Dear Kingsmead Community,
Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of watching our first netball training sessions of the term. It has been a while since I have heard the happy, competitive shouts of joy on the sports field. On the way back from the courts, I stopped to hear our younger students playing marimbas. Again, the happy, joyful dancing and music were exceptionally exciting to witness. I must be honest, it was awesome and quite heart-warming. It does feel that the cloud is starting to lift and the school is rebuilding its strong voice while maintaining its resilience, safety and compassion. Thank you to all those in the community who are supporting our initiatives as we regain our momentum. The term has started strong!
This Sunday, we celebrate Mothers’ Day. We wish all the mothers, grandmothers, aunts and mother figures within our community a day filled with love. It is because of your strength, your care and compassion that our community rises each day. Thank you for your role modelling. It may not always feel like it, but your daughters walk in your footsteps with pride. Happy Mother’s Day!
Please join me in congratulating Eswee Prinsloo, Deputy Head at Pridwin on his appointment as Headmaster of Clifton Preparatory, Nottingham Road. Eswee is a close member of our Kingsmead Community as both a parent to two of our girls as well as husband to our pre-school teacher, Hanlie Prinsloo. This does of course mean that we will need to say a sad farewell to Hanlie and her family at the end of this term. Hanlie has been an integral part of our teaching community for many years. We will celebrate her time with us closer to her departure. We wish the Prinsloo family all the best for this next exciting venture in education.
It gives me great pleasure in announcing two new Junior School Executive team members.
We welcome Thando as the Head of Transformation, Diversity and Inclusion at the Junior School. Her compassion and sincere approach will be highly valued within the Kingsmead Community. Thando joins us with a Bachelor of Arts , majoring in Sociology, isiXhosa and Legal Theory. She is also qualified with a PGCE in Education and is a passionate History, English and Life Orientation teacher. Thando is also known by the Senior Primary students as their current netball coach. She is married to Ndumiso and she has a young son, Senamile. Thando’s greatest passion is people. Her heart and goal for TDI at Kingsmead is to establish a sense of belonging for every person, where each individual is able to contribute to the Kingsmead Community in their own, meaningful and unique way, and feeling secure and safe enough to do so. To foster diverse thinking through building relationships that will help shape the school to be the heartbeat of freedom and loyalty.
Sjaneen joins us as the Deputy Head of Academics and Innovation later this term. After a rigorous interview process, which included members of the Executive, HR and members of Council, we are pleased to announce this appointment. Sjaneen joins us from Crawford Lonehill. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education as well as an Honours degree in Educational Management. She is an experienced Mathematics, Natural Science and Afrikaans teacher in the Senior Phase. She has experience in both national and international curricula and is currently one of the co-ordinators of the International Baccalaureate curriculum at her current school. Through this she has insight into the cognitive education skills and strategies necessary to further advance our identity as a Thinking, Feeling school. Sjaneen is passionate about teaching the youth, differentiation, innovation, leadership and the development of teachers. I have no doubt that she will add immense value to our incredible team of teachers. Sjaneen is married to Frikkie and has three young children, Mieke, Mia and Reuven. We warmly welcome the Pretorius family to Kingsmead and wish them many happy years with us.
Head: Kingsmead Junior School
Employ a Growth Mindset – How YOU can help your daughter?
At Kingsmead Junior School we realise that success, failure and practice are all part of the same system = learning. We strive to create a culture where, as teachers, we are constantly conducting reflective practices on how we improve your daughter’s performance within the classroom and her assessments. Our one goal is to develop students who are resilient and able to achieve their potential. You might ask, how can you assist us…
Talk about it
Talk daily to your daughter, but guide the discussion by asking questions like: did you make a mistake today? What did you learn from this mistake? What did you do today that was difficult? Challenged your learning? It is important to note, on its own, a mistake has no value. James Anderson, reminds us that the value and learning potential come not from the mistake itself, but from the way we act on it.
To achieve learning and extract value from a mistake, we must follow psychologist Anders Ericsson’s 3 Fs:
- Focus: To recognise a mistake as a learning opportunity.
- Feedback: To understand what the learning opportunity says we must learn.
- Fix It: Take action to correct the mistake.
Praise the Process of Learning
Instead of saying you are ‘so smart’, praise the effort, the persistence of getting through the difficult task, the deliverance, the effort. Learning is a process, not a destination.
The Brain can GROW
Remind your daughter that her intelligence can be stretched every day. It is not fixed. Remind her that when work is challenging/difficult, this is when her brain grows best, if she can persist through the challenge. Each time she learns something new, her brain is making new connections. She needs to know that this is possible.
Help her change her dialogue
The way your daughter talks to herself can have an impact on her mindset. If she says ‘This is too hard’, help her change this to ‘This is hard, and I just can’t do it yet – with repeated practice and deliberate effort, I will get there’. Give them the words to say when they are feeling defeated by modelling as parents/guardians.
Your daughter needs to realise that setbacks happen and that is okay. Remind her that each time they fail and try again, their brain is growing, stronger! Don’t step in to prevent your daughter’s failure – this is how she will learn to persevere in the face of challenges.
Deputy Head: Senior Primary
THE LIBRARY CHECKOUT
Raising Readers Together!
It’s Term 2 and it brings with it our exciting Junior School Book Week celebration in the lead up to our first ever Virtual Kingsmead Book Fair just before month-end! I can hardly contain my excitement! As I currently plan and finalize our Junior School Book Week Programme – loaded with fun reading/book competitions; Hooked on Books shows; character dress up inspired days, Buddy story walks, Book-Drive Collections, Exclusive Books Pop-up Shop and the lot, I know that this time in our calendar is another reminder to our school community that we need to help our children cultivate a reading life that matters!
As a media specialist, I’m frequently asked questions about reading and books. If you have any questions about how to inspire your child’s love of reading, I can highly recommend Raising Readers by Megan Daley and How to Raise a Reader by Pamela Paul and Maria Russo.
I love that both books provide book recommendations and comprehensive tips for nurturing the love of reading for every age and stage from pre-birth to teenage years, and if you’re a parent committed to raising readers, I think you will too! They are useful for dipping in and out of to read relevant chapters for whichever age and stage your child or children are in. Over the next few weeks, I look forward to sharing some insightful tips from these books with you all.
I thought I would commence this series of inserts with a closer look at how to keep our tweens (9-12 years of age) reading. I’m sure, without a doubt, we might know or even be raising a tween whose interest in reading is waning. Life is getting very busy with homework, studying, socialising, extra-curricular pursuits and in some cases social media.
If you find yourself with a tween who has stalled with their reading, then here is a list of recommended ideas extracted from Megan Daley’s book:
- Sign up to any online reading challenge and check off the books as they go. For example https://media1.popsugar-assets.com/files/docs/PS20_ReadingChallenge_Printable.pdf. If your daughter is looking for an easy way to digitally track and rate the books she has read for the challenge, I suggest also joining this Goodreads group made up of readers who participate in the POPSUGAR Reading Challenge every year.
- Encourage your daughter(s) to visit her school library and checkout the trendy array of books on display on the bookshelves. We also have our online library offering by Sora, the Reading App. Our library ambassadors look forward to shifting your daughter’s impression of what a library has to offer and recommending some good next reads! Watch their elevator pitch here: https://youtu.be/AOZnTxzLeTE
TEA & LUNCH BREAK
TEA & LUNCH BREAK
TEA & LUNCH BREAK
WEDNESDAY & FRIDAY
Grade 4 Grade 5 Grade 6 Grade 7
- Offer new books as a reward for tasks done or as end-of-term gifts. A really special gifting idea, I once saw on Instagram, was for parents to buy their favourite book, highlight memorable quotes in the book or record anecdotes and gift their child with it. Books then become special keepsakes too!
- Read with them. Tween novels/Middle-Grade Novels* are as fabulous for adults as they are for children (think of the success of Harry Potter in the adult market). It shows your tween or teen that you value the books they read. It also means you will be present when spontaneous conversations about important topics start to flow.[*specific book recommendations can be located in Raising Readers and How to Raise a Reader respectively]
- Read to them. Reading the first chapter or two of a really great novel will often pique enough interest for them to pick up the book left lying around.
- Browse blogs, author social media accounts (where appropriate) and popular tween magazines (e.g. The Huddle Magazine published by Penguin Random House) and let your child choose their reading material – a sense of independence is all important. Autonomy in reading choices is crucial at this age, but that autonomy can and often should be guided by a parent or teacher. It is a challenging age in terms of book choices as they begin to transition from younger reader books to children’s novels and young adult (YA) books.
- Attend book launches, local library events, book shops and literary festivals like our Virtual Kingsmead Book Fair on Saturday, 29 May 2021. There is nothing like meeting an author to inspire reading.
- Join a book club! Encourage your daughter in Grade 4-7 to sign-up to my SELF-Extension book club called Books and Bites when it is on offer for her grade.
In closing, in the words of Pamela Paul, ‘…may we always know our children to read – or at least, never stop to entertain the notion that they might not!’
Junior School Media Specialist
The Instrument programmes got off to a great start and the Music department is again a busy, noisy and happy place! The Grade 4s are divided into three groups: Orchestral Percussion, JSax (single reed instruments) and Brass. The groups rotate so that all the Grade 4s have the opportunity to play each type of instrument. Instruments are sanitised before and after the lessons and we maintain safe distancing throughout the lessons.
We loved seeing how much our young musicians had grown over the last few months and enjoyed our ‘live’ concerts at the end of last term. All our 1st term concerts are available on the Kingsmead College Arts & Music YouTube channel, Like and Subscribe!
Diarise the 2nd term concerts:
Please note the workshops scheduled for May:
|Sat 8 May||9h00 – 11h30||JS Orchestra Workshop||Rehearsal space & Beatles|
|Sat 15 May||14h00 – 17h00||Grade 4-7 Choir Workshop & RECORDINGS||Rehearsal space & Joel hall|
|Sat 22 May||15h00-16h30||JS Orchestra RECORDINGS||Lange hall|
Instrumental and Vocal Individual Tuition
If your daughter can’t decide which instrument she wants to play, have a look at our introduction videos: (Click on the image of the instrument group on the image below). The videos are available on the Kingsmead Arts & Music YouTube channel)
*Piano, Guitar, Bass Guitar, Drum kit and Voice are also offered.
*To apply for music lessons, click here or scan this QR code:
The Music department welcomes Jemma Thorburn who will be teaching piano and violin. She is an exceptional musician who was lucky enough to do her postgrad studies in Russia! She comes to us from Grayston Prep and is excited to join the Kingsmead Community.
Should you have any questions about Music at Kingsmead, please contact us.
The Music department wishes you a wonderful term ahead!
Junior School Hockey Trials:
Southern Hockey trials will be taking place in the next two weeks at St Andrew’s for the U12 and the U13 teams. This is very exciting for us as last year’s hockey tour was cancelled. We will be sending players to represent Kingsmead at these trials, and we wish them all the best.
The U12 trials will be on 15 May and the U13 trials will be on 22 May.
Congratulations to the following students who have been selected to attend the hockey trials:
Jessica de Zueew
Junior School Netball News:
The following netball players were selected to attend the D13 Netball Trials on Friday 30 April:
Zaara Banwa, Jessica Galloway, Hope Ngwenya, Erin van Dyk, Kate Sardi, Luyanda Nkumane and Lola-Rose Jooste.
Grace Hefer and Neo Mkwanazi.
All the players played extremely well. They really showed true Kingsmead courage on the netball court.
Congratulations to Zaara Banwa and Grace Hefer who made it through to the second round of trials to be held on Saturday 8 May. Good luck to these two players. Keep your focus and concentration high!
Thank you to the Kingsmead community for the generous support and contribution to the Easter Share What you Can Collection. We were able to share 9740 Easter eggs and 650 tins of canned goods with the following organisations:
- ASHA creches
- Baragwanath Paediatric Burns Unit
- Fight with Insight
- Sunshine Association
- Isipho Primary School
- Hotel Hope
Easter Egg handover to representatives from ASHA creches
Please look out for the following important dates in our Term 2 calendar. We look forward to partnering with you during these cold winter months in making a difference in the lives of others.
Term 2 Events
- 19 May: Hot Chocolate sales start (in support of JAM)
- 24-28 May: Book Drive (in support of Isipho Primary and Lefika La Phodiso)
- 31 May-4 June: Winter Warmer Collection
- 18 July: Mandela Day
Junior School Head of Service
National Coalition of Girls’ Schools Membership