Dear Kingsmead Community,
We have reached a point in our country where President Cyril Ramaphosa has declared a national disaster as the number of Covid-19 cases increase. As part of this announcement, all schools, both private and public were asked to close.
This has naturally resulted in a complete shift in focus for our staff, students and of course our parents and guardians. We have made so many decisions over the last few days and have embraced concepts of flexible thinking, adaptability and new ways of engaging with each other. In a short space of time we have developed the most dynamic curriculum offering possible for our students with the purpose of maintaining their learning momentum, promoting balance and encouraging independence as far as possible. I am confident that we will continue changing and reflecting on this learning process as we move to the end of term on 9 April.
Learning and teaching is only one aspect of our community offering at Kingsmead. We have a deliberate intention at our school to build community, create a school of belonging and live out our values actively: Happiness, Purpose, Possibility, Responsibility and Service. Although the onsite school is suspended for now, I appeal to our community to keep connecting with each other. While avoiding playdates, sleepovers and gatherings, we can still seek opportunities to spend time together as a family, facetime, or call one another. Reach out – the smallest connection will mean the world to our girls.
This may be a time where we experience loss, grief, anxiety and sadness. Please keep in contact with us, share your news; we remain a strong community. In this time for disconnection, we need to find ways to connect.
Conversations with our daughters
Moira Severin, our Educational Psychologist, has written these guidelines for you:
When children watch or hear news about the Coronavirus, or overhear others discussing it, they may feel confused, overwhelmed or scared. Some children may express their feelings verbally, others may internalise their fears. With support from the adults in their environment, children learn to organise and manage their emotional responses.
- Children need to feel connected and cared about; typically, they want to talk about things that they feel scared about, so let them. Do not be afraid to discuss the Coronavirus with your children as most children will already have heard about the virus – the discussion is an opportunity for you to convey the facts and set a calm emotional tone. Monitor your own stress and anxiety levels around your children.
- Ask your child what they know and understand about the Coronavirus. When discussing the Coronavirus with your child be developmentally appropriate; volunteering too much information may be overwhelming. Rather try to answer their questions honestly and clearly with fact-based information; children feel a sense of control when they are informed and have a plan of action. Limit discussion time so as to not cause a sense of feeling overwhelmed.
- Discuss your family’s plans to stay healthy and safe, emphasise the safety precautions that you are taking. For example, washing hands and avoiding places with lots of people.
With the closure of school and if there is a need to self-isolate, share honest and factual information; it is a precautionary measure to help slow down the spread of the germs.
- Children are comforted by having predictability in their lives. As much as possible, stick to regular activities and routines for things like meals, naps, baths and bedtime. Spend family time doing activities that promote calm in your family, for example, reading together, watching movies or playing board games. Children will be comforted by spending special time with you.
Please contact Moira (firstname.lastname@example.org) if additional emotional support or guidance may be required.
The role of the adults at home
This is not a holiday, not until 9 April, anyway… This is a time to find new routines and developing revised ways for family engagement. The academic expectations have been developed with the intention not to turn you into the teacher in the house, but to assist you as the adult who facilitates the process of independent learning and enquiry. Please feel free to email your class or LEAD teacher if you have a query so that we can help you as efficiently as possible. Should your daughter need more intensive academic support, please direct your queries to Tarry Mclaren, Head of Student Affairs (email@example.com). She will ensure that your query is directed appropriately. See this as an opportunity for your daughters to develop healthy hygiene, sleep and dietary habits.
- Call a ‘family meeting’ and get the input from all family members as to how the days would work best. Getting the input from your children assists when you establish independence and responsibility.
- Set up a daily routine. The learning framework sent to you by the teachers should guide you. Establish a good routine that includes time for rest, learning, connecting with friends (digitally), free play, creative arts and exercise.
- Limit screen time – this includes television, gaming, or any device usage. If you are leaving for work in the morning, please do not leave your daughter alone with a computer with ‘free’ access all day. Please note that our iPad Code of Conduct and ‘netiquette’ apply with regard to online rules of engagement when our students are engaging on their learning platforms and management systems.
- Get the children involved in the chores at home. Teach them to do basic household cleaning, for example. You could encourage each member of the family to research a recipe, cook a meal and serve the family (age appropriate obviously). Include elements of hygiene, measurement, dietary requirements etc.
- Remember that your daughters will no longer be engaging in sporting activities. If possible, create time for family exercise – go for a walk or run. Follow a few apps which may guide you in dance routines or strength building exercises. Some grade teachers have included these in their distance learning programmes for you.
- Use ‘boredom’ to mobilise learning. If your daughter finds certain times of the day boring, help her to find ways of alleviating this boredom. This encourages creativity, develops new interests and teaches children to find solutions. Avoid giving them something to do to fill the gaps; avoid too much structure in the day – this will not assist them in developing agility and independence.
- At the end of each day, spend time as a family reflecting on your experiences. We are experiencing a significant moment which will make its mark on our history as a country. Journaling, in any format, will certainly help us capture these moments for reflection in our future.
- Finally, please READ. Encourage the older girls to read as much as they can; read to the younger girls; role modeling is also vital – be caught in the act of reading as often as possible.
I trust that we will continue to use this as a different opportunity to connect and engage with each other in the weeks ahead. I wish you and your loved ones good health and emotional wellness. I look forward to refreshing the 2020 year when we return to school.
Head: Kingsmead Junior School
ARTS & MUSIC
THANK YOU for all the support of the senior school major production ‘Sister Act: The Musical’.
TEACHING & LEARNING FROM HOME
The music teachers would like to continue teaching your daughters and will contact you to discuss the various options available, such as Skype, Zoom or WhatsApp video call. In order for our students to maintain momentum in their music studies and continue working towards their goals for the year ahead, we do not want to miss weeks of lessons. Please support us in this endeavour and encourage your daughters to practise regularly and challenge themselves by learning new music on their own.
Elsabé Fourie Mia Loock
Director of Arts & Music Head of Junior School Music
News from the Sports Desk
Congratulations to all our swimmers who took part in the inter-primary swimming galas. A special thank you to our committed swimming coaches who ensured that the selection process and challenges were managed in a fair and consistent process. Thank you, to the academic staff members who assisted throughout the season at the various galas. I have no doubt that the swimmers were pleased to have your support.
South African National Equestrian Schools Association (SANESA):
Qualifier 1 – 1 and 2 February
The Kingsmead Junior School Equestrian team had a very successful weekend at Eaton Farm, Kyalami. We had 11 riders competing across a range of disciplines: Amy Falcon, Faye Pienaar, Francesca Logan, Helena van der Merwe, Humayrah Ebrahim, Jade Anderson, Katherine Papadopoulos, Nuhaa Patel, Rania Motara, Sarah Florence and Taylor Prinsloo.
Results were as follows:
3rd in Level 3 Prix Caprilli Test A
3rd in Level 3 Performance Riding
3rd in Level 3 Working Hunter
Helena van der Merwe
2nd in Level 3 Handy Hunter
3rd in Level 1 Dressage Test B
1st in Level 7 Handy Hunter
2nd in Level 6 Show Jumping Round 1
2nd in Level 5 Performance Riding
2nd in Level 1 Prix Caprilli Test A
2nd in Level 1 Handy Hunter
1st in Level 3 In Hand Utility
2nd in Level 3 Dressage Test A
2nd in Level 3 Performance Riding
2nd in Level 3 Working Riding
3rd in Level 1 Performance Riding
2nd in Level 2 Prix Caprilli Test B
1st in Level 2 Show Jumping Round 1
2nd in Level 2 Show Jumping Round 2
3rd in Level 2 Equitation
SANESA Qualifier 2 took place this weekend at Eaton farm. We will await results from the Chief d’Equippe.
SANESA Qualifier 2 – 14 and 15 March
The Kingsmead Junior School Equestrian team had a very successful weekend at Eaton Farm, Kyalami. Congratulations to the following girls for being placed in the top of their classes:
4th in Level 1 Prix Caprilli
2nd in Level 0 Show Jumping Round 1
3rd in Level 0 Show Jumping Round 2
3rd in Level 4 Show Jumping Round 2
3rd in Level 3 Working Hunter
4th in Level 4 Equitation
4th in Level 3 Performance Riding
Helena van der Merwe
1st in Level 3 Handy Hunter
3rd in Level 1 Performance Riding
1st in Level 6 Dressage Test B
3rd in Level 5 Show Jumping Round 1
3rd in Level 5 Show Jumping Round 2
4th in Level 6 Dressage Test A
1st in Level 1 Handy Hunter
4th in Level 1 Dressage Test A
1st in Level 1 Performance Riding
1st in Level 3 Performance Riding
1st in Level 1 In Hand Utility
1st in Level 2 In Hand Utility
2nd in Level 3 In Hand Utility
4th in Level 3 Dressage Test B
4th in Level 4 Show Jumping Round 1
1st in Level 2 Show Jumping Round 2
2nd in Level 3 Handy Hunter
Congratulations to Jessica Stevens who made the Southern Gauteng U13 hockey team. Hannah Schwegmann also qualified as a non-travelling reserve.
The following students will be required to attend the last round of D9 trials at a date and a time to be confirmed:
U12 and U13 students attended D13 netball trials this weekend at Redhill School. The following players were selected to attend the final round:
Congratulations to Zintle Papiyana who has been selected to go further through to the GSS trials taking place on 13 April 2020.
Zintle Papiyana and Emma Simmonds will be travelling to Cape Town in March for the inter-provincial indoor netball competition. We wish them the best at the competition.
Junior School Head of Sport