Dear Kingsmead Community,
I am sure many conversations are taking place at home regarding the next big disrupter in education – Chat GPT. Artificial intelligence has been around for some time as we have continuously spoken about the fourth industrial revolution. It is not all scary though and should be seen as the influencer and partner in education that could possibly take us on another adventure of human development and growth. Our teachers and communities will be embracing every opportunity to lean in and learn about both the positive and negative influence of the growing inclusion of AI in education. We will continue to look up and show up while our children remain at the centre of their education.
As part of the beginning steps, I wanted to write to you today about the three most important things to consider in education at the moment – so I turned to Chat GPT and asked for an answer first from a school principal’s perspective and then from a child’s perspective. This is what was said…
As an AI language model, I don’t have access to current trends or opinions of specific individuals. However, based on current educational research and best practices, here are three important things that a school principal may consider when it comes to primary school education:
1. Personalized Learning: Every child is unique, and a one-size-fits-all approach may not be the best way to help them learn. Personalized learning recognizes that students have different learning styles, abilities, and interests, and tailors instruction to meet their individual needs. By providing students with customized instruction and support, teachers can help them reach their full potential and develop a love for learning.
2. Social-Emotional Learning (SEL): SEL is the process of developing social and emotional skills that enable students to understand and manage their emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions. Developing these skills can help students succeed academically, and also in life.
3. Digital Literacy: In today’s digital age, it’s essential for students to have the skills and knowledge to navigate and use technology effectively and safely. This includes knowing how to find and evaluate information online, use digital tools to create and communicate, and understanding digital citizenship and online safety. By teaching digital literacy skills, schools can prepare students for success in a technology-driven world.
As an AI language model, I can’t directly communicate with children to ask their opinions. However, based on current research and understanding of children’s needs and perspectives, here are three things that a child might say are important in primary school education:
1. Engaging and Fun Learning: Children enjoy learning when it is presented in an engaging and interactive way that captures their attention and interest. Learning should be fun and involve activities that allow them to explore, experiment, and discover new things. When they enjoy learning, they are more likely to stay motivated and interested in their education.
2. Positive Relationships: Positive relationships with teachers and peers are crucial for a child’s development and success in school. When children feel connected to their teachers and classmates, they are more likely to participate in classroom activities, take risks, and feel comfortable asking for help. This creates a supportive learning environment that helps children feel safe, happy, and motivated to learn.
3. Opportunities to Be Creative: Children are naturally creative and curious, and they thrive when given opportunities to express themselves through art, music, drama, and other creative outlets. These activities allow children to develop their imaginations, think outside the box, and explore new ideas. By encouraging creativity, schools can help children develop their unique talents and interests while also promoting their academic growth.
Well, all I can say is that we wholeheartedly agree. The question is what would you say from a parent and guardian’s perspective? Can we engage critically with the information provided? Can we build on this and help our students to navigate information like this meaningfully? What’s next?
The lasting words from a recent workshop I attended continue to echo in my head: “We are not here to prepare our students for an unknown world of work, we are here to facilitate their journey in creating this world of work for themselves” (Dr Roze Phillips).
My hope and wish for our school and our community is that we stay curious, open and active in this educational context. We will anticipate the change and continue with what we believe is core to human development; ethical decision-making and community building. It is through this that we will continue to thrive.
With love and Courage Always,
Does your daughter come home without her sports bag or water bottle? Does she often lose track of her erasers, toys, or school uniform?
Children are generally not good at taking care of or organising their things because they do not have the concept of keeping their belongings safe. As they will not be held accountable for the missing items, or parents will help them solve the problems, they rarely cherish what they have. Thus as the key adults in your daughter’s life, we need to teach accountability.
Accountability is a willingness to take responsibility for one’s actions—including the things we should do, should not have done, and when mistakes are made. An accountable person does not make excuses or place blame on others.
Picking up after your children on an ongoing basis gets tiring. It also doesn’t help prepare them for adulthood. The good news is that with concerted effort and intentionality, you can learn how to teach your child to be responsible for their things.
It takes time and persistence in training, for organisation, ownership and accountability to develop. As teachers we have learned, and put into practice, some simple systems, which help to keep your daughter accountable at school. Some practical tips include:
Own fewer things
Teach your daughter to take care of all belongings
Have a place for everything – Everything needs to have a place whether at home or at school. This will allow your daughter to know where her belongings are. Daily routines and consistency will yield success in this regard too.
Create organising routines – Set specific times each day that organising needs to be done. To teach your child to be responsible for their things.
If you consistently teach, train, and model how to be responsible and keep things orderly in your home, there will come a time when your children take good care of their belongings and come up with systems themselves. You will have children who keep their treasured belongings organised and orderly. They will grow up.
Lost Property at Kingsmead Junior School,
Our lost property ‘bins’ outside our Grade 4 classrooms fill up weekly, and more often than not the items are not labelled, or the old names from previous owners are still attached. Please can we urge you to label your daughters’ belongings and check on the clarity of her name regularly.
With regards to the labelling – a reminder to please place the label on the collar of the neck or on the back of pants where the product label is – as this is where we would look to see if the item is marked. Hiding labels is also a good idea – but this must be a second label – please always put the primary label in a visible spot – and the back-up sneaky label on the inside of a pocket or a seam in the cuff or zip. We urge you to label your daughter’s water bottle too.
3 suggestions/providers for iron on/stick on and sew on labels include:
Labels4School: based in Durban deliver in a couple of days
Its Mine – based in Parkview: deliver in a couple of days
Lost property is cleared out weekly, and returned to your daughters via the class committee or our PTA reps, if labelled accurately. We will be having a lost property return day, please look out for this date coming soon before end of term. We thank you for members of our school community in striving to return all marked items.
Deputy Head: Head of Senior Primary
Arts & Music
Kingsmead Values through the eyes of the Arts
At Kingsmead, our values are not mere words but part of our fibre and informs our behaviour. Last week at the Music assembly, our Grade 7 Music leaders unpacked our values from the perspective of the Arts.
When we engage with music, whether by listening or creating it ourselves, we are tapping into a powerful form of self-expression and communication. This gives us a sense of purpose and direction. Music is a powerful tool to find purpose and meaning in life. Music connects us to our emotions, our communities, and the world at large.
Music is a powerful tool to make a positive impact in our communities. By using our musical talents to support social causes, bring people together, and promote healing, we make a meaningful difference in the lives of others.
Music teaches us to take ownership and to inspire others using our gifts and talents. Through music, we learn important life lessons about discipline, dedication, and social responsibility.
Music evokes positive memories and associations, transporting us to recall happy times in our lives. Music also provides an outlet for self-expression and creativity, allowing us to connect with our emotions and express ourselves in ways that can be deeply fulfilling.
Music is a source of possibility and optimism, inspiring individuals to believe in their own potential and have an impact on the world around them. Through music, we can explore new opportunities, connect to other people and create a better future for ourselves and others.
Music gives us the courage to face challenges, express our emotions, and motivate us to bring about change in the world. By tapping into the power of music, we find the courage to overcome our fears and achieve our goals.
Congratulations to Scarlett Haslam for achieving a High Distinction for the Royal Academy of Dance Intermediate Foundation Ballet Examination.
Mpho Chakane attended the Saxophone workshop at St Mary’s on Saturday, 12 March. There were students from many schools and a range of age groups. Although Mpho felt a bit overwhelmed when arriving, she persisted and persevered and in true Kingsmead fashion displayed immense courage. We are proud of you Mpho!
Congratulations to our Junior School swimmers who participated in the various inter-schools galas. Our swimmers were spectacular in the water. We stood out among all participating schools both in the water with our swimming and on the stands with our spirit.
A Team – 1st overall
B Team – 4th overall
C Team – 3rd overall
What a phenomenal season. Well done swimmers!
Well done to all tennis players on a super tennis season. We had some tough matches and always showed up with courage and spirit. Well done players! The top 10 players on the ladder will now prepare for the upcoming St Stithian’s Sports Festival where the top 6 will be participating.
We congratulate Olona Mbele, Maya Rono & Mikayla Rono on their phenomenal results at the Junior CGA Club Championships which took place over the weekend at St Andrew’s.
The results are as follows:
Olona competed in the C group Novice:
1m – 1st position
Synchro – 1st position
Maya competed in the C Group Elite:
1m – 1st position
3m – 1st position
Synchro – 1st position
Mikayla competed in the C Group Novice:
1m – 3rd position
Synchro – 1st position
In addition, Maya qualified to compete with the B group at the Nationals Trials this coming weekend at St Dominic’s Boksburg. Good luck, Maya!
Congratulations to Morgan Chen-Heyneke for competing in the Gauteng Target Championships for Archery. Morgan placed first in her category for Barebow U13 girls. We are very proud of you Morgan & wish you all of the best as you compete in the SA National Archery Championships on 10 – 12 March 2023.
24 March: Grade 4-7 netball matches (venues to be confirmed)
30 March – 1 April: St Stithian’s Sports Festival
We are pleased to announce that we will have teams competing in 3 different sporting codes for the festival.
Tennis – Top 6 players (matches will take place in the morning)
Squash – Top 4 players (matches will take place in the morning)
Netball – Grade 5A, 6A & 7A (matches will take place in the afternoon)
All information will be sent to the selected players as soon as the teams have been selected.
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 sport 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. Please ensure that you let the coaches know if your daughter is not able to attend a fixture.
Yours in sport
Head of Junior School Sport