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays close at 14:30
    • Thursdays and Fridays close early at 13:15
  • The extra-curricular timetable will come into effect after the staggered closing times for lessons.

Ingrid Beekhuizen

Head: Academics and Innovation

Staff Farewells

At the end of this year, we will be saying farewell to our two locum teachers, Mrs Jones and Mrs Pruett. I want to thank them both for the wonderful way in which they both assisted us so easily and with such expertise during their time with us. Franje Burger, who has led her Occupational Therapy practice from Kingsmead for many years will be relocating next year. Thank you to Franje for her professionalism and care for our girls. We wish Franje all the best for this new exciting journey. Mrs Cartwright is also leaving us at the end of the year. Our thanks goes to Mrs Cartwright for her energy, compassion and for always putting the needs of the girls first. We will miss your presence here at Kingsmead.

We are incredibly sad to be saying farewell to three exceptional teachers, due to retirement, who have served the school for over twenty years each. Mrs Dugmore, Mrs Sharp and Mrs Khanyile, we will miss you dearly. Their stories are so incredibly fascinating that I requested that some of the Grade 7 girls conduct interviews of these teachers as we celebrate their stories. We look forward to celebrating their time at Kingsmead as we prepare to close for the December holiday. The Kingsmead community wishes them all God’s richest blessings for their time of rest ahead.

Please see the interviews below.

Farewell to Mrs. Alexandria Sharp

Mrs. Sharp talks about pens and roses and how to muffle an injured child to Grade 7 writers, Tegan-Lee Parker and Keratile Maboka as we bid her a tearful goodbye. Hamba kahle.

What was your first day like at Kingsmead?

I came from an all boys’ school, St Johns, so the first thing that struck me was how quiet the girls are. Also, girls are so neat and want to know what colour pen they should use. Boys grab anything to write. I took a long time to get used to girls wanting everything to look pretty – to look perfect.

 What is the funniest thing that has ever happened to you at Kingsmead?

Miss Mannie and I were backstage managers for the Grade 7 Major Production backstage for the productions since I first arrived at Kingsmead. One night, one of the children stood on a nail as she was about to go into the Lange hall to do her bit. As I saw it happen, I just grabbed her and stuck my hand over her mouth because I knew she was going to scream. It was like a Tom & Jerry cartoon. My funniest moments can all be traced from the Grade 7 Major Production when things go horribly pear-shaped….

 Is there anything you will remember about our Grade 7 isiZulu class?

Penny Phiri singing all the time. The amount of times we laughed. I’ll always remember how shocked the Pridwin interns were when they visited. They just couldn’t get over the noise level and general craziness of the class. All the singing, the dancing, the fun.

 When frustrated with our academic performance, you chose to bang your head on the wall. Have you inflected any permanent damage to your brain?

No. Not at all. I have been doing it for many years I find it so helpful when managing the academic and emotional demands of the Grade 7s.

 What is your favourite memory of the school?

I love the roses, especially the Franc Ha Leal rose. I adore walking past the roses and seeing the little ones skipping to Sally Sandwich. They skip with their sandwiches swinging in their hands. These are some of the happy memories that will stay with me always. And walking in the garden at the chapel – that peace.

 What won’t you miss about being a teacher?

Writing reports not because of the marks, but just writing them. And when girls squabble. I hate the fighting. I really won’t miss that.

If you hadn’t become a teacher what would you have become?

I would love to have restored antiques and paintings.

 What is the greatest lesson life as a teacher has taught you?

The gift of patience and that everyone – every one – has a gift. Every child has a talent – we just have to find it.

Farewell to Mrs. Elizabeth Khanyile

Junior School isiZulu teacher — and much loved staff member and role model — opens up to Grade 7 writers Sameeha Gangat and Scarlet Muirhead about her extraordinary journey from cleaner to teacher and how it’s never too late to follow a dream.

 Tell us about your first day at Kingsmead?

I was so nervous. I had been given a job as a cleaner and here I was, all the way from Pretoria, in this big school. It was the first time I’d even been to a monastic school. I didn’t know that there were such things. Schools with only girls in them? Boys and girls went to school together where I grew up, I learned something new that day.

What is the funniest thing that ever happened to you at Kingsmead?

It was in 2006. Mrs. Sharp came to me in the kitchen, and she said, “Would you like to help me speak to the Grade 7’s about istokvel.”

I was shocked! “But I haven’t ever done something like that! I’ve never stood in front of a classroom of children and spoken! How am I going to do that?”

She just looked at me and said, “Are you going to help me or not?” So I said, “Yes.”

And then there I was the next day, in my green overalls, standing in front of the Grade 7’s talking about istokvel. I’ll never forget it.

It was a Wednesday. 9 o’clock in the morning and there I was standing in front of the girls for the very first time going on and on and on about istokvel. I loved it!

After the lesson was over Mrs. Sharp come to me and said, “You’ve done well!”

I was ecstatic. There I was in my green overalls teaching.

“Oh wow!” I said to myself, “This is going to be a walk in a park. I can be a teacher! All I need to do is finish my studies.”

I have loved every minute since then but it turned out that it wasn’t a walk in the park. It took everything I had to graduate.

What is your favourite memory of the school?

The very first time I stood in front of the class to teach. Every time I think about myself at Kingsmead. I think about that day. I’ll carry that moment with me forever. It changed my life.

 If you hadn’t become a teacher, what would you have become?

Nothing else. Teaching had been my passion from a young age. Even when my father was insisting that I become a nurse, I knew what I wanted to be and it certainly wasn’t a nurse. Little did he know that I am terrified of blood!What advice would you give to a new teacher?

I wouldn’t just give this advice to a teacher. I would give it to everyone; if you want to do or be something, don’t let anything stand in your way! People always say that they wish they could’ve done this or that but they didn’t have the opportunity or the time wasn’t right. When I finally began studying to be a teacher I was middle-aged, I had a job, I was a wife and a mother. It was difficult but I pushed through. Never give up on your dream.

 What would you do differently?

Differently? Besides teaching? I would sing. I love singing and would love to be a profession singer.

 What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Graduating as a teacher in my late 50s. Becoming a teacher was my dream and I’m so pleased that I was able to achieve it.

What won’t you miss about being a teacher?

Oh thank you very much, Sameeha. Do I really have to answer that? Alright then, I’m passionate about teaching and I love the children, but I won’t miss writing reports. Teachers all get so anxious and stressed when we have to write reports even though we know what we doing. And I teach from Grade 0 to Grade 4 so you can imagine… that’s a lot of reports. But teaching is still my Number 1!

 What is the greatest lesson that life as a teacher taught you?

The greatest thing I learned is that children all need the same thing, love and understanding. Give them what they need and make sure that you treat each one the same – with love and understanding.

Farewell to Mrs. Jennifer Dugmore

Jennifer Dugmore tells Grade 7 writers Madison Bothma and Samantha Greyling-Nassi all about catching the travel bug, conquering shyness and why Great Danes shouldn’t be invited to birthday rings.

 Tell us about your first day at Kingsmead?

My first memory is of curious little faces looking up at me. My first classroom was near the jungle gym next-door to Mrs. Frolic’s current classroom. The space used to be a dormitory when Kingsmead was still a boarding school! It was then converted into the classroom. It really was the most exciting day of my life, such a wonderful day.

 If you hadn’t become a teacher, what would you have become?

I loved teaching but my passion has always been to help the children and teachers work best together. If I did study to be something else, it would have been a psychologist. I love to nurture and help others with their challenges.

What is your greatest extravagance?

I love a good pedicure.

What is the funniest thing that ever happened to you at Kingsmead?

It was during a birthday ring a long, long time ago. This one little girl brought her parents, grandparents and her enormous great Dane to the celebration. But all of a sudden the evacuation alarm went off! Everyone had to line up, including parents, grandparents and this enormous, great dog. When we went back into the classroom, the dog was eating the cake! Well, that was the last straw… children were screaming and crying. Pandemonium broke out! It is still one of the funniest moments of my life.

Who was your favourite teacher at school and why?

My Grade 7 teacher, Mrs Beryl Stein. She was very kind and brought me out of my shell. I would even visit it her at her home. I was so shy and MRs Stein help me find my confidence. It really helped a lot in life and I am so grateful to her.

What is your favourite memory of the school?

On one of our school birthdays, Mrs. MacEwan and Mrs. Kaplan landed on the field in a helicopter. Such fun. And I also love it when our ‘old’ girls pop in to visit us. It’s really special.

 What would you do differently?

I would do the same again but travelled more.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Without doubt, my three children. Being a part of their lives, supporting them, seeing them grow up is my greatest achievement. I am also very proud of five grandchildren.

 What will you miss about being a teacher?

Oh that’s easy; the girls, teachers and all the staff. And more seriously, the challenge of teaching.

What value do you find most important?

Courage and kindness and that ‘the Individual matters first and foremost’. Everyone is welcome. No-one is excluded. Everyone is special in their own way. I must mention Mrs. Khanyile who I meet when I first arrived at Kingsmead. She was a cleaner but she had so much passion and potential – she is a born teacher. It was with such pride that I saw her graduate from college and join our staff as a well-loved and valued language teacher. Mrs. Khanyile and I both retire this year. We have both enjoyed our careers at this special school but Mrs. Khanyile’s journey is a testimony to her courage and how important it is to all of us to recognize and develop each and every individual.

What is the most important lesson that this journey has taught you?

My journey at Kingsmead has taught me to find the best in each and every girl and try and bring out happiness in their lives and in others.

Nuhaa Mohamed in Grade 5 entered a Roald Dahl competition. Students had to write 100 words of an idea for a story. Nuhaa came second out of applicants from all of the country, which was open to children from age 6-12.  Well done Nuhaa!!

Her World

“Dare to step into someone else’s world for a day?”

The showman’s eyes sparkled when I volunteered.

Kaboom!

Woza bona! Woza bona!

Beep Beep Beeeeep!

Eish Wena!

A carousel of sounds filled the street. The vendors, cars and hundreds of people scuttled around.

Screeeeech!

A blue taxi abruptly halted in front of me, music blaring

“’eOxford” I announced climbing in.

Inside, happy faces sand aloud and swayed.  Excitement filled me as I sat down.

Just then I saw her, from my window, in her care, all-proper, in her crisp uniform.

I smiled, amused,

Just yesterday that was my silent world.

ARTS & MUSIC NEWS

Congratulations to our Grade 4 & 5 and Grade 2 & 3 musicians who performed brilliantly at the recent Music Concerts!

Music Assembly

Well done to all our amazing musicians who performed so brilliantly yesterday!

Dance & Drama Assembly:

On Monday 3 December our dance and drama girls will have the opportunity to perform for their friends. The assembly will start at 8h15 and should conclude at 9h30.

Denise’s Ballet girls and the Dance Mouse girls will be informed by Denise/Genetia if they are performing; Gera from ‘Creative Ant’ will let her girls know who will be performing at this assembly.

Elsabé Fourie – Director of Arts & Music

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